"Free Time" in the Real World, by Alex Chang

Editor’s Note: The SVP students are on “Spring Break” as we post this, which means that they are sitting in class all day on a Saturday working on Python exercises, getting ready for their Saturday night and Sunday off, then back to work on Monday. In other words, the “real world.” --SMS

Dearest SVP Blog,
Wow, this semester has flown by. A week until Spring break and I couldn't be more excited! The one negative thing about SVP: it's sure to keep you busy.

That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying my time in the bay area thus far. I am one of the 4 fortunate members of the group to live in the City, which has proven to be very exciting and a whole lot of fun. Coming from Hawaii (non existent City atmosphere / made up for by the surrounding of beautiful beaches / no complaints there), city life is certainly a new experience for me.

Our apartment is perfect - less than two blocks away from work and affordable... something not so easy to find these days in San Francisco. Though the occasional homeless appearance is not uncommon on our side street, I find that I feel relatively safe in San Francisco in comparison to other cities that I've briefly stayed in.
Through working full time, studying and keeping up with my football workouts, there is little time to spare. However, Saturday nights have proven to be a great unwinding opportunity. Our group of students in the program have grown pretty close in our short time here. And though we will all admit that probably the only things we have in common are ambitions to enter the business and tech world following school, we moved past differences very quickly and are pretty tight knit. This has been awesome, as we mob the city by night. Thanks to us city-goers, we all also have a spot to crash (to the dismay of our landlord... if he actually knew).

We have explored a few different places, with the clear winner being the Marina. The Marina consists of a few blocks of shops, bars and restaurants in one of the nicer areas of the city. What seems like a casual area by day turns into a pretty happening spot at night- so much so that it becomes very difficult to snag a cab ride home. Our other go-to spot we've checked out is Polk St., which has also provided good times (including our first night out as a group!).

So, all in all, despite the program being hectic, I am definitely finding time to experience San Fran, and enjoying my free time. As this was one of my defined goals coming in, I feel like I am well on my way to accomplishing it, and could definitely envision myself ending up here at some point in my life.

Yours Truly,
Alex Chang Intern, Atlassian
Claremont McKenna College
Class of 2015