Finding My Place

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to live in the United Kingdom. I think it has a lot to do with the British television I watched growing up, the British literature I read throughout high school, and the British bands I listen to, such as the Beatles and the Arctic Monkeys. For whatever reason, the idea of living abroad has always appealed to me. When I was a sophomore in high school, my dad suggested th(looking_down)_Buchannan_Street,_Glasgowat I look into studying abroad for my junior year, so I went upstairs to my room and Googled “study abroad programs in the UK”. I ended up clicking on the first link that read “Study Abroad UK” and by the end of the week I had submitted my application. Six months later I was on a plane to Birmingham England where I spent the entirety of my junior year living with a host family and attending a local British school. That experience solidified my dreams of moving to the UK and persuaded me to consider applying to grad schools in Scotland. It wasn’t until recently that I began to realize that the place I’ve been considering isn’t exactly conducive to a career in the field I am interested in. This is not to say that Scotland does not have a successful film industry, but it’s no secret that the United States has an overwhelming monopoly over the industry as a whole. So why would I, a Film and New Media Studies major, attend grad school at the University of Glasgow when it would make much more sense for me to go somewhere like UCLA or NYU where the film industry is truly centralized? Richard Florida discusses the importance of place in his book The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited, saying, “It has often been said that in this age of globalization and modern communication technology, ‘geography is dead’, ‘the world is flat’, and place no longer matters. Notlaquakecoverhing could be further from the truth. Place has become the central organizing unit of our time, taking on many of the functions that used to be played by firms and other organizations. Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron was to steel making. It determines where companies will choose to locate and grow, and this in turn changes the way that cities must compete” (8). Florida discusses the importance of a place in terms of its access to resources and, as we’ve been discussing in class, the pool of people living in LA and New York is saturated with creative and talented people. It just makes more sense for me to continue my studies at a school like UCLA or NYU rather than the University of Glasgow given their locations and their relationship to the film industry. The importance of place has made me realize that I have to sacrifice where I want to live for what I want to do.

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