From small town to big city: Alumna shares her experience of moving to L.A.

Alumna Jordyn Rowland moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Murray State in 2019. (Photo courtesy of Jordyn Rowland)

Dionte Berry
Contributing Writer

Murray State alumna Jordyn Rowland moved fresh out of college from Murray to the bustling city of Los Angeles, California.

Rowland graduated in 2019 with a degree in public relations and a minor in film studies. During her time at Murray State, she founded the Murray State chapter of Her Campus and was also a writer for some short films for TV Club. 

Once she graduated, she took an internship in L.A. 

“I work for a clothing brand called Buru,” Rowland said. “The owner of the brand, who’s from Murray, called me in March 2019 needing an intern for the summer because the ones that were hired backed out.”

Her internship with the clothing brand eventually became a full-time job. After a little over a month with the internship, Buru offered her a full-time position in L.A.

Jordyn Rowland accepted an internship in L.A., which turned into a full-time position,

Rowland had lived in Murray her whole life, but taking the full-time position in L.A. was no question for her. It did mean she would be moving to L.A. sooner than expected though. 

“I always planned on moving to L.A.,” Rowland said. “I thought I’d stay in Murray for a year and save up for the move, but the universe had other plans for me.”

A drastic move from small-town life to the rush of the city was something Rowland worried about, but she caught on quickly. 

“The transition wasn’t nearly as traumatizing as I thought it would be,” Rowland said. “I was able to adapt quickly.” 

She had visited L.A. several times before the move, so she knew what she was getting herself into, which made the transition much easier. But the difference in the cost of living took a lot longer to adjust to. 

“The cost of living out here is astronomical compared to Murray, so that was a little shocking at first,” Rowland said. 

Beyond the cost of living, there are far more differences between Murray and L.A. that Rowland had to get used to, like the noise. L.A. is not nearly as quiet as Murray, and it is constantly crowded with tourists.

“Going from a small town to a city of millions was a lot,” Rowland said. “This is the first time I’ve lived somewhere touristy, so I avoid certain places because they’re always swarming with tourists,” Rowland said. “For example, Hollywood Boulevard, unless it’s unavoidable, I avoid it.” 

But L.A. has its perks. For example, there are many TV filming sets, and Rowland had the opportunity to get personal experience with a few.

“The showrunner for Grey’s Anatomy invited me to the set, and I wandered around for a few hours,” Rowland said.

Jordyn Rowland sits on Meredith Grey’s couch on the Grey’s Anatomy set.

Before coming on set, she had already met many of the actors from the show and watched them rehearsing scenes. She also has been an extra for the pilot episode of a new TV show that hasn’t come out yet. 

“It was a really cool experience,” Rowland said. “I shadowed the writer/director. I got to see what it looks like to have a project in production.” 

Now, Rowland spends her time indoors due to California being on lock-down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said it has been yet another adjustment to social distance. She spends her time working from home everyday.

“I haven’t left my apartment in over a week and it’s really quiet outside, which is bizarre,” Rowland said. 

She also noted the effect that the lock-down has had on the bustling atmosphere of L.A. 

“There’s apparently no traffic on the freeways, and there’s typically bumper-to-bumper traffic,” Rowland said. “The air quality is also visibly better.” 

She is looking forward to the lock-down being lifted.

“My friend and I had planned to go on a ‘socially distant’ hike together and stay six feet apart, but we can’t even do that,” Rowland said. “I think a long hike is what I’m most excited about and a day at the beach. Just being outside, basically.”