Finally, after months and months of form-filling, document-scanning and email-checking I’ve been told – I’ll be at UCLA in September! There’s been tears, there’s been laughter (and a rather hairy period when I was going to be heading off to North Carolina) but, at last, I’m preparing to call California home! The states! Los Estados Unidos! Murica! The land of the free and the home of the brave!
It has to be said that my excitement is perhaps disproportionately intensified as a result of my track record of American college applications – 0% acceptance rate up until last month. In my final year of school, I applied (rather ambitiously, it must be said) to 6 Ivy League institutions and was roundly rejected from each of them. Over 300 hours of SAT preparation gone to waste hurt – a lot. The end result was my attendance at Trinity College Dublin, which was absolutely the best thing for me even if I didn’t know it at the time and, looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ever since, however, the idea of American college life has always held the allure of ‘the one that got away’. Daydreams of a life led by a Susie in a parallel universe (one in which Harvard decides to admit a girl with the mathematical abilities of a spoon), a jet-setting Susie, who pops to New York on the weekends and calls pavements sidewalks, have often floated through my head over the last two years – especially when writing particularly nasty last-minute essays while the rain lashes the Trinity library windows and I realise I’ll have to walk home that night (or fork out a tenner for a taxi) because Dublin public transport just stops at 11.30pm (seriously).
At last, then! Not only will I be able to call my trainers sneakers and ask directions to the nearest gas station, but I will be studying film in one of the most prestigious undergraduate film departments in the world, in a city famous for being the global leader in mainstream entertainment. Indeed, the nature of the Hollywood film industry is an important aspect I need to reflect on over the coming year – I’m hoping that a level of exposure to how ‘the business’ works in La La Land will help me decide if I want to pursue a career here in Europe or across the pond. (Money vs. ‘art’? We shall see!)
It is my intention that this blog can act as some form of thought catalogue as I prepare to depart on my year abroad and as I adjust to life in Los Angeles, as well as a source of information on my wellbeing for concerned friends and family (I promise I’ll try and get better at replying to emails!). This isn’t my first time away from home, or even my first time living in another continent – but I am aware that next year will be an experience like none other and I’d love to keep some kind of record to look back on, or perhaps even make this is an ongoing saga! Who knows? I certainly don’t!