19 years old from Tennessee moving to Los Angeles area.

at4971

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
8
0
I am from Chattanooga, Tennessee and 19 years old. It has recently come to my attention that I must get away from the South. It's too small and everyone is too nice. I promise that I am not a pessimist. My point in making the move is to eventually put myself in a situation to go to school in a different environment. But first I need advice. Any input that anyone would be willing to submit would be a great help. I don't want to get out there and be neck deep in culture shock and be forced to turn around. I plan on finding an apartment or equivalent to such, along with a job to pay for all my expenses and such. All of this will also have to be done via road bike therefore location is key. With all of this having been said, my question to the readers is: How am I to go about making this move and transitioning myself to living on my own in a foreign atmosphere?
Thank you very much and ANY input will be greatly appreciated.
 

Unspoken Demise

macrumors 68040
Apr 16, 2009
3,687
0
>9,000
Welcome to the site.

Sounds like you're about to embark on a pretty cool journey.

What are your finances like? Roughly how much do you have saved up for this move?
 

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,925
109
SoCal
If you want to move, don't go to downtown LA. Research before leaving where you want to be and where you want to work.

I would recommend near the UCI campus, the area is nice, but not cheap. Roads are very friendly to bikes and there is a ton of stuff in the area. You're not that far from LA or SD. It will be a culture shock but that is you, you'll have to learn to deal with it.

What type of work are you looking for? Remember California is one of the worst hit in the recession, the unemployment rate is just about 14% right now. If you want low end work, you're going to be fighting lots of kids out of college looking, as well as the immigrants (there are quite a few).

Living expenses are not cheap, plan for it.

Many bus and commuter trains allow for bikes; so look for the transit maps and then see about living in areas accessible to the bus and train stations/stops.

Finally, BE CAREFUL! There are tons of people, not everyone is nice.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
I am from Chattanooga, Tennessee and 19 years old. It has recently come to my attention that I must get away from the South. It's too small and everyone is too nice. I promise that I am not a pessimist. My point in making the move is to eventually put myself in a situation to go to school in a different environment. But first I need advice. Any input that anyone would be willing to submit would be a great help. I don't want to get out there and be neck deep in culture shock and be forced to turn around. I plan on finding an apartment or equivalent to such, along with a job to pay for all my expenses and such. All of this will also have to be done via road bike therefore location is key. With all of this having been said, my question to the readers is: How am I to go about making this move and transitioning myself to living on my own in a foreign atmosphere?
Thank you very much and ANY input will be greatly appreciated.
I'd apply to school and gain acceptance prior to making the move--since you're planning to go anyway. This will make your transition much more stable and somewhat easier. You'll have a place to live, food and the university can even help you find a job. You can make friends with the other students and explore the city together.
 

jmann

macrumors 604
I'm doing the same thing. I'm 20 and I think it would be near impossible for me to move there with no one to live with. It is horrendously expensive, so I am moving in with my dad and plan on doing more schooling there. I have started applying for many jobs too. Best of luck to you. :) Save money cause you'll need it.
 

jecapaga

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2007
4,295
22
Southern California
I am from Chattanooga, Tennessee and 19 years old. It has recently come to my attention that I must get away from the South. It's too small and everyone is too nice. I promise that I am not a pessimist. My point in making the move is to eventually put myself in a situation to go to school in a different environment. But first I need advice. Any input that anyone would be willing to submit would be a great help. I don't want to get out there and be neck deep in culture shock and be forced to turn around. I plan on finding an apartment or equivalent to such, along with a job to pay for all my expenses and such. All of this will also have to be done via road bike therefore location is key. With all of this having been said, my question to the readers is: How am I to go about making this move and transitioning myself to living on my own in a foreign atmosphere?
Thank you very much and ANY input will be greatly appreciated.
You'll need about $1000 for a decent 1 bdrm minimum per month. I wanted to say lower but..
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
What made you choose L.A.? Have you ever been there? Have you been accepted at any schools over there? (that should be your first step)

I grew up in LA and I've seen a great many fresh faces come traipsing in with stars in their eyes and unrealistic ideas and many found themselves chewed up and spat out. If you think people in the south are "too nice", LA will definitely not disappoint you there. :p It's a fantastic city, don't get me wrong, but it's not the easiest place on earth to just blindly drop yourself into.

When you say "road bike", do you mean motorcycle? I hope you're pretty adept on it because cars can be pretty aggressive to navigate around. I'm sure you'll get used to it but I think cars are the way to go for traversing around the substantial expanse of LA comfortably.

This sounds fairly negative but I suppose I'm just hoping that you will prepare yourself before diving in head first.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
Okay, this will show a lot of people's age here, but for some reason, the OP's story and intentions to move out west reminds me of the second season of MTV's The Real World, where Jon was from the South, and moved out west to the house in Los Angeles. He was a rather big country star in his neck of the woods, but was completely unknown out west. He experienced a bit of culture shock compared to everything he was used to back east, but gradually got used to it. I tuned out of it shortly after this season got started because they slowly stopped playing videos.

Others already mentioned it, but expect some definite culture shock. You'll find the area rather liberal when it comes to things, and it isn't as glitzed and glamourized as you see it on TV. If you haven't, just even for your own safety, learn some rudimentary Spanish. You never know when you might need it, should you end up in the wrong neighbourhood somewhere. You didn't mention where you were deciding to go to college at, so you have a fair number of choices. Just be aware that you may find rent for an apartment rather excessive as compared to back east. Cost of living here is high. So definitely do your research, especially around where you specifically want to move to.

