NY / LA by Nikki Mezaros

Nikki MezarosLA is like NYC but with more driving, better beaches, and worse bagels. Even if you rank bagels high on your priority list, as I do, you should still give LA a shot. Or maybe not. There are already enough people out here taking up all the parking spots. As someone raised in New Jersey, schooled in Syracuse, and hired for two summers in NYC, I was pretty nervous I wouldn’t blend with the LA lifestyle. But the thing is with LA, as long as you like kale, you have at least one thing in common with 75% of the population. I didn’t realize how much there was to do in Los Angeles. You could go to the beach, go shopping, hike up a canyon, drive up a canyon for the lazier folk, and go out (AKA get late night ice cream sandwiches) all in a single day. Sure, you’ll probably hit some traffic, but then you can complain about all the LA traffic later, and that is an extremely popular topic of discussion that will probably lead to long conversations and better relationships with all the people around you. LA is not a city. There are some downtown, city-like places, but then again, you can drive 9 miles and hit the ocean, or drive 2 miles from the Oakwood and stand on top of a hill that overlooks the entire LA county. And if you are a semi-aggressive driver from NJ/NY, you’ll have a fine time driving around here.

The LA program was something I decided to do, but was a little lukewarm about. That was until I got out here. You get to take classes that are actually related to your major, do an internship with opportunities you would not have had before, and do anything and everything around the area. And, sorry if this is a spoiler, but don’t get scared listening to the people that say you will be CRAZY busy, because I’m really not that stressed. The stressful part happens before you get out here, trying to get an internship you like. But you will, and if you keep with it, it will really pay off. Sure, you’re going to miss your Syracuse friends, but think of this as a more helpful version of graduation practice. Come out to LA, do the program, take some Instagrams people will be “sooo jealous” of, and leave the Oakwood. Make a list of things to do while you’re out here, and then go out and do them all. It’s worth the trip over the approx. 2,491 Oakwood Complex speed bumps. And that says something.

Nikki Mezaros with Chris Burden's Urban Light sculpture at LACMA
Nikki Mezaros with Chris Burden's Urban Light sculpture at LACMA.