Let me start off by saying that I am proud of where I’m from. The Central Valley is nothing like the images of picturesque beaches and flashy movie stars one might imagine when they hear the word California. The Central Valley is, as it’s name says, right in the middle of California. The heat can be over-bearing and the air quality isn’t the best, but it still remains an ideal place to grow up, in my opinion. I’m from Visalia, about 40 minutes north from Fresno Pacific, and honestly, my environment hasn’t changed much since I’ve arrived. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s comfortable, not too crowded, and only a few hours away from just about any form of vacation spot imaginable. You want to go to the beach? It’s only a two and a half hour drive. How about the mountains? Those are a quick trip as well. And my personal favorite, Disneyland, is only a short drive across the Grapevine. Being in the middle certainly has it’s advantages, but this doesn’t mean I travel out of the city whenever I want to have fun; I’m actually finding that the city of Fresno can be a pretty exciting place as well.
No city is perfect, and Fresno definitely has its drawbacks, but I want to focus on the positives because when I considered coming to Fresno Pacific, I wanted to know what the city could offer me. Like many high school seniors in my town, I wanted to go someplace pretty. Cal Poly State University, Pepperdine University, and Point Loma Nazarene University were certainly tempting. Their locations seem heavenly, but they’re also a lot further away. Despite it’s location, Fresno Pacific is a beautiful campus covered in endless trees and other greenery that makes you feel like you’re in the mountains. In the end, Fresno ended up being the right choice for me because it’s far enough away to give me some independence, but not too far from home, and family is most important to me.
So what do you do during free time at Fresno Pacific without staying on campus? There are plenty of options. Last week I went to the Fashion Fair Mall with my boyfriend, and I practically died in the three-story Forever 21. It is one of the many shopping areas in Fresno that provide a variety of stores for everyone. I could also go on and on about the food. I recently went to The Old Spaghetti Factory and the pasta was to die for. I’m also very anxious to go back to the Doghouse Grill; filled with mouth-watering hamburgers that definitely compete with In-and-Out; The Macaroni Grill, which I am eager to try, and The Elephant Bar, where I went for prom and the service was wonderful. Also, my friends and I went to our first sporting event of the season recently: the Fresno Pacific vs. Fresno State Volleyball game in the Savemart Center. College sports are way more intense than high school! As a former swimmer, I’m personally looking forward to catching some swim meets this year. Lastly, I’m really wanting to go to Skywalk- a huge warehouse filled with trampolines! I’ve heard it’s a popular place around here.
Anyway, I could ramble on and on about the many things to do here. Even though I don’t get to walk to the beach after class or roam the streets of San Diego, I still have fun with my new friends while staying close to my family. And besides, there’s even more things to do that I haven’t discovered yet. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my adventures along the way. Thanks for reading.