BL.
 

at4971

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
8
0
newbie

Thanks to everyone for their input so far. I do feel the need to give a few more details though. I understand that the typical stereotype of a young kid picking up and moving out West is not the most justifiable situation to be in, especially for a 19 year old. I am currently working on my major in Environmental Engineering and am planning on continuing that. Money is tight and my original plan was to find a place to live and a job so that I could gain residency and pay in-state tuition for classes. The last I heard on that was a drivers license and you have to pay taxes in California? (please God correct me if I'm wrong) But after talking with a few individuals I have decided that transferring to a school would definitely be my best option. But also can't get out there unless I have a nice nest egg to sit on while i'm there. I'm thinking at least 5-8 thousand if not more than that.

About the bike, it is actually a road bike, not a motorcycle...I'm glad that I'm not the only one who got confused on the matter. And yes, I am used to city traffic and dealing with all of those law abiding citizens out there..

The last time I made it out west was a couple of years ago and I spent most of my time in San Francisco but when I came to LA I loved it. Coming from the South, the social network of whatever city you are in follows you all around town. You can't do anything without the whole city knowing about it. Everyone knows everyone and I personally can't stand it. I finally made it out there and realized how nice it was that I had a little bit of freedom.

The comments are great. Personally a little bit more accommodating than I expected at first. To all of you yet to comment, criticism is good. I have alot to learn and need any help i can get. I really do appreciate the help
 

at4971

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2009
8
0
Welcome to the site.

Sounds like you're about to embark on a pretty cool journey.

What are your finances like? Roughly how much do you have saved up for this move?
well I am sitting on about 3k right now but I am going to at least double that if not triple it before I actually make my way there. There is no sense in me taking a chance on that, especially with my finances.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Good for you! Do it! You remind me of when I left the hell that is Ohio and moved to Chicago. I literally took $800, what I could fit in my car and drove here- no job, no nothing. I had a job and a place to live (with a roommate) in 7 days. It was the best thing I've ever done. It was scary, but it was great too. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it- you CAN. Those people are more jealous than anything.

That said, I love LA. But know this- everyone in LA is nice because they want something. Everyone is networking all the time. Just keep that in mind.
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Aug 13, 2002
6,967
370
Chicagoland
Good for you! Do it! You remind me of when I left the hell that is Ohio and moved to Chicago. I literally took $800, what I could fit in my car and drove here- no job, no nothing. I had a job and a place to live (with a roommate) in 7 days. It was the best thing I've ever done. It was scary, but it was great too. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it- you CAN. Those people are more jealous than anything.

That said, I love LA. But know this- everyone in LA is nice because they want something. Everyone is networking all the time. Just keep that in mind.
When I moved to Chicago from Ohio, I made sure I had the job first, then I figured everything else out. For some people it is better to have at least SOME planning in place before making such a big move.

You think driving in LA will be the same as driving in Chattanooga? Hells no! :eek:
 

NC MacGuy

macrumors 603
Feb 9, 2005
6,225
0
The good side of the grass.
I am from Chattanooga, Tennessee and 19 years old. It has recently come to my attention that I must get away from the South. It's too small and everyone is too nice. I promise that I am not a pessimist.
Baby steps, may I suggest Detroit first?

It's pretty big and the people are mean and it's much cheaper than LA.;)
It'll cost you a fortune in LA to get that in-state tuition.
 

themoonisdown09

macrumors 601
Nov 19, 2007
4,312
15
Georgia, USA
Since you live in Chattanooga, maybe it would be good to move to Atlanta for a little while. If you really like the big city life, then move to Los Angeles.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
^^^^No- if the OP wants to go to LA, then that is what he should do. He won't be happy until he does. Why do people always try to talk others out of their goals? He should go for it all the way. If it doesn't work out, he's young enough to change gears.
 

VenusianSky

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2008
1,283
46
I moved from Pittsburgh to Tampa/Clearwater when I was 20. I got a decent job within the first week I was there. I didn't have much money when I moved, but I was living with some friends. That was back in 1998 though. I'm back in Pittsburgh now.

I thought about moving to California at one time, but I was looking at Orange county. It is cheaper and less crazy than Los Angeles. There are some really nice resedential areas in Orange. I would much rather live there than LA. As for culture shock, Orange wasn't much of that to me when I visited. The only culture you may not be use to is the large number of Hispanics living in the area. Anyways, I didn't move to CA...so that's all I got. Good luck.
 

dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,032
49
Up, up in my studio, studio
Since you live in Chattanooga, maybe it would be good to move to Atlanta for a little while. If you really like the big city life, then move to Los Angeles.
I was going to recommend Nashville for the proximity, but ATL is a better choice. Nashville still has that "hometown" feel, like my current residence.

If the OP wants to get away from the South entirely, then perhaps Chicago, DC, St. Louis or Philadelphia may be viable options.
(Natives, residents or ex-residents of these places can feel free to rip my suggestions to shreds, as applicable. :D )
 

themoonisdown09

macrumors 601
Nov 19, 2007
4,312
15
Georgia, USA
^^^^No- if the OP wants to go to LA, then that is what he should do. He won't be happy until he does. Why do people always try to talk others out of their goals? He should go for it all the way. If it doesn't work out, he's young enough to change gears.
I'm not trying to talk him out of moving to LA, I was merely trying to suggest trying something closer to home first.

Edit: Now that I reread the original post, I see that he said he wanted to get out of the south. My suggestion is a FAIL anyways. :D