By Carly Port

London or Los Angeles? Both “abroad” opportunities could provide me with a chance to explore other parts of the world, take a quick break from SU, both begin with ‘L’. Boy – did I choose right! I am a month and a half into my SULA experience and I could not be happier with my decision and the invaluable lessons that have come with this career-driven semester. Here’s a few lessons I’ve taken away thus far for future students that are lucky enough to embark on their own SULA adventure.

            PAY ATTENTION – Or you might get caught gossiping at the Grammy’s on national television rather than smiling and waving at the camera like everybody else seemed to realize in the front row. Be attentive in class, not that ALL classes taken in college aren’t anything less than riveting, thrilling adventures, but here in LA you’re learning from industry leaders that are giving up a night of their week to help YOU succeed. Be super attentive while working, you never know when Stephen King is going to strut into Reception or when listening for the phones will lead to the chance to star in one of Conan’s bits. Not the worst idea to pay attention in traffic as well, a lesson I may have learned the hard way.

            JUMP AT OPPORTUNITIES. My motto? Always say YES. Employers are impressed by a positive, can-do attitude and if you’re not sure in the moment how to approach something, you’ll figure it out. Questions really aren’t the worst thing. This is your one semester away from everything that makes you comfortable and even sometimes lame, so do the things that would normally seem outrageous. I promise, more than less, you’ll look back and smile.

            SEIZE EVERYDAY. You have 15 weeks, 105 days or 2,520 hours to absolutely crush it on the West Coast. 15 weeks to do it all. Hit the Malibu Safari – make sure to ask for Wes. Take a surf lesson. Visit the museums. Abuse the non-Upstate winter. Socialize with your coworkers. Hike Runyon and the Hollywood Sign. Freak out a little every time you run into a celebrity. And then brag about it to everyone. Thank your parents for making this incredible opportunity available to you. And enjoy every day, because this experience truly is once in a lifetime.