Yeah, I get it. You’re from California, presumably, and you’re wondering whether it’s worth it to leave the sunny shores and acai bowls for a place over 2000 miles away from home. It hasn’t even been two months since I’ve arrived here in Baltimore, but that’s a yes from me!

1. Fall is an ~actual~ thing here

Photo of autumn trees in quad

I mean, yeah, the weather in Southern California gets slightly cooler, but here in Baltimore, I actually have an excuse to bust out the sweaters and hoodies and sip hot cocoa and watch the leaves turn red and fall. Yes, that actually happens here!

2. Cafes, brunch, and anything food related

Photo of veggie wrap on plate
I’m a sucker for brunch and hipster cafes. L.A. may be home to Urth Caffe, but I gotta hand it to Baltimore for allowing me to literally get out of bed, walk a few minutes from my dorm to enjoy a really good cold brew at The Bird and Hand or a bomb breakfast sandwich at Carma’s Cafe. Or any of the other 

3. Explore the neighborhoods

Photo of neon sign reading "Indochine Pho"
Outside of Charles’ Village (the neighborhood right next to Homewood Campus), there’s so much to explore. There’s really not enough room to give you a detailed description of every single neighborhood here (perhaps a later post?), but for now, just know that once you venture out of the Homewood bubble, you’ll find so many aesthetic photo shoot locations, places to hang out, and more foooooooood, whether it be in Hampden, Station North, or Mount Vernon (or none of the above!!).

4.or the city

Photo of students taking selfie in Baltimore World Trade Center

If you’re more of an urban dweller, you’re still in for a treat. WIth Hopkins right in the center of the city, a trip downtown to the Inner Harbor for shopping, museum-wandering, or enjoying some great seafood or brunch (!!) is just a (free) bus ride away.

5.Meet people from all around the world
Students seated at a table smile for a selfie
As a world-renowned university, Hopkins is the place to meet people from all around the country and even the world. I’ve met so many people here who I probably never would have met if I went to school back in California. I’m pretty sure I’ve met someone from every region of the U.S. here, and I even have friends from other countries, from New Zealand to Taiwan!

Let’s be real. It’s hard to convince anyone that any place could be better than the Golden State. But hey, this Orange County kid sure is convinced.