It has already been going on three years since I made the initial decision to attend college in LA. While this is technically a school-based thing where I would always still be partially back home in New York too, seeking a career in the entertainment industry made this decision feel more permanent from the start. That being noted, I went from someone who was living in a completely different realm on the other side of the country, totally afraid and not-too-willing to leave home to someone who accepts living in two different locations as a normal thing at this point.
With the exception of those I met through first year June orientation and the obvious celebrities who most definitely live in LA but I did not know personally, I came to this city not knowing anybody. I had visited briefly, but LA is much different from my hometown and different from even itself from the eyes of the tourist.
These past couple years, I have learned a lot. Quite frankly, I keep having more experiences, opportunities, and lessons every day. Nonetheless, there are some things about living in LA that I did not expect to find out.
- It can be lonely in paradise. Everyone is pursuing their artsy dreams and passions and while it is inspiring to be around like-minded people, a lot of time is still spent creating your own dreams.
- The fitness culture is very real. Not only are others always wearing athletic gear and attending the surplus of available fitness classes, but the food surrounds maintaining healthy lifestyles as well! Calories are posted everywhere and there are far more vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic, GMO-free, etc. foods available than I ever even knew about.
- Everyone seems to have spontaneous photoshoots. Partially, because it’s fun and everywhere here is so photogenic, but also, to maintain an image that usually links to creative career endeavours.
- The weather does in fact dip every once in a very rare blue moon, but that’s when productive, brightly color dressed people suddenly bring out the grey sweats and Netflix.
- The weather, mostly, really is perfect ALL OF THE TIME and you can wear anything you want.
- People don’t judge. Instead, they express themselves however they want confidently.
- This place is kind of messed up. I may not know too many other places, but LA is a really weird, unique place. It always reminds me of Wonderland…”we’re all mad here”.
- Just because the beach is close by, that does not mean that you will be able to get there half as often as you would like.
- It’s chill. Maybe not surfer-chill, but unless you’re on the freeway during rush hour (which is most of the day and night anyways), people are generally pretty calm about everything.
- Everybody is networking all of the time! If you are anywhere, chances are, most of those around you have a business card waiting to go and a sales “elevator” pitch for something.
- People know people. This goes for everywhere, but in LA, usually that means that somehow, celebrities of some sort are involved.
- People are genuinely really nice.
- “Hollywood” is fake. The glamorous side is real, but in a way that disguises that this is the livelihoods, careers, jobs, and dreams of so many people. There is so much more to the story when it comes down to how everything is run here.
- It can get overwhelming. There is always something to do and the motivation to do it but there’s no way one can do it all at once. Learning to budget time, money, to-do’s, and even experiences is not easy to do.
- For a “big” famous city, after being in it for a while, LA seems relatively small.
But most importantly…
- I really love it here and I know that this is truly the right place for me!
Look, I have learned so much about this place and I continue to learn more and more. It is a land I am proud to call one of my homes.