It’s impossible to describe what Southern California is like to a lifelong New Yorker. My roommate tried to convince me how much better life is on the west coast before I left Syracuse, but I brushed it off as hometown pride. Walking down the airplane steps, I took in the breathtaking mountains, skyline and California sunshine. Soon after, I was standing in the cold waters of the Pacific next to the Santa Monica Pier. It took me a few weeks to adjust to the landscape surrounding me, but I soon came to appreciate the vast city, nestled between the mountains and the ocean. I’ve enjoyed several new types of food and have embraced the unique culture of Los Angeles and it’s diverse population. I often joke how strikingly similar the city is to that of San Andreas from Grand Theft Auto V, and sometimes life here feels more like a video game or movie than real life. My time in Los Angeles has been thrilling so far and I can’t believe the semester is already half over, although I’m sure I’ll be back very soon.