Shelbi Sullaway is a mechanical engineering junior and Mustang News opinion columnist. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.

San Luis Obispo is a town that can get boring at times. You hear it all the time: college kids driven crazy by the feeling of running out of things to do. It can be a shock for those coming from a big city with constant entertainment and nightlife opportunities.

 I felt this boredom one afternoon a few weeks back while doing homework. I decided to take a break and clean my space, take out my trash. On the stroll to my trash can outside, I was almost shocked by how green everything was around me and how beautiful the sky looked. After a rainstorm that felt like it would never end, the sun came out, the air felt cleaner, and the mountains were a bright green, almost neon in the light.

Mushrooms at Shabang festival in Spring 2022 | Chloe Kern Credit: Chloe Kern / Mustang News

Sure, SLO is not known for its nightlife or shopping strips or endless things to do. SLO is known for its outdoors, and I think it is better for that. In our endless distraction, sometimes all we need is a reset- and nature can serve as just that. This quarter I’ve been going outside more, and it never fails to make me happy. Connecting with nature is one of the best feelings, especially in SLO at this time of year.

Despite the torrential downpour 2023 has brought us, it has also brought us so much good. Without the rain and snow (yes, snow), we wouldn’t have the most pretty, blooming season in slo: spring, which kicks off in a few weeks. It is important to take a break from studying and screens, and escape into what our community has to offer. Here are some ideas that can make your springtime as fun as possible.

Picnic at Prefumo Canyon

Prefumo Canyon | Chloe Kern

The top of Prefumo Canyon Road is one of the best spots to get a vantage point of the entire city, with views spanning SLO to Morro Rock. It is off Los Osos Valley Road and a windy drive up, but the 360 views of the green hills make it worth it. And what better way to enjoy spring than with a picnic? Put on your favorite outfit, bring some sparkling cider and a blanket, and cozy up with friends on top of the mountain.

Cook a meal with your favorite spring-time produce

Shopping for produce according to the seasons is criminally underrated. Next time you go to the farmers market, plan a meal to make with spring-themed produce. Get creative with it. Make pasta salad with asparagus. Roasted artichoke hearts. Cherry pie. Or if you’re anything like me, finish the cherries before you have time to cook with them.

Sunbathe on Dexter between classes

The sun will come out soon and Dexter lawn is the perfect spot to lay out and get your daily dose of Vitamin D between classes. Grab some sunglasses and a book and ask yourself the important questions of life, like why did Fourier have to create those formulas, and will I actually use them in my post-grad job?

Drive up the Highway 1

Ocean hitting against the cliffs near HWY 1 | Chloe Kern Credit: Chloe Kern / Mustang News

The storms have ravaged highway 1 with rain, but once it’s sunny again it is the perfect drive for Spring. From Morro to Cayucos to Big Sur. Stop at the lookout at Ragged Point Inn and frolic on the beaches of San Simeon.

Hike a new peak every week

If you want to get more into hiking, setting a day each week to do it is the best start. Say hi to the cows on Madonna one week, then climb the rocks at the top of Bishop the next, then get an ocean view at the top of Valencia the following. 

Attend a music festival

Springtime is the season for music festivals. Coachella in April, Rolling Loud in March. Most college students would need to sell a kidney to afford those, but luckily we have a more accessible option in SLO: Shabang. This year will be my first time going and I’m pumped to get that weekend to relax and have fun. Even if Shabang is not your thing, there are always the weekly concerts at the San Luis Mission, various house shows of local bands, and shows at the Fremont.

Shabang festival in Spring 2022. | Chloe Kern Credit: Chloe Kern / Mustang News