Perhaps every San Diego State student debates moving to Pacific Beach. The rumors are alluring, but the mystery of the place is overwhelming enough for the devils-advocate within to pooh-pooh the idea out of reality. Oftentimes, students forfeit the beach lifestyle to the intimidation of change or fear of the unknown. The leap just seems too huge.
Well boys and girls, I made the leap and it was the best decision of my life.
In the morning, I wake to the fresh scent of sea salt misting off the ocean breeze. In the evening, I say goodnight to a soft-glowing sun that glazes the sky and ocean hot pink. I’ve seen the green flash. I finished my evening surf session at Crystal Pier 15 minutes ago. Tonight, I’ll decide between a bonfire kickback or a night of debauchery on the town, all with the best friends on Earth. And it’s made possible because I moved to P.B.
The town is an ideal platform for the ultimate college experience. In the summer, time slows in the heated breeze that wafts the town and graces the tanned, bare skin of its inhabitants. Residents can be found lining the streets, barbecuing or lounging, playing instruments or shooting Cornhole in their front yards. The beach comes alive with tourists, surfers, bikinis, babes and, sometimes, the token European Speedo-man.
People in P.B. are friendly. The crowd is eclectic and offers friendship for every niche. It’s not hard to find a close-knit pack to run with.
“When I moved to Pacific Beach, I found my home,” local resident Talee Rooney said. “I call it the ‘City of Gold’ because it’s where I’ve found my treasure — the best friends in the world. It’s a place where you’re sure to find your people, where likeminded folk naturally unite and where there’s enough love for everyone.”
Many students have preconceived notions about P.B.: It’s overrun with douche bags, it’s a melting pot of inebriates, it’s dangerously chaotic and filled with lascivious women. I’ve heard it all, and all of it can be true. Yes, people get drunk and rage through the night on Garnet Avenue. Yes, P.B. has its share of “bros.” Yes, the women instinctively flock like the salmon of … well, you get the picture. P.B. can be represented by these elements, but it doesn’t have to be. The area provides a forum for any and all of the following: surf, kickbacks, bars, courtship, even the green flash — the experience is what you seek out.
Other students argue the commute from P.B. is too long, the housing is too expensive and the distraction from school is unmanageable.
By car, the morning commute takes less than 20 minutes. Public transportation can take residents from beach to campus in an hour. The commute is a small price to pay for life on the shoreline.
Housing gets pricey near the beach, but it’s hardly unaffordable compared to the College Area. I live a block east of Crystal Pier and a block north of Moondoggies. It is a prime location. For me, rent is less expensive here than it was on Campanile Drive.
There’s no dispute, life in P.B. is distracting. As a student, one must be focused and prepared to cope. Quality of schoolwork needs to be upheld, and one must be willing and able to ignore the cheerful wails of the night, the call of the sunlit beach babes or the music that pumps off the main strip. It’s not inescapable, but takes careful evasion and healthy discipline. If you don’t have those skills, don’t move to P.B.
If you do, I’ll see you on the beach this summer.
-Michael Misselwitz is a journalism senior.
-This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.