While academics are important at any boarding school, the opportunities available to students in their free time is just as important. This is what makes the Academy stand out - how many schools can boast a beachfront property and all of the perks that come with it?
Here are my top five favorite things about going to school in southern California:
If there is one thing California is known for besides it mellow attitude and Hollywood stars, it’s sunny skies year round. The worst days will probably only have a few inches of rain, for just a couple of hours. All this means that you’ll never be stuck inside, bored with nothing to do. This is a refreshing change considering that most boarding schools are further east and we are as far west as we can get.
The warm weather is the perfect complement to our location, which goes right up to the coast. We even have a private entrance in between the Chapel and the Rec Hall, so it should be no surprise that you'll see Cadets donning wetsuits and carrying surfboards every day after school. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could always join a volleyball game with the locals.
California is incredibly welcoming of foreign influences and the cuisine certainly reflects it. On a single street it’s not uncommon to find foods from across the world. Even though it’s usually dominated by Mexican and fast food, European and Asian fare can still be found. Of course you’ll probably end up eating Mexican on more than a few occasions, and how could you not? It’s all made perfectly right in our backyard.
Southern California is home to a culture that you can’t really find anywhere else. You can meet anyone from the weekend surfer to the curiously strange. The way Californians are so laid back almost makes it seem like time moves slower here. It’s hard to describe the way of life here, but there’s a certain charm to it that can only be experienced first-hand.
After a few hours of exploring Carlsbad, you’ll find a bunch of stores and shops and even more if you follow the weekend trips to the mall. Coffee shops are pretty standard, but you’ll also find both upscale and budget barbers, chocolate cafes, and even a store for military surplus. If you have the money, you could even buy a Telsa at the dealer in the mall. My point is that in the home of Silicon Valley and American fashion, California will always leave you discovering new and innovative products.
Special thanks to Cadet Vanness Zhu '16 for writing this guest post.