AVID Road Trip Diary – Day 1

Pepper Bough reporter Natalie Solis shares her experience on the multi-day Junior AVID Road Trip in this exclusive story.


Courtesy Natalie Solis

The gang’s all here at CSULA! From left: Juan Perez, Sara Lopez Lopez, Nathaniel Martinez, Natalia Padilla, Matthew Duran, Andrew Ibarra, Jennifer Puga, Valeria Moctezuma, Valeria Pech, Lucia Catarino, Sabrina Robles, Natalie Solis, Xavier Rocha, Christopher Lopez, Emily Melgarejo, Ivan Acosta, Shantel Marentes, Jennifer Martinez, Johanna Ruiz, Christopher Cervantes, Rosario Ornelas, Johnathan Nolasco, Josiah Diggs, Murad Fakhouri, Melanie Franco.

This week, the junior AVID program is traveling across California to visit several colleges on the “AVID Road Trip.” Pepper Bough editor Natalie Solis is part of this group, and is providing a window into this event with a daily diary and photographs of the experience.

Monday, May 22

Today was one of the longest days I’ve ever had. 

I woke up around 6 a.m. to make sure I had everything ready for the 2023 Junior AVID Road Trip. 

This trip was so exciting for many of us since all year we have been unsure if we would even go. The annual road trip has been canceled due to COVID the last two years. The trip, normally held during Spring Break, was changed this year to happen after AP testing, giving us a fun vacation right before finals.

We started the morning all at the Ken Hubbs gym waiting for the bus to arrive at 7 a.m. Once we all boarded, we headed out to Los Angeles to visit Cal State L.A. When we arrived, we broke into groups and did a scavenger hunt around campus.

My favorite part had to be meeting all the current graduates as part of the scavenger hunt. We met one guy who told us about his experience at CSULA. He said “I’m very grateful for this experience. Holistically I love it here, and can’t wait for everyone else to enjoy this experience as well.” 

By noon, we found ourselves in Santa Barbara, which is such a different environment of what you might expect college to be. The campus was big enough to feel like its own town. And the beach access was a plus! 

We were given a tour by a sophomore named Alexia, who is studying Political Science. There is so much possibility on a campus like this, and Alexia was very engaging as she shared all this with us.

After Santa Barbara, we kept the day going by traveling up to Malibu for a tour of Pepperdine university. Like UCSB, this campus was also along the beach, and we got to break into groups to explore the campus 

Pepperdine was very nice and modern, but I can’t imagine being at a school with so many hills and stairs.

After the hills and beaches in Malibu, we got back on the bus for a long drive to Simi Valley to make it to our hotel by 8 p.m. Everyone got super cranky because we couldn’t stop anywhere to take a break if we were to stick to our schedule.

Finally, we made it to our hotel. Before calling it a night, after we checked into our hotel, everyone took a walk to have dinner at the local restaurants.