Nothing makes you appreciate your “college days” more than experiencing a full-time job for the first time.
Although I do love not having to worry about work after 5pm or pulling all-nighters to finish assignments, I do miss sleeping in and being allowed to skip classes every once in a while.
Miraculously getting two internships this summer, I’ve formed a routine of waking up at the same time, dragging myself into the subway, and eating the same food out of the same tupperware everyday. The routine is not exhausting, it’s far from it. It feels great to do not only what I love, but also try it from a “city” perspective for the first time. The resources, the opportunities, and the networking possibilities are absolutely limitless in this city. I feel like I’ve met more foreigners here than I had actually traveling abroad.
Although I have yet to do all the typical bucket-list, touristy must-do things here, I feel like I’ve already become a part of this city. It’s especially easy to adapt when you realize that nobody is really from here to start with.
What’s most amazing is the mere fact that people from all over the world flock to New York just to do entry-level, minimum-wage, and sometimes manual labor jobs while they pursue the American dream of simply being here. There are young, fit and intelligent men who are reduced to making their main income by being one of those taxi biker guys who obnoxiously ring at potential customers on the street. When you compete with the best human resources from all over the world, you really have to prove your own worth and overcome your weaknesses, whether that be an immigrant status or simply timidness.
After finally mastering the subway system, a public transportation that I must hail as possibly the best one in the world, it’s finally starting to settle in that this could become a home for me, too. It’s dirty, it smells like urine everywhere, and the people can be mean. But all the poetry, the art, the films that have been made about this city weren’t lying to the audience. There is something really irresistible about this concrete and all the people who roam on it.
No matter what happens this summer, whether I end up actually accomplishing all my desired sightseeing, I am content just to know that I was once part of this massive universe that resides so snugly on this tiny island of Manhattan.