A Day Off Campus: Exploring LA

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One aspect that I enjoy about Harvey Mudd is that although the campus is located in a suburban area, we have a large city close to us. This way, I have been able to enjoy some of the perks of being in a large city while living and studying in a more calm and quiet environment. Coming from a big city (a capital city with over 10 million people), this was an aspect I valued and considered when deciding what college to attend. I was looking for a campus experience where I could have access to the things that come with a larger city while remaining a bit ways off from it so that I could focus on my studies. 

So far, I have been able to make good use of this with some occasional trips to LA. As a first year student, very few of my peers have cars, so I generally find myself using public transport. From Mudd, you can reach downtown LA in one hour by taking the Metrolink. I have taken this train several times and feel super comfortable riding it. It is very straightforward so there was never a chance I would get lost, and I’ve always felt safe there. Recently, I took a long day trip to visit many areas of LA with a friend and get my dose of city activities. 

View of the Hollywood sign. Photo Credit: Miski Nopo

At the start of the day we visited Beverly Hills, walking around and looking at the stores and large houses. We later drove to an outlook point near Griffith park from which we could see the Hollywood Sign from afar. Later, we ended the day at the Santa Monica Pier, where we saw a beautiful sunset.

View close to sunset from the Santa Monica Pier. Photo Credit: Miski Nopo

An aspect that I’ve enjoyed of living in LA is the amount of activities and events in the area. 

I love enjoying music and attending concerts and being here has allowed me to see many artists that I enjoy. I had the opportunity to see the rock band Muse in Downtown LA.

Muse concert!! Photo Credit: Miski Nopo

During this year, I’ve seen many bands that I love in a mix of small venues, big venues, and one music festival. Back home, I was used to fewer artists visiting my country. If I wanted to see a show by a certain artist, I had to hope that they would make a world tour, and hope even more that they would have many dates so that one of them may be in my city. Instead, LA is such a large city with a big music scene that most artists doing tours pass through here. It has brought me so much joy to be able to see the artists I love in concert, and I’m super excited to attend more concerts in the next 3 years!

Although it takes some slight planning to go to areas near downtown LA, I feel connected to a larger city along with its opportunities to walk around, visit tourist attractions, and attend concerts. At Mudd, I have been able to find some balance between the larger city lifestyle that I had before and some aloneness that allows me to focus better and be more present on campus.

This blog was written by: Miski Nopo '26. Intended major: Physics. Lima, Peru