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5 Things I Discovered This Summer in SLO

As a fourth year at Cal Poly, I’ve learned a few things about staying in San Luis Obispo for the summer.

You can have bonfires at 1 a.m. at Avila Beach and never have to leave. Okay, maybe I learned more than that.

The Community Has a Ton to Offer

There is more to being a Cal Poly student than hanging around on campus. The San Luis Obispo community has a ton of activities to offer college students. Entertainment extends much further than two miles off campus. 

For example, we are all familiar with Farmer’s Market every Thursday night in Downtown San Luis Obispo. What I didn’t realize until living in SLO for the summer is that there is also a farmers’ market in Avila Beach on Friday nights, one in Pismo Beach on Wednesday nights, and one in Morro Bay on Saturday afternoon. You get the picture; there is a farmers’ market for almost every night of the week. So why did it take me so long to figure that out?

Adventure is Around Every Corner

Staying here helped me branch out of the college community and into this beautiful area. As I drove to work during the summer, I listened to local radio stations talk about upcoming events in the community. Who would have guessed there was a Renaissance Festival in SLO or Avocado and Margarita Festival in Morro Bay?

You can watch an incredible sunset at Pirate’s Cove. Be warned- it’s a nude beach!

The fact that there are three giant lakes (Lake Lopez, Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio) available to hike, boat, kayak and swim less than 45 minutes from our campus still amazes me.

I experienced trudging through two feet deep water to hike Big Falls and struggled to keep up with my friends. It was worth it. Summer was an adventure of a newer and more exciting San Luis Obispo than I knew previously, all because I decided to explore it.

SLOcals Are Carefree

As I met new friends this summer in SLO, I realized how carefree SLOcals are. You can’t help being positive in a town where the sun is always shining, the first hour of parking is free, and dogs can roam the beaches freely. The local consensus is that once you visit SLO, its impossible to leave.

Family is First

Lastly, don’t forget about your family. Forget sounds like a strong word, but when you are constantly meeting new people and balancing work and school, parents and siblings become a little bit more distant.

I have never been one to be homesick, so living five hours away wasn’t too difficult of an adjustment. However, during my stay in San Luis Obispo this summer, I realized how much family can be forgotten and missed.

I missed having home cooked meals, which is saying something since my home cooked meals usually involved something out of the freezer. I missed talking to my mom each day about my adventures and new friends. And as I thought about missing my parents, I would forget to call because I got so wrapped up in it all.

Don’t Take Anything For Granted

Summer has taught me not to take anything for granted because the people I have met in three short months and the surrounding community will always be at the top of my Best Summer Ever list.

As I write this and as I enter my last year at Cal Poly it is all bittersweet. I wish I discovered this San Luis Obispo community that I love, so much earlier. So go explore, leave campus, adventure down to Santa Maria and up to San Simeon, and if you ever get the chance to stay for in San Luis Obispo for summer, know that it comes highly recommended.

Amy is a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is majoring in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations, and a minor in Psychology. She has interned at non-profits around the area including Friends of Hearst Castle and The Family Care Network. She is actively involved on campus including Greek life, Cal Poly's Honors Program, Orientation Programs, and Public Relations Student Society of America. Her current passion is social media and personal branding. Check out her twitter at @amychecho
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