This semester, I am studying “abroad” in Los Angeles and working at The Ellen Degeneres Show. Even though I’m in the same country, I feel far from home, as if I was truly abroad. I was born and raised in South Florida, and while Boston is only a three-and-a-half-hour plane ride away, LA is six hours away, and with the time change of three hours, I definitely feel farther from home than usual.
I have never lived on the West Coast before. During the summer of 2017, I lived and worked in London and this past summer I lived in New York. It’s definitely been an adjustment out here in Los Angeles, but I love my internship so much. Being an intern at The Ellen Degeneres Show has been a dream of mine since I was about eleven years old when I told my parents I wanted to be the next Ellen Degeneres.
I am still trying to find my place in the hustle and bustle that is Los Angeles, so I don’t know yet if the west coast is the “best” coast. However, my favorite part about Los Angeles so far is my job, so I think it’s time for me to continue exploring and to try new places. I have a huge list of restaurants that I have been dying to try, like Jon & Vinny’s, Go Greek, and La Scala (just to name a few). Since this is my first time in LA, I have visited a lot of the touristy attractions, such as the Hollywood Sign, Celebrity Homes Tours, The Hollywood Museum, and more. I also just went to The Getty Museum recently which was very cool and there is nothing better than walking down Abbot Kinney. There is so much to explore, and I think I am honestly nervous about fitting it all in in the span of four months!
The great thing is that I love Los Angeles far more than I thought I would. For one, I love the city vibe (hence why I go to BU). At the same time, though, Los Angeles is not a close-knit city with very accessible public transportation and driving is horrible here. With that being said, I do love the fact that so many people here work in entertainment. I love living in a place where everyone watches the same TV shows as me, likes the same foods (acai bowls, and avocado toast) as me, and enjoys the same palm trees as me. Some of my favorite restaurants I have visited in LA so far are Toast, Sugarfish, Salt & Straw, and Hugos– all of them are unreal. Los Angeles does reminds me of my home in Boca Raton, so although I am still trying to find my place, at least I have a sense of familiarity.
One of the questions I keep getting asked is whether or not I’ll move to LA after I graduate next year. The answer is simple- I don’t know yet. I still have another year of school and all of my family is in Florida (and not moving). I don’t think I’ll ever return to Florida, so at least that takes that state out of the mix. The most important thing to me is where I can be happy. But, hopefully, my dog Riley can move with me to wherever I end up.
Hannah Petosa, Study Abroad Correspondent
Hannah Petosa is a junior at Boston University majoring in Film and Television. She is currently studying in Los Angeles and interning at The Ellen Degeneres Show. When Hannah has a second to breathe, she likes to watch The Office, hang with her friends, and perform improv, stand-up, and sketch comedy. She is excited to continue exploring the West Coast.