San Luis Obispo is ranked as one of the “Best College Towns in America.” It’s based on “various criteria, including general lifestyle categories and academics.” Other factors include the “number of boutiques and cafes, pedestrian friendliness, culture, nightlife and the ‘general vibe.’ ” All true, but there is one factor that is missing: the quality and character of the students.
About two years ago, as a lark, I thought I’d try out being an Uber driver. I started driving in downtown San Luis Obispo on the weekends when the nightlife and general vibe of the area comes alive. After providing more than 2,000 rides, I give these students five stars. Almost every ride starts with, “Thank you for picking me up,” and ends with, “Thank you.” The students are respectful, and engage in spirited and topical conversation. I joke that they are “funding my retirement” with each ride.
More importantly, these students know when enough is enough, and those times when they become a little “turn’t” they know enough to avail themselves of an Uber ride to get them back to their house or dorm safely. From my perspective, SLO is the “best college town” in no small part because of the students.
Laurance Shinderman, Nipomo
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