Sunday, September 9, 2012

Takeaways from living in Los Angeles

“I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Ice Palace

Five things that helped me be happier:

1. Working out three times a week. Joining a gym with a tight community helped me get in shape and meet new people! Crossfit gyms are especially great because all the workouts are done in groups, and you generally see the same people coming to classes.

2. Going out at least twice a week. One of the best pieces of advice I read this summer is from Thought Catalog, and it goes like this: If you’re feeling depressed and you’re not sure why, there’s a 70% chance you just need to leave your apartment and be social.

3. Gaining a new skill. I wished I'd put more effort into learning how to code, but one fun cs project I did over the summer was the redesign of Harvard Fusion Magazine's website.

4. Talking to friends and family back home. It's easy to take them for granted, but they're the only people who will always be there for you when you're feeling down.

5. Reading self-help books and books written by comedians.

One website that might improve your LA experience:

One really important thing that I learned about myself:

I love living in the middle of a city. I love seeing the sides of skyscraper buildings glitter with lit office rooms. I love seeing a cluster of skyscrapers getting closer and growing bigger as I drive deeper into downtown. I love how the skyscrapers loom over me, making me feel so apart of the city yet so small in its history. I feel awe when I'm in a car going down the highway, and I see downtown rising before me. It's cheesy, I know, but I freaking feel like I'm going home.

One thing I wish I had done:

Stay as long as possible on the west coast. I went home on August 15th, which I now realize was horrible decision. I don't return to Boston until the 31st, which gives me almost a full three weeks at home. In that time, I could have couchsurfed through San Francisco or visited a friend in Seattle. I'm annoyed that I missed the chance to get more out of my west coast experience. From now on I will never spend more than a week and a half at home. I've realized that a week and a half is the perfect length of time to hang out with my family and friends while still being relieved to get out of the house at the end of my visit.

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© Yuqi Hou
Maira Gall