Tag Archives: SoCal

The Top Beaches Close to USC

By Alisa Saleh

School is out and the sun is finally peaking out from behind those “June Gloom” clouds. Our beach days are here and as a new Southern California resident, you need to finally see why SoCal is famous for its beaches. The problem is there are so many to chose from. To make it a little easier, I have picked my top 5 beaches in the area.

  1. Corona Del Mar

Photo by Daniel Peckham on Flickr

Corona Del Mar, or “CDM” is nestled south of LA in Orange County. It is a nice change from LA’s busy environment with its relaxed feel and quaint surroundings. The beach features views of cliffs, vintage houses, and tide pools. While it is a popular spot with a lot of visitors, it maintains its tranquility even on the busiest of days. The beach has two main points of access, Little Corona and Big Corona. Little Corona is smaller and more secluded while Big Corona is more populated.

  1. Laguna Beach

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The charm of Laguna Beach is unmatched. Also located in Orange County, at this spot the city and beach are one. With beautiful views, basketball courts, great restaurants, and a boardwalk all within a mile, there’s very little that Laguna does not offer. While Main Beach is more popular, the 1000 Steps Beach area is also something to check out. It features steep stairs leading to the main beach area.

  1. Malibu

Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash

Located North of LA, Malibu is the perfect place for a secluded beach experience. Malibu is probably the most serene of all the beaches listed her. It’s right off the scenic Pacific Coast highway and a popular surf spot. If you go to Point Dume (also known as Westward Beach), you can see the famous rock wall in the iconic final scene in the original Planet of the Apes.

  1. Santa Monica

Photo by Glen Bowman on Flickr

Santa Monica is located in the heart of the LA area. Not only does it feature a beach but also a mini amusement park on its adjacent pier. Additionally, the Third Street Promenade is just a short walk away. If you’re looking for a packed and diversified beach day, this is the perfect spot. Be prepared for huge crowds of people.

  1. Redondo Beach

Photo from Wallpaper Safari

Redondo Beach is located close to LAX on the south bay region. It offers a variety of things including restaurants, seasonal whale watching, and pedal boat rentals. This area is not as populated as some of the others on the list, making it a good place to get away from the busy feel of LA.

Featured image by Orange County Archives on Flickr

Alisa is Business Administration Graduate from the Marshall School of Business. She was born in Orange County, California and moved with her family to Houston, Texas shortly after. She moved back to California at the age of 13. Alisa transferred to USC her sophomore year from Loyola Marymount University. She is fluent in both English and Urdu as she comes from a Pakistani family. Additionally, she has grown up playing basketball competitively and still enjoys watching/playing the sport.

Traditions of Football Season

By Greg Lennon

One of the centerpieces of any USC student’s college experience is that surreal part of the Fall semester that is football season.  New students quickly learn to respect and worship the history and tradition surrounding the illustrious Trojan football program.   For over a century, the school has built a pigskin culture based on excellence, tradition, and the glory that is game day.

For many, the pregame tailgates are almost as important as the game itself.  Whether you’re a hardcore alum who arrives on campus at 5:00am to set up the perfect tailgate, or just a casual fan, the pregame is a vital component to the Trojan game day experience.  Walking onto campus on any game day, no matter the opponent, you will find almost every inch of SC decked out in Cardinal and Gold.  When the time comes, the Trojan faithful head south to the Coliseum, pouring out of campus, and making sure to kick the trusty game day flag poles for good luck.

On the way, vendors sell essentials like bottled water, bootleg merchandise, and victory dogs (bacon wrapped hot dogs), the fuel of any tailgater.  Passing religious orators and ticket scalpers, the crowd makes its way into the coliseum, bottlenecked into the student section.  For most games, the student section feels like a pressure cooker; stacked like sardines into cramped seats, all the while the sun beating down.  And yet watching football from the student section can be one of the most surreal experiences; the entirety of the crowd moving and reacting as one while the two teams wage war on the field below.  Between chanting the SoCal spell-out, fighting on in unison with the song girls, or dancing to any number of the traditional cheers, the student section keeps things rowdy all game long.

For many so-called fans, halftime is a chance to escape the heat of the coliseum and return home to watch the remainder of the game from the comfort of air conditioning.  For the more faithful fans, the second half is a time to watch the team inflict its finishing blows to the visitor (or vice versa), as well as hope to catch a 4th quarter t-shirt launched into the crowd.  For the Trojan Faithful, game day is a borderline religious experience, and no matter the score, we never lose a tailgate.

Featured image from Wikimedia Commons

Greg is a junior majoring in International Relations, with an emphasis in International Politics in Security Studies. As a member of USC’s NROTC program, he will graduate as an officer in the US Navy, where he will serve for several years. Born and raised in Northern California, Greg enjoys running, hiking, and swimming on the weekends.