Best Eats you say? As a self-proclaimed “eater of food” I feel like I am qualified to answer this question. The classic initiation into PLNU is the first “burrito run” of the freshman class. There are some amazing Mexican food places here in Point Loma. The prices vary a little, but most are about $5-6 a burrito, or a little less for other menu items. Almost all of the restaurants come highly recommended by just about everyone, and are really quite good. If Mexican food is not your thing, we have Italian restaurants, pizza shops, family owned sub shops, and of course Slater 50/50 (It is a restaurant where everything is 50% beef, 50% bacon. It is pretty awesome!) If you are a vegetarian, we have Tender Greens, a delicious vegetable “any way you want them” kinda place. The prices can get a little expensive, but the cafeteria on campus is all you can eat, and the coffee shop/cafe on campus also serves great food, as well as the Jamba Juice on campus serves many different smoothies. You are given “Sea Lion Dollars” with your meal plan that can be spent at these on campus cafes/coffee shops, along with regular credit cards and cash being OK to use as well.
In summary, there is a lot of variety, but you usually need to take about a 5-10 minute drive to get there. Freshman aren’t allowed to have cars unless they have a special case for it, but it honestly isn’t that big of a problem. Your RA’s (residential assistants) will have a car to take you guys around, and they have friends with cars, and they can take you guys out every once in a while to get food. (It is a bit expensive and it does add up, so I would only recommend going out every once in a while, maybe once a week at most. the food on campus is cheap and plentiful, but off campus is noticeably more expensive.)
This segues nicely into your second question, how was the transition into college? To be completely honest, it is freeing, fun-filled, and ultimately stressful. It is freeing in the fact that you are on your own, no one is going to tell you at 11:30 to go to bed, no one will tell you what to eat, or how to dress. It is all up to you! It is fun filled in the fact that if you want to go out and have fun, do it! There literally is nobody who is going to stop you. But you must, at all times, keep in mind that every action you have has consequences. You wanna pull an all nighter? Great! No one will stop you, but the next day you will feel terrible, and crash midafternoon. You want to go hang out with friends instead of going to class? Perfect! No one will ever make you go to class, but if you aren’t there learning the material, you will fail the exams.
This is where the stress can come in. You are literally free to do just about anything you want (as long you don’t violate the rules of the school or break the law), but you must understand that since there is no one to be responsible for you and your actions (ie. Making you dress a certain way, eat a certain way, or go to class), that all the responsibility falls on you. If you mess up, it is your fault, no one else’s. You are and adult now, and the college and the people there expect you to act like one. This is not to say that college is no fun, it is loads of fun, and will be some of the best times of your life. But it is a time of your life where you will need to learn responsibility and moderation in all of your activities; otherwise, the consequences will be yours, and yours alone.
As for making friends during this time, my only advice is to talk to people. Just talk to them, of my close group of friends here at the school, I am the only science major. I have study groups with people in my major and I have friends that are in my major too, but the people I hang out with the most are people who I met outside of my major. We met in my dorm, in other General Education Classes, and around campus. We are friends because we enjoy each other’s company, not because we are all the same major and want to do the same things in life. Our diversity is what makes conversations interesting, and the way we all come from different walks of life gives us each perspective into another way to view the world. And how do you meet people who fulfill these criteria? By going up to someone you don’t know, and saying hello! It is terrifying the first few times you do it, but the people here at Point Loma are ridiculously nice, and are willing to be your friend if you make an effort to reach out to the people around you.
I hope I was able to answer your questions, even if my answers were a little bit long. If you have any more questions, feel free to hit that button on the bar on the right side of the page, and I will do my best to answer them.
And as my great auntie Bertha used to say “Love ain’t nothing but a pig turd!”
(Still have no idea what this means, maybe you can make something of it. I feel as thought it is secretly very profound, or an alternative to the childhood “cooties” disease that we were all so afraid of)