When I first told my mom about the possibility of coming to Los Angeles for a semester, the first thing she said was, “Boy, you better get ready for those traffic jams!” I took it as a joke. I mean, how bad could it possibly be? Then, my flight landed in LAX and I rented a car. Let me be clear here. At first, you won’t really mind traffic jams. You’ll be so hyped about driving around in the city that you won’t really mind thousands of cars moving at five miles per hour. But mark my words: the day will come when you have to make it on time to something really important and you underestimate the power of planning ahead and leaving at least an hour early for your destination. There you’ll be, in your car, listening to the same songs you’ve heard for weeks, incredibly stressed, perhaps tired, and getting really sick of traffic jams. So, here’s where this little tip will come in handy. Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever go through that, take a couple of deep breaths. Inhale, exhale, and remember that you are in one of the most amazing cities in the entire world. RELAX! Take a peek outside your window. Enjoy the mountains, the breeze, the art, the HOLLYWOOD sign, an irresistible double-double from In ‘N’ Out, the countless movie billboards along the way, and just the fact that you are in the amazing City of Angels. Eventually, you’ll make it to your destination. The world won’t change because you didn’t make it on time. Lesson learned! Next time, plan ahead and remember to always leave at least an hour ahead of the time you’re actually supposed to be there. No matter how close or far it is, you’re better off early than never. Trust me, you’ll get used to the traffic. You might even end up missing it once you return to the scarcely car-less city of Syracuse. It just takes a little bit of time, a good playlist, and a lot of patience.