One of the reasons I fell in love with USC was because I loved LA the second I got here. Watching the skyline of downtown come into view as I drove in from the airport was amazing. I can go downtown any day of the week, because its a five minute drive from campus. I can even jog there during my runs if I feel like it. But one thing I wasn’t expecting was how much fun I’ve had exploring the places that I’m able to easily drive to for weekend trips from campus.
When I didn’t have a car on campus freshman year, my first trip was using the train to get to San Diego. It’s a beautiful ride along the coast, and since then I’ve made the trip a handful of times. Whether it’s to visit family, see friends at campuses there, or just explore, it’s been a great place to see.
Then, I started catching rides with friends up to northern California when they were going. Just a few hours north, each time I’ve been I’ve had a completely different experience, from the city to the suburbs to the colleges in the area. It’s a totally different feel than LA, and it’s so easy to find people from the area to stay with. And that includes the tradition of the weekender, where everyone from USC heads up to our game at either Cal or Stanford each year.
I’ve also gotten to head out to the Coachella Valley on two occasions for different music festivals. A short drive east of LA (literally… its a two hour drive on one highway east, not a single turn the whole time) it’s a beautiful desert town unlike anywhere else I’ve ever visited. You get to pass by windfarms on the way, which I love looking at, plus the town at some points can reach 250 feet below sea level! It’s a great place, and I hope to go back again before I graduate.
While I couldn’t be happier with my life in Los Angeles, I love that I have the ability to take these trips when I want to. Plus there are so many more you can take, some that I hope to take: to Oregon, to national parks in the area, to Vegas, to Arizona, and more. If you spend enough time here, I definitely recommend taking advantage of the beautiful places around LA that you can visit. Even if it’s just a day on Catalina Island, go for it. You won’t regret the nice getaway, and you have a great place to come home to.Meet Molly