Orange County: the good, the bad and the wonderful

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Annie Hatton/Staff

Since it seems as if every person who attends this school is from Southern California, it’s safe to assume that a good portion of us are from the OC. Orange County is a tad different from our beloved Berkeley. Almost everyone is well-off, and it’s so suburban it hurts. However, the OC does have bomb food, amusements and beaches. There are so many stereotypes about this part of SoCal that it’s hard to know which ones are actually true — and honestly, a lot of them are. For those who don’t call this part of California home, here’s everything you need to know.

The good

There are a lot of good things about this county: those suburban chain restaurants that we all know and love, those typical luxurious shopping malls and plenty of fun places to visit. You know, sometimes we just need a painfully chain-restauranty burrito from Rubio’s or a bougie sit-down meal from California Pizza Kitchen. Luckily for us, Orange County has chain restaurants on every corner, and it’s rare to find a place to eat at that’s one of a kind. Hey, this is good sometimes — admit it. While as students here we find hundreds of ways to spend money, it’s a pleasure to have malls that are air-conditioned and way too luxurious. There’s nothing like spending a day at the Irvine Spectrum shopping your heart out. Most importantly, there are so many fun places to spend the day at that are only a short drive away. To name a few, the Anaheim Packing District is definitely a must-see. Also, Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. What more could you ask for?

The bad 

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows down in the OC. Well, actually, it’s a heck of a lot of sunshine. While we enjoy a moderate climate here, Orange County is still struggling through the drought and experiencing really warm temperatures. Luckily, you don’t have to walk anywhere in the heat. Oh wait, that’s because you can’t walk anywhere — driving only. A car is required to get around, which is a hard adjustment after living in the Bay. Don’t even get us started with the traffic on the 5, the 55 and the 405. If you know, you know. Basically, this area is simply the epitome of suburbia, with the wealth and privilege to show for it.

The WONDERFUL

We’ll keep it short and simple for this one. Acai bowls, Mexican food and beach towns such as Laguna Beach and San Clemente. Enough said. Banzai Bowls will literally change your life. Also, a drive down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) with the windows down and music blasting never gets old, no matter how many years you’ve called Orange County home.

“The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “Arrested Development” and “The OC” are shows that represent some of the good, bad and wonderful qualities that the area has to offer. While we’re not denying that some of the negative stereotypes surrounding the people from here are true, Orange County is inhabited by individuals that come from various backgrounds and who have different life experiences. Each city has its own distinct vibe. Before you come to any conclusions, maybe come visit. And while you’re down there, have a killer acai bowl for us.

Contact Annie Hatton at [email protected].

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