SULA for an LA Native
By Araceli Gutierrez
If this will be some variation of an “abroad” program for you, then I guarantee that you will have fun and love it here. I’m sure you’ve read countless blogs by now how amazing, beautiful and filled with opportunities LA is. And yes – they’re all true. But for me, LA is bittersweet as I am an LA native. In fact, I live only 20 minutes away from the SULA campus.
When I came to Syracuse, I was over LA. I never expected I’d come back (with the exception of breaks) because A) I initially wasn’t a TRF major, and B) I was so over anything and everything LA. So once upon a time, I “hated” this city. Since I left, I’ve spent time in New York City, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta. So having been to all these places and meeting students from other parts, I realized I overlooked all of LA’s one-of-a-kind qualities when I was a teenager, and only focused on its bad ones.
There is traffic. There is no comparable pizza or bagels here. The people are slower. And there are bad experiences…but I think it’s important to remind ourselves: even bad experiences are good experiences! We learn more and grow, and become more open to opportunities. In this business, as a co-worker of mine said, “Most people are either handicapped by laziness or fear.” My crucial advice to you future LA residents: Do as much as you can while you’re out here.
So now that I’ve returned older and wiser, I find LA to be what everyone says it is, for better and worse. The people you’ll be with at this program and your internships will undoubtedly push you in situations that’ll help you grow. And as someone living at home instead of the Oakwood, that change so real because it’s a reminder of the steps needed to get closer to your goals. Ultimately, I think that’s also the biggest reason why we all chose to go to Syracuse in the first place.