Visit these must-see spots before graduation

by Miranda Adler

Audrey Rynberg / Staff Photographer
Audrey Rynberg / Staff Photographer

Graduation is quickly approaching. Whether that fact evokes feelings of excitement, relief or impending doom varies among individuals. San Diego offers numerous activities students can check off their bucket lists before graduation.

Get physical

San Diego’s abundant sunshine allows for all kinds of outdoor adventures. Visit Sunset Cliffs for coastline views and steep cliff hiking trails. Cowles Mountain near campus and Torrey Pines State Reserve offer outdoor excursions with sprawling backdrops. Media studies senior Brianna Dotson said students need to experience camping on the beach before graduating.

“It’s something students can do pretty inexpensively,” Dotson said. “Beach camping is a great way to appreciate San Diego’s scenery and create memories with friends.”

When the weather gets warmer, head to La Jolla to explore caves and go sea kayaking amid leopard sharks.

Life’s a beach

Being residents of Ocean Beach, Mission Beach or Pacific Beach allows students to get the most out of living in a popular vacation spot. Marketing senior Sam Schoonover said living by the beach before graduation is a must. Schoonover said the beach attracts a diverse and interesting crowd, from locals to tourists, setting the stage for some eclectic people watching.

“Living in a beach community is very laid-back,” Schoonover said. “When there’s this much good weather, people in bathing suits and bars in one location, it’s impossible to be uptight.”

Schoonover said another benefit to beach living is the bar scene.

“The nightlife is awesome,” Schoonover said. “It’s a great way to meet people in the 21-plus scene.”

Journalism senior Cameron Smead said students should squeeze the most out of happy hour specials and go on a themed bar-crawl.

“This is the only time in our lives when it’s acceptable to walk the streets of PB in colorful spandex while drinking,” Smead said.

Finance senior Nusha Zamani said students can’t miss out on a traditional Taco Tuesday. On Tuesday nights, many bars and restaurants in PB offer deals and discounts.

“You have to wait in the hour-long line to get $1.25 shrimp tacos at World Famous on a Tuesday at least once,” Zamani said.

Border benefits

San Diego’s proximity to the Mexican border may create anxiety for overprotective parents, but some students think visiting Mexico during college is a necessity. University of San Diego student Dustin Emery doesn’t recommend students visit Tijuana, but recalls great memories of trips to San Felipe. The ease of living so close encouraged Emery to venture south of the border. Emery said another obvious bucket list item is sampling San Diego’s array of Mexican cuisine.

“I’ve tried just about every Mexican restaurant in San Diego,” Emery said. “Hands down, it’s the best in California.”

Whether it’s a mini vacation to Mexico or devouring an enormous Surf ‘n’ Turf burrito from JV’s Mexican Food, Emery said students should reap the benefits of living so close to the border.

San Diego State students’ graduation bucket lists are likely unique and varied, and with only one semester left for graduating seniors, the race to complete the list has begun.