When I first heard about the SULA Program, I knew immediately that I had to be a part of it. Sure, it was going to be a valuable educational experience, but the main reason I was so excited about it was because of location, location, location! My heart had always longed for LA, and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to be there.
So, the first step of my well planned-out, happy dream was to apply for the program and get accepted. Check! Step two, was to find a solution regarding my classes. That was resolved, so check! And step three was to sort out all finances. Check! The only thing left was to apply to internships (and get one!), which I believed was a piece of cake. I had it all figured out. I was going to spend my final semester of my senior year in LA, with an amazing internship and a whole new identity.
When I first met Director Howard, she advised me to not just make a plan A, but a plan B and C as well. Well, I probably had hit all the letters of the alphabet, because nothing seemed to be working out; which met that my plans had fallen flat. I was secure with everything else, BUT an internship. I applied to more places than anyone could think of. And classes had already begun when I still landed nothing. Everyone I applied to neither rejected me nor accepted me. I wasn’t even offered any interviews either.
So I tried applying to places that could be close to my interests, and then I applied to places way out of my interests, just to get somewhere. And still … I heard nothing! I was embarrassed, miserable and then unfortunately, I started to doubt myself and my field of study. I started wondering whether my trip to LA was a wake up call to realize that animation wasn’t for me. That I wasn’t experienced enough, talented enough or just simply enough to be considered in this competitive field. And if I couldn’t land a simple internship, what made me think I would land a job after graduation, which really isn’t that far away.
But this trip to LA wasn’t a wake up call to see the negative, but to open my eyes and realize what was right in front of me. I fell in love with LA as a kid, because I knew it was a city of crazy hopes and dreams. And as cheesy as it sounds, I had to believe that even my simplest dreams could come true if I held the power to believe in myself. (Actually, I’m pretty sure Walt Disney said something like that). But anyway … I immediately started to do that. I changed my thoughts, got into my car and just drove. I started exploring the city, met people I thought I’d never meet before, danced, laughed; just plunging myself into the culture of LA in any way I could.
And you know what? I eventually got my internship. In the field I exactly wanted and not what I thought I could settle for. I’m working on one of my favorite shows, with some of the greatest people I have ever been with. To this moment, I still can’t believe that a company as prestigious as they are chose me.
But the point I’m making is this: Life is unpredictable; so don’t be upset when plans don’t work out your way. Most of the time, it actually turns out to be a lot better than you expect. And then you just end up laughing at yourself and start writing stuff like this. Just be patient, because the saying really is true: all good things come to those who wait.