LA Orientation

 By Anna Ngo

“Remember to call me when you get off the plane. Don’t talk to strangers!” my mom yelled to me as I got into the security line. I was off to college and this was the first time I was traveling by myself. My mother couldn’t be more worried. In her eyes, I was still her little girl, one she wasn’t ready to see grow up.

As I walked further and further down the security line, the sight of my family slowly disappeared. Walking towards the terminal, a rush of emotions suddenly hit me. I was excited, scared, and nervous all at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect yet I was ready for what was in store for me.

My dream of going to California was finally turning into a reality. When I applied to USC, it was on a whim and I wasn’t expecting anything. When I received my acceptance letter, I had to read it at least ten times to make sure it wasn’t a rejection letter. And now here I was, flying out to Los Angeles for my freshman orientation.

When I arrived on campus, I was completely overwhelmed. There was so much upbeat LIFE going on, from students playing frisbee in the quad to others slacklining between trees. This was college. This was LA!

However, the most memorable experience happened after all the normal orientation activities were over. It was midnight; my roommate and I were not ready for our amazing first day to end. This was our first time in the city all by ourselves, and we wanted to explore more and see what the city had to offer. We saw lights flashing in the sky as if a movie premiere was going on. We decided to follow them and see where they was coming from. We ended up at the Shrine Auditorium and indeed there was something big happening because there were security guards everywhere. It turned out to be a movie production of a Whitney Houston documentary.

Photo is author’s own

I have always known Los Angeles to be a huge entertainment industry, but I didn’t think I would encounter it face-to-face, on my first night in California no less. Internally, we were freaking out but we maintained a calm composure as we tried to convince the security guard to let us through the gates. We knew it was a long shot, but we kept the conversation going. Somehow we talked our way into the movie.  The director agreed to let us be extras on the red carpet. My roommate and I were in shock that all of this was happening. Just being around the camera crew, actors, and movie trailers made me feel like I was on a different planet. That night, I wasn’t just a USC student; I was an extra in a Whitney Houston movie! At that moment, I knew that the next four years would be the best of my life.

Photo is author’s own

Featured image from Wikipedia

Anna Ngo is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering (Petroleum). She is from Houston, Texas but is loving the Los Angeles atmosphere. She has been dancing and playing basketball since she was five years old. However, she loves all sports and enjoys cooking and exploring. The one thing she loves the most is engaging herself in new cultures and experiencing new things.