Aneesa Piracha, Physics, University of California, Irvine, USA

My first few months in SoCal have caused some pretty big paradigm shifts. The SoCal ways have definitely rubbed off on me and my views have adjusted accordingly. Here are the three main things I have learnt being in SoCal:

1.It is perfectly acceptable to wear yoga pants and flip flops, absolutely everywhere.

Activewear is the standard attire for every Southern Californian, regardless of the weather or situation, and I am starting to understand why. SoCal is full of fitness fanatics: juice-drinking, yoga-doing, skinny latte-lovers. So, it only makes sense that the way they dress is going to reflect that- its practicality that matters here. On top of that, it is around 30 degrees pretty much year-round so you can only wear sandals. So there you have it: yoga pants and flip flops- the only thing to wear that makes sense.

2. Anything below 20 degrees is sweater weather.

It is embarrassing, coming from Manchester, to start wearing hoodies as soon as it drops below 20 degrees, which I now define as a little ‘chilly’. But, once you get accustomed to 30 degrees and clear skies everyday, a bit of grey (or maybe even a bit of rain) can completely throw you off.

3. In-N-Out is the only fast food worth having.

America is the land of fast food but, only SoCal has In-N-Out. In-N-Out is a burger joint serving totally fresh, un-processed burgers for a quarter of the price you would normally find in the UK. You can customize pretty much any part of your burger and they event have a not-so-secret , ‘secret’ menu of add ons and twists. Let’s just say I’m going to have serious withdrawal symptoms on returning to Manchester.

These are only three of the many things I have come to discover in SoCal, and I can’t wait to learn more.

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