What Laguna Beach didn’t tell you, according to an OC native
The good ‘ol 714. Orange County, California — home to Disneyland, and Gwen Stefani’s birthplace.
Ever since I moved to New York City and tell people that I’m from California, all anyone ever asks me is, “How’s LA?! I’ve always wanted to go there.”
Like, okay? The OC is not LA. Don’t you remember “Laguna Beach”?
Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari may have made it seem like growing up in Orange County was hot shit and full of gossip juicier than their lips drenched in clear lip gloss, but the 411 for the 714 is that growing up in the bubble was boring af.
The parties were full of rich kids trashing their parents’ houses and eventually got rolled at around 10 p.m., and the kids most definitely got grounded the next morning. Yawn.
“Laguna Beach” had people drooling over the idea of the OC and its perfect beaches, drama, and hot babes, but the reality of it is that a lot of teenagers can’t wait to pack up and get out. Not because it was so horrible, but because it was so dead. But even then, I still gotta rep my hometown and tell the truth about what life is really like because all anyone ever remembers us by is some old TV show full of girls fighting over Jason Wahler and Stephen Colletti.
Here’s the low down.
1. Spring break was never this lit
Remember the Cabo resort that the cast went to every year? First of all, whose parents are letting their high school kids party in another country like full grown adults for spring break? They were like, sixteen. I wish my mom would. Second, all that yelling over the boys was sooo not worth it. Orange County kids are too stoned to be arguing like that.
Most of us were not partying in Cabo by ourselves over spring break. We were either stuck at home (we had the best beaches anyway) or with our parents taking pictures for Facebook and our hallway picture frames. I remember spending my spring breaks getting to the beach at 7 a.m. to try to reserve a bonfire pit in Balboa and spending the entire day sticky and sandy while my crush talked to another girl across the fire. So not glam.
2. Orange County boys are not that sensitive
My personal favorite moment was when Stephen and Kristin had that deep relationship talk while watching the sunset over the ocean. We’ve all been there, done that, but the ridiculous part was how much they thought they were actually going to stay together. Every girl in the OC knows OC boys will forget your name as soon as they become the newest member of Alpha Pizza Pi Omega at UCSB.
I can’t believe how many of my friends got heartbroken right after graduation. Including myself. OC boys are notorious for breaking hearts, but it’s all good because OC girls are the best at glowing up after breakups. We dusted ourselves off and spent our summers sipping champagne on our friend’s daddy’s boat in Newport and flirting with the lifeguards at Thousand Steps Beach, all while getting our tans on. Boy, bye.
3. No one drives 2002 Isuzu Troopers
Let’s not forget Kristin’s famous, “My car is dunzo!” moment when her car started smoking at the front and she had a meltdown while banging her fists on the steering wheel. L O L. Poor girl was just trying to drive down PCH, and her car almost exploded.
I gotta make it clear, though, that I literally never see anyone driving Troopers around the OC. It’s like, social suicide. Orange County is known for casually having a Tesla, Beamer, and Benz all lined up next to each other in the parking lot of Target. The most drama I’ve heard from someone’s car is that their Jeep Wrangler’s brake wouldn’t work, so they rolled through an intersection. Yikes.
4. High school was the worst
I don’t get how the “Laguna Beach” cast made high school look so fun. They were always partying, fighting with each other, hooking up, and watching the boys surf. Most Orange County teenagers are lucky to have something to do once or twice a week. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve asked my friends what they want to do and their responses are, “I don’t know. Wanna go eat?”
Every establishment seems to close at 10 p.m. and the cops are so bored that they catch every party an hour after it starts. Most of us couldn’t wait to go to college so we could go to ragers and eat something other than McDonald’s fries at 1 a.m.
5. Our high school counselors scared us
Throwback to when Morgan applied to one university, and one university only: BYU. And got rejected. On camera.
You would have been roasted by everyone, from your parents to your teachers to your third grade brother, if you did what Morgan did. I’m not sure why her counselor told her it was okay to apply to one college and be done with college apps, but I honestly tear up thinking about Morgan’s rejection. *me when I got rejected from NYU*
Our counselors were on our asses when it came to going to college.
Every high school had courses specialized for teaching us how to get into college, and our teachers closely monitored our college applying processes. We had mandatory meetings with our counselors every week to talk about where we wanted to apply and what our acceptance statuses were. College is almost not an option in Orange County. You gotta go or else you’ll be stuck in the bubble forever, and that’s our biggest nightmare.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot of what was in “Laguna Beach” was so real to what I experienced growing up there. The two most popular girls and their groupies getting into it over the most petty shit. The pretty boys they fought over. The dumb parties that everyone got a little too messed up at. And of course, there’s the actual beauty of Orange County that makes us all miss home whenever we’re away for too long.