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West Coast, Best Coast? – Three Days as a SoCal Local

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UK chapter.

Being a Jersey girl that goes to school in Kentucky, and has spent a summer in Nashville, you would think I would have already adjusted to the most dramatic changes in culture possible, at least within the US. I figured I could travel anywhere domestically and have a grip on life there. But, let me tell you, the south is not the same across the country, and there definitely is still an adjustment within my travels. 


UK gave us a fall break this year, and I decided to spend it in San Diego, CA with my cousin who just moved out here. Pickup trucks and cowboy boots are replaced by golf carts and roller blades. Farmers tans become surfer tans and one type of milk is replaced with more vegan options than I ever knew possible. Kombucha shots replace whiskey shots—probably how people are able to get up for a 5 am cycling class—and birds no longer fly in the sky but are what you ride to work because it’s too far to walk yet too close to drive. Or, because it’s just the cool thing to do. 


Call me a southern belle all you want now, but southern California has a whole different type of southern “charm.” People are born and raised to front a charming personality in Kentucky, but in SoCal it comes from the desire to blend in. The difference is people actually caring about your day in the 30 second elevator ride vs. people trying to fill the empty silence without seeming like a b****. Oh, and yes, there are avocados everywhere. Not exaggerating. I got shamed when ordering a salad without avocados—“don’t you know you’re in California?!,” the waiter exclaimed. I blamed it on my allergy, but so much for not feeling guilty by trying to have a healthy dinner. 


Half-joking, half-not, this isn’t meant to be a shameful post about the locals, but about my naivety to think I knew this “southern life” like the back of my hand. These differences are what make southern Cali what it is—a place with the coolest carefree vibes. And, that’s what I have loved about it. People are just free spirits living in the moment, enjoying the beautiful weather, daily. So yes, southern California may be filled with coffee-enthusiasts, yogis, vegans, hippies, surfers, and more dogs than humans, but it is also filled with good people who are just trying to make the most of a short life. And, it is something I greatly admire about this southern west coast life. My trip to San Diego is definitely a short one, but I will be back for more adventures and of course, more palm tree insta pics.

Hi, I'm Jillian! I am currently studying Interior Design and Business at the University of Kentucky. Besides design, some of my passions include writing and fashion. I also love traveling--exploring new, fun places with friends is one of my favorites pastimes.