Why You Should Go To College On The West Coast

I know, I know, everyone knows, the East Coast has all the Ivy Leagues, all the pretty forests, and all the pretentious people, right? Well, not really. (I mean, it does still have the Ivy Leagues; last I checked teleportation was still impossible for entire institutions.) Here are some reasons why you (or a rising high school junior or senior you know) should consider going to college on the West Coast.

1. Top-notch schools

Since this is supposed to be an academic post, I’ll start with academics and move on from there. The West Coast is home to some of the nation’s best academic institutions. Stanford is regularly ranked in the top 10, regardless of what rankings you look at. Pomona College, the founding member of the Claremont Consortium, is one of the best liberal arts schools in the country (Forbes recently ranked it the #2 college in America). UC Berkeley is one of the nation’s best public universities. CalTech is renowned for its engineering program. I could go on.

2. It’s pretty

Who said the East Coast was the prettiest? I can name ten amazing places that are must-sees off the top of my head: Yosemite, Joshua Tree, the Redwoods (aka Sequoia), Death Valley, Oregon Caves, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, Channel Islands, and King’s Canyon. There. And I didn’t even have to Google search it.

3. It’s chill

Is it the weather? Is it the scenery? Whatever it is, people on the West Coast are just more chill. That’s not to say nobody works hard. But there’s a saying - people on the East Coast live to work, while people on the West Coast work to live.

4. Climate

West Coast weather. There’s a reason people always talk about it in an envy-inspiring romantic tone. Blue skies, sunshine, rare storms, and healthier and happier people. Forget about Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD) - just move to California and never be sad again!

5. Flip flops

Seriously. Unless you live on top of one of the many mountains on the West Coast, you can wear flip-flops all year, if you want. Yes, that includes winter.

6. 2/3 states grant same-sex marriage

Two thirds (meaning two out of three) states of the West Coast allow same-sex marriage: California and Washington. Whoo progress!

7. Food

The West Coast boasts diverse fast food options. Let’s see…there’s In-N-Out, Carl’s Jr., Weinershnietzal, Del Taco, Jack-In-The-Box, Fatburger…that’s a lot of fast food options. Also, there is amazing Mexican food out West. (This is especially true in California.)

8. Fine wines

Okay, so this may not be completely entirely appropriate for college-bound students, but hey, even freshmen become seniors eventually, so you might as well invest in your future and move to somewhere where the nearest vineyard is a half hour’s drive away.

9. Vacation paradise

Where would you spend your dream vacation? On a tropical island? On top of a mountain? On the beach? In a valley? In a forest? In a desert? In a well-furnished air-conditioned facility? Whatever the scenery, the West Coast has it, or at least has very easy access to it.

10. Katy Perry

Hey, if you go to school in California and you identify as female, you can honestly sing along to “California Gurls.”

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