Ever since I was younger I dreamed of moving out to California. There was something so amusing about being in the hub of it all that bursts with passion and artistry wherever you look. After a trip to LA when I was a sophomore in high school for dance, I fell even more in love with this utopia of a city and from that moment on, Los Angeles was that light at the end of the tunnel.
Now it is important to note that when I say I was in love, I truly mean I... was in love. My grandmother for my sixteenth birthday got me a ring with the coordinates of Los Angeles on it and you bet I wore that ring every day. My Facebook password you may ask? "BelieveLA" (don't worry I changed it so don't try hacking xo). I mean, my legitimate background on my phone for years was a photo of the cross street sign of Via Rodeo and North Rodeo Drive. Los Angeles to me was kind of like that boy who you admire from afar and have to continuously work up the courage to go for.
Well, after years of hard work and building up that courage it finally happened. I landed an internship at a company I admired for most of my life and I was ready to finally show Los Angeles what Sydney Rose Weltman has to offer.
Fast forward to a month of work and exploring the city under my belt, I decided to take some time to self reflect on my life thus far and the experiences I partook in. With that being said and all the emotions I endured, I thought of all the things I wish I knew before making this long-awaited trek. So here it is for you: Sydney's Declassified Los Angeles Survival Guide:
1. Moving is scary. Whether that is across the country or twenty minutes away, it is okay to show emotion.
This is something I struggled with leading up to my flight out to Los Angeles. I was scared out of my mind. I was going to a new state where I knew next to no one. All I had were overpacked suitcases filled with clothing and shoes, bedding in a box from Bed Bath & Beyond, and a passion for what I was about to do, yet for some reason, I did not want anyone to know how I was truly feeling. The thought of "this is my dream how can I be scared?" was drilled into my brain, but let me tell you, get those emotions out before you land wherever you may be going. Trust me, this will help you in the long run.
2. Hobbies are important. Keep them in your life no matter how near or far you may be from home.
Not only are hobbies something that will allow you to distract yourself from stressful situations, but it will give you a chunk of comfort. One of the best pieces of advice I learned in my time out here was to keep your hobbies close to your heart because it will allow you to feel as if you belong even if at that moment you do not.
3. Do not, and I mean DO NOT, be afraid to ask for help.
Having an A++++ personality as my mom likes to say can be difficult when it comes to reaching out for help because your ego does not allow you to, but reach out to that family friend who you haven't talked to in years or that alumni your professor told you about. You never know who knows who and although this city seems big from the outside at times it can be very small.
4. Spend some time alone.
This is hard and awkward, but I believe that every twenty-something year old should do it. Going to a restaurant and asking for a table for one may stir up the butterflies in your stomach, but it is time you do some self-reflecting and be dependent on yourself. Sitting in a restaurant or doing an activity alone will make you want to crawl inside your own skin, but in the long run, it is all part of growing up.
5. "Know your worth, add tax, and don't forget the agency fee"
I saw this quote in an Instagram bio and enough said. Do your work, remember you are an intern, not a CEO, but also remember there is a line that should not be crossed.