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How to Break Away: Leaving Charlottesville Post-Graduation

I travelled 553.7 miles to get to the University of Virginia. I love Virginia—I love that coming from the North, people say “y’all”, wear cowboy boots, and that when I go to the grocery store the person checking me out is consistently trying to tell me her life story. But I don’t want to stay in Charlottesville.

I also do not want to go back to Boston. I love my hometown, but as a student studying Film and wanting to go into production, I need to make a big change. When people ask me where I’m going post-graduation, I always say New York or California. When I answer, I’m telling the truth, but the actual logistics of getting there are rather obscure, and well, to be honest, nonexistent.

Career Services are helpful sometimes, but many of the opportunities they provide are in the area, or not for my specific industry (which I can’t imagine is solely an issue that I have run into). I’ve applied for many internships for the upcoming summer in Los Angeles and NYC, but the inevitable list of logistical questions always appears, scrolling before my eyes like those words at the beginning of Star Wars. In a galaxy far far away… how am I going to pay for my apartment? If I’m in LA, how do I get a car out there without driving my car with already 180,000 miles across the country? How do I even find an apartment in LA without going out there first, and who has time for that? How do I meet people? Do I have to act like a tourist for two weeks and walk around with a map? What if I have to start my job or internship right away, how do I get there? What kind of shoes do they wear in LA? Do people there even speak English?! (well not that far, but you get the idea).

As someone who wants to break away from all comfortable and well-known cities, how do I go about doing this? Does anyone have any tips for how to break away from my comfort zone and break into a new, unknown territory and industry?

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