Every college has its own specific quirks that spread a trend amongst the students, but it’s usually not until after a little while that you start to notice little things here and there that are so Cal Poly. To you, it’s nothing more than normal, but there are some things that your friends from other schools just don’t understand. Here is a list of some of the main things that Cal Poly SLO students universally can relate to.
1. A 10-minute walk? A mile and a half? Easy.
They say college life involves a lot of walking to your destination, but little did you know that SLO takes that to the extreme. After making it through a full day, your recommended 10,000 steps can easily turn into nearly 15,000. You know you go to Cal Poly SLO when your friends from home are complaining about walking, but to you, any distance is no big deal.
2. Cal Poly Calves are more prominent than ever
Cal Poly SLO has a reputation for producing what the call “Cal Poly Calves,” and boy are they right. If you thought walking everywhere was a lot, try adding a constant uphill battle, as the campus itself is built within the rolling hills of SLO. Forget the gym, the daily incline walk is enough to mean, lean, leg machine. You know you go to Cal Poly SLO when your calves have become more defined than anything else in your life.
3. The sweet, sweet smell of farmland
Cal Poly SLO is most widely known for being an agricultural school, so you better expect to be welcomed with the strong smell of cows and farmland during certain times of the year. While most people gag at the thought of breathing in the potent air, SLO students are used to it, and sometimes don’t even remember what normal air smells like. You know you go to Cal Poly when the sweet smell of soil and farm animals becomes almost comforting.
4. Indie is the new mainstream
SLO kids are masters at turning the “hipster trends” into mainstream fashions that nearly everyone follows to some extent. Almost every person who lives in SLO ends up buying either Birkenstocks, Patagonia, a Hydroflask, or all of the above, and those are just the basics. While decked out in all of your new brand items, you find yourself casually sitting at a latte art coffee shop listening to underground music like its nobodies business. You know you go to Cal Poly SLO when what you used to think was indie, has now become the social norm that your home friends still don’t adhere to.
5. Mixing up lingo like it’s its own language… the “Cal Poly Tongue”
Cal Poly SLO is largely made up of a mixture of NorCal and SoCal kids, and sometimes it’s insanely easy to tell who is from where. While there is a playful rivalry regarding which region is better, mingling students often make fun of each other’s obscure terms, and even try to convert the opponent. But after a while, you find yourself saying “hella” and “cruise” in the same sentence like the two words are part of the same lingo. You don’t notice it anymore, but your friends from back home do, and you begin to sound like you’re a mutation of both the north and the south. You know you’re from Cal Poly SLO when you start to speak in a language that only a fellow student would be able to decipher.
6. “Learn By Doing” has become the punchline to half of your jokes
The Cal Poly SLOgan is “learn by doing,” but it can pertain to more than just the school intentions. Took a major L last night? Learn by doing. Humiliate yourself in public? Learn by doing.
You know you go to Cal Poly SLO when you find ways to relate the “learn by doing” lifestyle, to every aspect of your own life.