Hey lovelies! Apologies for the late posting! Hope life has been going great! I am been a little swamped with schoolwork, volunteering, work, & college applications so life…has been a little overwhelming. I’m not ready for the week to start but I’m keeping my positive mindset. What’s giving me a lot of happiness right now though are all the pictures I have to share from my summer trip to Cali! Let’s get into it, shall we?
When I first started looking for colleges back in Sophomore year, I told my mom “East Coast or West Coast. Nothing in the middle and nothing in the South”. My pickiness with location actually helped a lot in choosing schools that I wanted to visit.
From the start, my college list was East Coast heavy and I found myself getting worried. I had always wanted to be a filmmaker and creative writing, but was New York City the place for that? California had Hollywood and a lot of opportunities! I felt like NYC was more TV Show and Broadway focused. So I made up my mind and began some college searching in the West Coast.
This summer, I set out to California only having 3 college visits in mind. I wasn’t expecting to like California that much, as New York City had stolen my heart so many years ago.
But then, the plot twist came…
I fell in love with Cali!
The Betrayal (or The Arrival to California)
Considering the above picture was my view in Cali, it’s understandable why I fell in love so easily. The palette of the landscape struck me so intensely and I could not stop taking pictures to preserve the memories. My family and I landed and stood in a hotel in Palo Alto for a few days. The little town was beautiful and the hotel was absolutely gorgeous! I had so much fun lounging around in the sun, watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, & eating an Avocado BLT by the poolside.
During our stay in Palo Alto, we drove to San Francisco!
If you’ve been following my Instagram, you’d know that I posted SO MANY PICTURES from San Fran already, but it’s because the shots I got there were absolutely beautiful! My family and I drove to Fisherman’s Wharf and the spent the afternoon roaming around and stopping at souvenir stores. We also ate at this fancy little Italian restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf and it was very delicious! In San Francisco, it was actually so so cold and I was so glad I wore my bell bottoms. I was trying to channel Julie, the American Girl Doll in the photo shoots, and I think it worked. Below are some pics from my San Fran stop!
Santa Barbara // UCSB
On my Instagram, I’ve also posted some pictures in Santa Barbara! The town was so cute and the boardwalk was nice! There, I visited the University of California: Santa Barbara! The campus was nice and sunny and so close to the beach, which I thought was amazing! Apparently, the college is ranked as one the happiest in California, which was very interesting! Overall, I enjoyed the college, but it wasn’t one of my favorites! After the tour, my family and I ate lunch at a cute little Mexican restaurant across from the beach. In Santa Barbara, what really caught my were the beautiful flowers! I included a picture of them below!
Los Angeles // Loyola Marymount University & University of Southern California
After Santa Barbara, my family and I drove many hours to Los Angeles! From the very beginning, I had been so excited to go to LA. Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the major studios, oh my! My family and I dedicated one day for college visits and the rest for touring and lounging around. My college visits started with Loyola Marymount University. I put this college on the list completely by random because I only really had one college I wanted to visit prior to our trip and I wasn’t really expecting too much.
The most surprising thing about all this in the end is that I ended up loving LMU, and it’s the only school I’m applying Early Action to! LMU was beautiful! It’s view of Los Angeles was stunning and the campus was so cute! The mascot of the school is the Lion & the entire tour consisted of lion puns that I appreciated way too much. The School of Film & Television caught my eye as soon as I walked on campus and when the tour guide said that LMU allows all students to have the rights to their works, I was really excited! I spent about 10 minutes alone taking pictures of the cliff view! Another factor I really liked was that LMU was a gated school and it wasn’t located directly in bustling LA!
The next school I visited was USC. I am not applying to USC anymore as 19,000 students is a bit too much for me, but I have to say, the campus was beautiful. It gave of Northeastern campus vibes with all the bright buildings and greenery. I’ll admit that I was blown away by the Film school, as part of it had been made to look like a studio set, which was so cool! I also freaked out a little bit after finding out that Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel, was an alum! USC’s campus was truly beautiful, though it had more of an urban feel to it!
The day after my tours, my family and I took a tour bus to see the rest of LA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, & Venice Beach! I thought Santa Monica was so so cute and I had a blast in LA seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Los Angeles Observatory! Enjoy the pictures I included below!
My college tours were awesome & I enjoyed them so much! In order of my favorite to least favorite, I’d say: LMU, USC, & UCSB! I definitely recommend checking out all these schools if you’re interested! College tours are so much fun because they really give you an insight into what it would be like attending school there. As soon as I step on a college campus, I immediately can tell from the vibes what the school is like. A tip I have is to make sure to ask good questions! How are the dorms? Is it easy to have a good relationship with your professors or are they required to spend time on research? Are the classes taught by TA’s?
If you can’t make it to a college tour, I highly recommend visiting Campus Reel! This is an amazing website filled with college students making videos about their schools and basically giving you a virtual tour! Often, campus tours don’t take you into the dorms but with Campus Reel, you can get an inside look! If you also want some insider information, visit College Confidential to hear from the students themselves!
Hope you enjoyed this post! Are you currently looking at colleges? Got any college touring tips? Have you ever visited any of the colleges in this post? Let me know in the comments below!