Peer Advisor Blog Articles

Exploring Southern California: Advice for Students New to the Area

Peer Advisers are upperclassmen who are trained to assist incoming students make the transition into professional grad school. One of the ways they assist is through the Peer Advisor Blog. Here is an example of such a blog article that may even be helpful to you as a pre-optometry student as you go forward…


by Peer Adviser, Steven Saba, SCCO Class of 2020

Whether you are moving to Southern California for the first time or have lived here your entire life, exploring the attractions that our area has to offer can truly be an enriching part of your MBKU experience. Despite having grown up in the area, I still find excitement in visiting these spots, many of which are world-famous. My advice to you all would be to take advantage of living in such a diverse and beautiful region by exploring as much as you can during your first year. Here are some of my favorite spots:

  • Santa Monica Pier – Only about 45 miles from campus, The Santa Monica Pier is one of the quintessential spots in LA that all students should visit (if you haven’t already). Spend a day at the beach and dry off by riding some oceanfront rollercoasters! Aside from its uniqueness and beauty, the surrounding area offers some of the best nightlife and food that Southern California has to offer.
  • Griffith Observatory – Approximately 40 miles away from campus lays the Griffith Observatory in the hills of Hollywood. This spot offers one of the best panoramic views of LA and is especially beautiful at nighttime. It also houses one of the largest local planetariums, which allows visitors to explore the wonders of space.
  • Venice Beach – Slightly south of Santa Monica is Venice Beach, a melting pot that is home to several beachside shops, street performers, and the world-famous “Muscle Beach.” Venice is a unique place to visit and another one of LA’s most famous attractions. Don’t forget to check out the local canals that were inspired by the Italian city of the same name.
  • San Diego – San Diego probably deserves its own blog post. Simply put, this city is a must-see during your time at MBKU. San Diego offers some of the best food, beaches, and breweries that Southern California has to offer. Additionally, the city has some great hikes and exciting nightlife. You will probably have several classmates who will decide to visit San Diego during your first quarter. My recommendation would be to go with them!
  • Joshua Tree – Located to the east of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park offers a convenient getaway for anyone looking to escape civilization for a weekend. Check out some beautiful landscapes and watch some majestic sunrises/sunsets in this peaceful location. Several of my classmates planned a camping trip to Joshua Tree earlier this year and said that it was one of their favorite memories of first year.

I know what you all are thinking. Where’s Disneyland?! I figure that you all must know about that one by now and will probably spend a fair amount of time there. That being said, I hope that this list was helpful. There are several other spots worth checking out that I did not mention. The main takeaway is to find some time outside of school to bond with your classmates, while seeing some beautiful places. I wish you all the best of luck as you begin your journey at MBKU! Enjoy the ride!

PDF Peer Advisor Saba

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