This Thursday, March 17, will mark Sydney Mikayla’s last episode as GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Trina. As previously reported, the Daytime Emmy nominee announced her plans to part ways with the soap to focus on her college studies at UCLA. In a recent sit-down with Soap Opera Digest’s Dishing with Digest podcast, the teenager opened up about how important her education is to her, how she managed the first few months of juggling both GH and her course load, and why she ultimately decided that she needed to say goodbye to the soap opera.
As Mikayla explained, her bosses at GH were extremely supportive of her decision, especially since she and her mom had made the young star’s intentions about attending college known when she was offered a contract a few months after joining the soap in February of 2019. “I was like, ‘Just so you know, I am planning to go to college. I 100% want to do this role [but] we have to be ready that when I go to college, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to stay or go,’” explained Mikayla, who was a high school sophomore at the time. “We told [them] that upfront, that this was definitely going to be a possibility.”
The actress began her studies as a sociology major at the University of California, Los Angeles around the same time that Trina and her pals began college at PCU on the soap. Since UCLA (and most of the other UC colleges) operates on a 10-week quarter system rather than a semester, Mikayla was juggling an accelerated course load with her work on GH. “I think my parents and I called it the ‘tester quarter,’” she said. “We tried to see, is this going to work? Is this feasible? We didn’t really expect how crazy a 10-week quarter is. Because we’re learning the same information that you would learn in a semester in half the time. So that was a pretty crazy experience.”
However, in between studying her classwork and work schedule at the soap, Mikayla wasn’t left with much time for anything else. She wanted to network with other peers on campus, join clubs, perform in campus theater… and eventually double major in sociology and film and television. While the decision to exit GH was not an easy one to make, Mikayla knew her heart was set on getting the full college experience. “I knew I’m only going to be able to do this once,” she confessed. “Of course, there was a little bit of hesitancy. But choosing what feels right for you… whatever is meant to be will come back around.”
Shortly after Mikayla started college, she dropped down to recurring status with GH. But with the blessings of her bosses, she’d since parted ways with the soap and the role of Trina was recast with daytime newcomer Tabyana Ali. “I wish Tabyana the absolute best,” Mikayla enthused of her replacement. “She will have the time of her life, I’m sure. And I’m very excited to see the role continue. And I’m grateful to see that the work that I put in kind of planted a seed.”
As she now turns her focus solely on her life as a college student, Mikayla is embracing all that UCLA has to offer. “I’m looking forward to all of it. The social life, exploring everything, trying new things. This is the time to try and fail,” she shared. “I’m excited to see what I can do and what I can say yes to.”
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