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Los Angeles
Semester

Blog

Making The Best of Your Circumstances

By Harry Dykema

October 2020

It would probably be an understatement to say that this is not the Los Angeles semester that I was expecting. When I decided to go to Syracuse as a senior in high school, the SULA program was a big selling point because of my interest in entertainment, in addition to the opportunity to escape the cold climate for three months. Coming from Wisconsin, that second point was particularly important. When classes were moved online in the spring semester, I experienced a growing fear that things wouldn’t change in time for my fall semester in Los Angeles. As summer moved along, and the SULA classes were officially moved online, I was devastated, but at the same time, I knew that it was out of my hands. While I had time to prepare, I wasn’t entirely sure how the in-person experience would translate into an online format. As the fall rolled around, and I started taking classes in “Los Angeles from my Syracuse apartment,” I realized just how natural everything felt (despite the occasional technical difficulties). Each of my classes still had passionate professors and passionate students; something which the online format could never eliminate. For example, the other students in my writing class have provided some of the most valuable constructive criticism that I have gotten in any writing class that I have taken in my time at Syracuse. Adding onto that, my professor has given better insight into the writing process than I have gotten from any other professor, podcast, or book (not to slam my other Syracuse writing professors; they’ve all been fantastic). At the same time, it’s an incredible opportunity to build connections with professors, other students, work colleagues, or any of the fantastic guest speakers that my classmates and I have had the privilege to speak with. While it is not exactly how I envisioned my Los Angeles semester, I am still incredibly happy that I decided to make the best of the situation. When I eventually make the move out to Los Angeles, I’ll feel a little more comfortable knowing that Syracuse has its own slice in the entertainment industry