5 Things I Miss About San Diego

5 Things I Miss About San Diego

Arguably the best city on Earth.

Going to school in San Diego was the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. The best because I mean, it's San Diego. There's no other place like it. But the worst because whenever I'm not there I want to get back as fast as possible. But with school starting in about a month, I can practically feel the sand between my toes.

1. The Beach

I was never the biggest fan of the beach before I came to San Diego. I grew up in Southern California but had only been to the beach a handful of times. But beaches in San Diego are different. It's a good way to break up your weekly routine, spend some down time with your friends, study or just get some fresh air. Also, some of the best places to eat are in near the beach (I'm looking at you Kono's Cafe).

2. The Weather

With a year-round average of 70-75 degrees, San Diego's weather is absolutely beautiful. Especially since I live in the desert now. Yeah sometimes rains, sometimes it's grossly hot and humid, and sometimes its freezing cold. But the bad days are worth it when the daily high is 75 for a few weeks straight.

3. The Food

There are so many different places to eat in San Diego you can satisfy your cravings no matter what you want. Of course, the Mexican food is the winner here, especially when you have places like super authentic Tacos El Gordo and authentically gourmet Lucha Libre. But don't think that's all San Diego has to offer. You could get authentic Italian at one place, walk a few doors down and get a Thai tea to go. Craving samosas at 2 a.m. or stuffed grape leaves at noon? There's a place for that.

4. Trujillos

Even though I already covered food, Trujillos is so special it deserves its own category. As a student of SDSU, Trujillos is basically home away from home. Known for their California burritos and Greek-inspired meals, there's nothing else like Trujillos. No matter how broke I am, I can always scrounge up enough money to get a Sigma Chi. I love Trujillos so much I'll probably have them cater my wedding, my child's christening, and my funeral.

5. The Communities

San Diego has 52 distinct communities, within those communities are neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own distinct landscape and feel and make San Diego a "city of villages" of sorts. For example, North Park is super hipster and that's where you'll find a bunch of camera shops, consignment stores, and odd mom and pop shops. College Area is home to SDSU and City Heights is where you will find some of the best ethnic food. Gaslamp is filled with drunk 30 sometimes at night, and Little Italy is great for when you want to pretend you're fancy. Downtown beautiful at night but its so crowded it's almost not worth it but East Village gives you the downtown feel without all the people. You get the point. But what makes these neighborhoods so special is that going a few miles down the 8 or the 5 makes sit feel like you're in a whole new city and makes sure that you will never ever be bored of San Diego.

San Diego is my favorite place in the world to be. I couldn't imagine going to school anywhere else in the world. I'll be back soon so until then, stay classy San Diego.

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.

7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.

10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.

13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!

16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!

19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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