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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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California Love


October 8, 2019
by Noelle

Getting Involved Living in LA

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I have been based in Los Angeles for four years now and have lived in Southern California my whole life. Not a shabby place to be by any means but when I found out that we could go “out of area” for level II fieldwork, I jumped at the chance. Now the story of how I got to New York is a long one involving waiting tables, countless meetings with the fieldwork team, and a lot of persistence . . . but I’ll save that for another blog post.

I spent three glorious months in the city that never sleeps and as much as I missed the beach and predictable weather, I was not ready to come back home. In an attempt to ease the blow, I returned with a new resolution — to rekindle my love of Los Angeles. When I was in New York, I was determined to make the most of the limited time I had. I spent many happy hours on rooftops and patios, took side trips to museums, flea markets, parks, walked home from fieldwork on nice days just to take in the city. What’s stopping me from doing those things in LA?! Well, besides school, work, and traffic, NOTHING! But seriously, I have taken this city for granted and considering I don’t know how long I’ll be here after graduation, I thought I’d better start taking advantage of it.

So here are some things I’ve been doing to keep “New York Noelle” alive:

  • The Graduate Student Government (GSG) hosts fun outings (with discounts!) like happy hours at trendy bars, local sporting events, and volunteer opportunities — all of which are great ways to explore the city and meet other grad students. I would recommend getting on their email list to get regular updates!
  • Noelle rooting on the Dodgers

    Me and my best friend at a Dodgers game in September. We got to sit in the section that had unlimited food so thanks GSG!

  • There are also lots of social events that happen with other OT students. Student organizations like OTSC and PTE plan fun outings like happy hour hangouts and roller-skating.
  • I’m on an informal trivia team with a group of math PhDs (I actually met them at a GSG event). University Park Campus has a weekly trivia at Tommy’s Place, but we also like to try different restaurants/bars too.
  • To make studying a little more exciting, I’ve extended the radius of my study spots. I live at the OT House close to the main campus so the local coffee shops and libraries are convenient and lovely, but after 4 years, very familiar. I’ve found some hidden gems in Korea Town, Echo Park, Hollywood, Santa Monica etc. that make studying for adult rehab feel like an event!

So far this resolution has served me well. My wanderlust is satiated and I feel lucky to call Los Angeles home.

This week’s song rec: Who doesn’t love 2Pac’s “California Love”? But if you want to try something completely different check out Joni Mitchell’s “California”.