Views from the Malibu Pier 

Ever since I moved to LA two years ago to go to USC, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. It’s hard to believe that already two years have gone by since my parents dropped me off at my first year dorm building as tears poured down my face. I was not particularly excited at the time and throughout my entire first year, the uneasiness I initially felt seemed to only intensify. I was in a new place almost 3000 miles away from home without any friends or family to lean on at first. I was on my own and the reality of that sentiment hadn’t really crossed my mind prior to that Wednesday, August 17th.

Bottega Louie macarons from a food photoshoot

Not only was I lost physically, but also I had no idea how to approach my new life and what I wanted to do to make my time at USC worthwhile. It was incredible to be living in a city like LA, with beautiful and scenic escapes and places to explore, but what was to make of that when some days I lacked the energy to leave my building. I won’t lie that thoughts of transferring and moving back to the East Coast crossed my mind all the time. And that was hard for me because USC was had always been my dream school and I had worked so hard to even get accepted. I didn’t want to throw all of that away and potentially risk losing such an incredible opportunity. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to be better, I needed to be proactive and ultimately change my mindset that seemed to constantly restrain me from venturing outside and doing the things I loved.

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the Broad 

Over time, I grew out of my rut and this happened mostly during the summer after my first year. I decided to reevaluate my studies, mindset, and career goals and how I could leverage the resources I encountered throughout my first year at USC to achieve said goals. That summer, I applied to and was offered my first real internship in the industry I was most passionate about, fashion. I spent the Summer working, taking an online finance class, and spent loads of time with friends. Knowing that I could return home to such happiness seemed to help alleviate the pain I felt when I was away. Of course people change, but you find your best friends. They are the ones who you can go months without seeing and then pick up right where you left off once you’re reunited. I found them that Summer.


Once I returned back to USC for my sophomore year, I started my internship and I became super involved in different clubs and organizations I was passionate about. I was appointed positions on the executive boards for our Fashion Industry Association and our Women in Business organization, which this coming semester I will become president of. I made some new incredible best friends and became closer to the ones I met in my first year. My second semester I even started writing for our on-campus fashion, art, and lifestyle magazine, SPEC. I was constantly running across campus and commuting to Hollywood (and then Downtown second semester), but I was so happy. I was doing what I loved and I essentially found my niche that once was nonexistent for me my first year. I also chose to move to Milan for the Summer to intern at a fashion showroom and after 10 long weeks of being here, I will be flying home to New York in just a few days.


The past year has been a period of such enormous growth, change, and happiness for me. And I can say I’m way less terrified of change and uncertainty now that I’ve experienced heaps of it in such a short time. This is largely due to the fact that I held onto the ones I love and the places I once called home. Everything is temporary and I’m becoming more open to accepting that. In hindsight, moving to LA was one of the best decisions I could have ever made and I can’t imagine my life any other way. It makes me so happy to say that now I’m even homesick for the place I once dreaded flying back to. I’m so excited to start my junior year and see what’s in store for me. I’m continuing my digital marketing internship at BB Dakota for a second semester and then I will be studying abroad in Paris this Spring. There’s still so much to learn and improve upon with myself in terms of confidence, wellness and owning more than just a box of girl scout cookies in my apartment, but I’m ready to do it and I have the bookmarked Goop and NYT recipes to vouch for that.

See you in 13 days, LA!

Kaitlin x

Visiting the Palisades on my last full day in LA before Summer break