You’re thinking of living in Los Angeles. And if you decide to live in one of Starcity’s coliving communities, it’s guaranteed you’ll be in awe of your new home; but that doesn’t cancel out the often-awkward process of adjusting to a new city. It’s never easy. But if you learn how to navigate your surroundings, if you meet the right people, it can be an incredible experience. You can emerge a stronger person: a city dweller.
So to help you plan for the future, let’s put you in the shoes of someone that just moved into our Venice Beach location. Instead of the fairytale scenario (and hey, that’s quite possible), we’re going to deal with the issues you might face in the adjustment process, as well as how you can overcome them.
Problem: You don’t know anybody
There’s a man who lives on your street. One morning, you give him a wave, and he stares at you like you’re Hannibal Lecter. If you’re looking for neighbors to be neighborly, stop. LA natives can be cold and extremely cliquey. BUT these ostensible ice cubes are known for making strong, lasting friendships. After all, the only way to cut through the chaos is with people you can really trust and rely on.
But still… the populace is loud and fake. Drivers are fast and furious. Everyone and their mother is an actor/actress. Where are all the likable guys and gals!?
Solution: Find your scene
Making friends is as simple as knowing what you like to do. But how do you track down people with common interests?
A. You’re working in entertainment
Well, lucky you! You can find people with common interests where you work, at creative meet-ups, on projects, or just out at any old bar.
B. You’re NOT working in entertainment
Everyone you meet wants to talk about movies, and sure, you like them, but analyzing every beat of Citizen Kane isn’t exactly your idea of a good time.
Trust me, www.meetup.com is your ticket. Certain elitists will think themselves above it, but they just haven’t tried it yet. Like to play Dungeons and Dragons? There are fellowships waiting to welcome you into their quest. Feel the need to crush a volleyball or two? There are groups at Will Rogers and Playa del Rey that meet up EVERY WEEKEND.
In fact, if you play certain sports, you might not even have to use the interwebs. For advanced, competitive volleyball, there are challenge courts at the Santa Monica Pier. Looking for a game of pickup basketball? Getting one is as easy as joining LA Fitness.
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Within walking distance of you, Cock n’ Bull and Finn McCool’s have set trivia nights. The energy is palpable. Everyone is high on the thrill of showing off mostly useless knowledge. And consequently, patrons tend to welcome newcomers.
Don’t be shy about dating, either. An evening out that goes slightly south (but not so south that it’s a complete meltdown) can turn into a lasting friendship. And these days, all you need is a smartphone to get your date on.
Problem: You don’t like your job
You’re waiting tables. You’re driving for Uber. You were promised the alluring nature of a profession, but the position is so low on the totem pole, you feel as though you’re a second-class citizen compared to everyone else at your company.
But why did you come out here? Was it to kick your feet up all day? No, it was for a change in lifestyle, in career, in perspective. You’re not bound to this job. You’re free to completely transform your lifestyle and personal identity at will.
Solution: Find a new one
By certain estimates, Los Angeles is the third largest metropolitan economy in the world: AKA you have options.
Again with the obvious route. People say it’s hard to break in, but if you’re open-minded and willing to hustle, there are trailheads that split into paths of near-infinite divergence: TV, film, documentaries, commercials, digital. Every project needs PAs, producers, casting directors, script supervisors, grips, lighting, etc.
Don’t want to get involved in production? The marketing and advertising side of entertainment is booming right now. Work your way up to making macro decisions, or get lost in the creative flow of movie trailers, commercials, and art direction.
B. Traditional advertising
LA is full of different creative paths. Some of the world’s biggest agencies have their headquarters or at least an outpost office here, like 72andSunny.
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Interested in honing your skills so you can be more effective at one of the above places? There are plenty of schools featuring classes that will teach you art, design, writing, and more. And unlike other U.S. locations, you can take a fun comedy class at UCB or Westside Comedy Theatre, make some friends, and a lot of creative (and some non-creative) employers will actually appreciate that experience.
C. General industry
But don’t let LA stereotypes limit you to creative work. The transportation industry is golden here (just look at all the cars, and then look at all the development green-lit in hopes of there being fewer cars), and according to government figures and the LA Times, this city sports the largest manufacturing workforce in the country. Also, the construction industry is super sturdy right now. If you’re good with your hands and you like being outdoors, you can get a unionized job with great pay and benefits.
Problem: You’re impatient
You’re trying to make a shift in your career, but the process is long and arduous. You’re trying to lock down a community, but nothing is clicking. You’re going on dates, but they’re mostly ending in disasters. At times, you feel like packing up and going home. But what would that solve?
Solution: Stay engaged
The second you start to slow down is the second things start to snowball downward. The first meet-up you join might be full of weirdos, but that’s the fun in trying new things. Don’t sink into it, laugh about it, and move on.
Is everyone in LA a self-obsessed narcissist? No. People are just extremely driven. But low-key, laidback individuals are definitely out there in the crowd. Every bad date is one step closer to the best friend and/or life-changing significant other you could ever imagine. The great part of LA is that it has one of the most active dating pools in the country. You just need to remain engaged. You need to remember to enjoy the journey as much as the destination; and when you get there, you’ll look in the mirror and find a happier, more complete person.
Failure is fun, as long as you choose to see it that way. Take your meet-up mishaps and detonated dates and relay them to other people in your coliving space; they’ll probably find them hilarious. Really, you’re at an advantage here. You live with a group of people going through the same thing as you in a beautiful neighborhood right on the beach. Maybe the answer to your problems was right next to you all along?
Ultimately, if you find a community, you’ll be building a foundation for happiness and success. Keep your eyes peeled and grind it out. Once you’re surrounded by those that mesh with your lifestyle, you’ll find friends, romantic interests, job opportunities, recommendations for a good doctor, peace of mind, and more – all right at your fingertips. And that’s what Starcity is about: fostering a sense of community with an elevated yet affordable lifestyle so you can truly experience the best LA has to offer.
Want to live in a welcoming LA community? Tour Starcity Venice Beach today.