What stereotypes will you have when going off to college next year?

When the word ‘Californian’ pops into your head, what do you think of? As SLV students, we get a full taste of what being a Californian is all about. With the beach only miles away and the redwoods looming in the distance, it’s easy to call this place home. For some, this word presents a very fascinating (and arguably false) stereotype of California’s inhabitants.

Perhaps one of the most commonly thought of stereotypes is the surfer. Equipped with their own language filled with ‘dude’s and ‘hang ten’s’ the population of California is often thought  by non-California inhabitants to consist only of the native ‘surfer dudes’. I know that many of you SLV students spend some time catching waves, but I can also guarantee that large majorities have never even stood up on a board. I can also guarantee that those of you that do surf aren’t all, ‘dude’s’ and ‘hang tens’ and are simply in it for the joy of the ride.

Another common stereotype expressed by non-Californians is that we are ‘all natural’, rejecting the typical copious amounts of fast food that other countries think Americans consume. Many people believe that we Californians only eat locally grown, vegan, and gluten free foods. As everyone who frequents McDonalds at lunch knows, this is only a small part of our state’s population. Senior Jessica Holle stated, “My Uncle came to visit from Texas and said that he had been expecting us to be (eating) completely natural and locally grown. He was surprised by how much processed food we actually ate!”

These are only a couple of the myriad of Californian stereotypes believed by non-California inhabitants. These particular stereotypes are mostly associated with our region of California and the Santa Cruz County. So what do you think SLVHS students and faculty? Do these stereotypes ring true or should they be left in the waves?

-Celia Hare

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