Pepperdine is one of the most beautiful college campuses in America, located in gorgeous Malibu, home to some of the best surfing spots in the country. Many students come to Pepperdine to experience living in a small, safe, star-studded community that offers proximity to both stunning beaches and Los Angeles.
We are in an amazing place, and living in Malibu has enumerable advantages, but despite popular belief, it’s not perfect. Low walkability, lack of affordable dining options and shopping and the fact that everything here seems to close at 6 p.m., make it a unique college town, to say the least.
Parking at Pepperdine has never been fun, but it’s particularly painful this year, as we welcomed our biggest first-year class ever and said goodbye to some parking spots to construction and COVID-19 testing tents. A simple solution to this problem would be to have fewer students with cars; however, in Malibu, this is just not feasible, because the city is not very walkable.
Sure, you can get down to PCH from campus pretty easily, and you could probably take a walk someplace like Malibu Bluffs Park or Ralph’s Beach without too much hassle, but hoofing it to McDonald’s or the pier would be way more tough — wandering down from campus at all guarantees a steep hike back up. Not to mention the nearest Target would be a seven-hour trip on foot.
The distance between us and Target is indicative of another problem, and that is our separation from civilization, or anything that is not either Ralph’s or an insanely expensive boutique.
Malibu is a wealthy community (understatement of the century), so there are a lot of shops with expensive products the average Malibu resident could probably afford. Unfortunately, we are not local millionaires — we are college students. A majority of the businesses here are financially out of our reach.
College students thrive on cheap food, which presents another wrinkle in Malibu living: the lack thereof near campus. If your favorite restaurant is McDonald’s or Jack in the Box, you are going to love what Malibu offers, but if you’re like me, you sometimes want something else to eat that is not from the Caf or a pricey tourist restaurant like Duke’s.
Malibu is a quiet beach town, which is nice on days you want to be at a quiet beach, but literally any other time, it’s pretty annoying.
There are no businesses geared toward college students, no cool nightlife spots and no Greek row. To do anything fun that does not involve the outdoors or sitting in a dorm room on the weekends, you probably have to go through the canyon or to Los Angeles or Santa Monica. This is a lot for me personally, especially when my friends at other schools can simply walk to fun weekend activities.
There are honestly a lot of cons to Malibu living, but the pros do outweigh them.
Being this close to the beach is priceless (even though we actually pay a pretty high price), and it feels ungrateful to complain about being here with the views we have on campus. No matter how silly it may feel to gripe about being in Malibu, it’s not a perfect place — but it is really close.
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Contact Addison Whiten via Twitter: @addisonwhiten or by email: email@example.com