“I am going to live in New York City and be a writer.”
This has been my plan for as long as I can remember. Growing up on televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades and Hallmark Christmas movies, I could only imagine myself in one place. New York was always where the action took place, and I dreamed of being in the center of it. I wanted to be surrounded by the lights and millions of people. When I was old enough to order the entire Sex & The City collection on DVD I did. Carrie Bradshaw quickly became my inspiration – her flaws and all. I wanted to live in a tiny apartment and go to brunch and concerts with my friends.
For some reason or another, I always knew rural Pennsylvania was not for me. As secure as growing up in one quiet town, and maintaining friendships from elementary school was, I wanted to be somewhere that I could try something new every day. Everyone I grew up with knew New York City was my goal and some were more supportive than others. Some people would snicker and say, “Good luck being a small-town girl in a city of 7 million people.” But that just fueled me, and I was determined to succeed as fast as possible.
Throughout high school, I worked my ass off, with NYU in the front of my mind. When I finally got in, the very last day college acceptances rolled out, I thought I finally made it. There was one problem: it is essentially impossible for a normal middle-class person to afford college in the heart of Greenwich Village – and that’s just tuition. Forget about the cost of living. I was going to put myself into endless debt, I really was. After weeks of fighting, my mother finally talked some sense into me and I reluctantly decided Syracuse University made more sense. I got into the Newhouse School of Public Communications – so no matter how pissed off I was, it’s not like I wasn’t going to get a great education. I just knew I had to wait 4 more years to move to where I actually wanted to be.
Fast forward 3 years.
I am graduating from Syracuse in December with degrees in Public Relations and Political Science. I am currently writing this from a little apartment in Manhattan that I am ironically enough, subletting from a current NYU student. Tomorrow morning I will walk 25 minutes to my internship at a digital communications agency in the Flatiron District.
I do not regret a thing. Syracuse set me up to work in the city and field of my dreams. It gave me the friends and confidence I would need to survive in New York. Looking back, I was not mature enough at 18 to move to New York on my own. I needed to do some growing up and screwing up with the safety of a small campus community and some amazing friends.
Long story short. The past six weeks here have taught me more than I could have imagined, from work to budgeting to how to use a freaking subway. I wanted to rush my goals, but I would not have gotten half as much out of this amazing city if I was fresh out of high school. I would have been in over my head. At 21 I can appreciate it and the experiences for all they are worth. I explore a different neighborhood every weekend. I try foods I have never heard of before. I go sit in parks by myself. I take my job extremely seriously. A summer internship is like a test run, and although it took longer than I might have wanted it to, I now know now this is absolutely the place for me.