A Toast to L.A.: To Learn Again
By Conor Matthews
The semester in Los Angeles is the change every Syracuse University student needs to experience. The past three years of my life are characterized by studying in Syracuse, New York and living in Cleveland, Ohio during breaks. My comfortable routine was severed by the plane ride from snowy Cleveland to sunny Los Angeles in January. Orientation week of SULA was a crash course in living and working in La La Land, a city I had never visited before this year. My brain worked to learn the names of my new classmates, how to get to work, what grocery store I liked, what it really means to network, how to be a great intern.
Mundane daily activities and experiences became opportunities to reset my conditioned pallet of likes and dislikes. The dread of sitting in traffic transformed into a daily exhibition of stunning views of The Valley. Public settings conducive to people watching—like a grocery store or coffee shop—became an anthropologic study of SoCal and an opportunity to catch a celeb in their natural habitat. I arrived in LA thinking I understood a bit about the entertainment industry, but I was wrong. Working for a documentary production company, and listening to SULA professors schooled me in the realities of Hollywood. I’m thankful for this semester. The change in location was the jolt of inspiration and energy I needed to finish my college education. It forced me in to the present, to open my awareness, and to learn again.