Growing up in central California meant that I never had much to do unless I wanted to drive 2-3 hours to the nearest beach or mountains, so when I moved to LA for college, I was excited to see all that LA has to offer within half an hour drive of my apartment. I definitely was not disappointed. LA has so many opportunities for things like hiking, camping, beaching, volunteering, concerts, shows, etc. that there is no shortage of things to do.
For volunteering, there are so many different things you can do. I’ve walked dogs at a German shepherd dog shelter, made and handed out burritos to the homeless, and worked with young girls in the South Central area to increase their exposure to STEM. Back home, I never had so many opportunities to give back to my community in such a direct way and I did all of these things through clubs and organizations at USC which made it easy to volunteer.
Something else I’ve enjoyed since living in LA is the proximity to nature. The nearest beaches are 20 minutes away and the nearest mountain areas are 30 minutes away. I love being able to go to the beach on the weekend or spontaneously after classes during the week. The beauty of southern California is that the weather is pretty nice year round, so beach trips are always an option. There are also SO many hiking spots around LA. During a day trip, I hiked Mt. Wilson with Bethany last semester, and (even though it kicked our butts) we loved it. Last fall I did the beach and the mountains in the same time, when SC Outfitters and I hiked Sandstone Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains and then after our hike, we went to Malibu and relaxed on the beach before coming back to SC. If you want to know more, I talk more in depth about nature-things around LA in my blog Getting Your Nature On When You Live in LA.
Finally, it’s no secret that LA has no shortage of concerts and shows that you can go to. On a small scale, USC is always having open mic nights, dance performances, etc. but if you want something off campus, there are concerts at the Staples Center as well as other venues. I saw Shania Twain the first week of classes and a bunch of my friends saw Justin Bieber last week. People are always posting on Facebook with last minute tickets that they’re selling, so you never know when you could suddenly have the opportunity to see a show that same night.
Since moving here, I’ve fallen in love with LA and SoCal because there’s so much opportunity and there’s always something to do. Whether it’s shopping at the Grove with my friends, a random beach trip on a Monday, or volunteering on Skid Row, I love always having something to do. If you have any questions about the transition from a small town to a big city or you’re wondering about specific places in LA, feel free to ask! Also follow me on instagram and twitter (@jamisonbria) to keep up with my daily adventures.Meet Bria