To say that this summer flew by fast is an understatement! I'm coming up on my last few days on the East Coast before I head home again until school starts. It's definitely a weird feeling, knowing I probably won't be back in New York until after graduation next May. Do I want to leave? Of course not! I love it here, and I learned that this is the place where I'm meant to be. I'm excited for when I can move here for real, because New York City is definitely one of the greatest cities I've ever been to. But, since this great summer was just that, a summer, I am excited to spend some time at home. I may not be a kid anymore, but I'm definitely not a real adult yet. I'm a student who still thinks that two months not seeing my mom, dad and sister really stinks. Yes, I obviously like doing things on my own. I like cooking (contrary to popular belief, I don't always only make mac and cheese and dino nuggets or screw up fajitas), living on my own, going to work, etc. But I'm still a young adult who loves relaxing family time (Mom, notice the relaxing aspect of that phrase!!!).
Anyways. This summer has been the most incredible experience, for so many different reasons. I learned so much about what I really want to do and where I want to be for the rest of my life, and that's both an incredibly awesome and really scary feeling. Even though I didn't live right in the heart of New York City (I lived in Weehawken, NJ), I was able to experience the city a lot, whether it was on my commute to and from work or exploring on the weekends. I was a total geek and visited spots from my favorite Meg Ryan movies (You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally). I visited The Strand, a bookstore that literally has 18 miles worth of books inside its walls, and found a small Mexican fast food chain that is (gasp) better than Chipotle (in my opinion). I probably walked more than I ever have in my short life so far. I got meet to my new twin cousins (they are seriously the cutest babies ever!) and spent a weekend in DC with some other cousins who I haven't seen in a few years. I got stuck on a bus from DC back to NYC where the air conditioning went out thirty minutes in. It was 90+ degrees outside, too. It was single-handedly the worst thing I have ever experienced in my entire life.My Aunt Sylvia and Aunt Rose visited me.
I successfully figured out how to navigate the daunting and intimidating New York City subway system (after getting lost only twice!). I had irrational thoughts about the Lincoln Tunnel caving in while I was still going through it on the New Jersey Transit buses (it never did). I watched the 4th of July fireworks from a roof deck. I walked on the Brooklyn Bridge. I had a hot dog from Nathan's Famous on Coney Island. I even found a White Castle Express food truck on Coney Island, and let's just say that it was literally the greatest thing ever. I went to the top of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. I even walked up 6 flights of stairs at old Empy to get to the top. I walked through Central Park. I saw the Statue of Liberty up close and I went to the 9/11 Memorial. The most famous celebrity I saw was Ian McKellan during the NYC Pride Parade, the next to celebs I saw were Nina Garcia from Project Runway and one of HGTV's Property Brothers. I saw a bunch of concerts on Friday mornings thanks to Fox Morning News and the Today Show being so close to the Time and Life Building. I saw two Broadway shows. But most importantly, I had an internship at one of my dream companies.
Working at Sports Illustrated will be an experience I will never forget, because it made me realize how much I love to be in journalism. I worked in the Creative Services department for SI and GOLF Magazine and worked alongside other designers and marketing and advertising managers. I worked on some pretty cool projects, like the signage and collateral for GOLF Magazine's National Sales Meeting and an interactive iPad version of SI's general presentation. I learned a lot about how the advertising world works. I got to attend the U.S. Women's National Team Championship parade with some of the other marketing interns. I learned how story telling at one of the most influential media companies in the world works.
I was able to experience a lot this summer, and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to do so. Coming to the East Coast this summer would not have been possible, however, without the constant love and support from my mom and dad. While I was slightly scared to come here this summer because it was the first real big move I was making, my parents were more scared, for my life and safety, a lot more than I ever was. No matter how often I told them that New York City is one of the safest cities I've ever been to (really, I feel more walking around NYC than I do walking Muncie at night. Not that I've walked around NYC at night by myself, because I haven't), I still get texts every day from my mom when I walked to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. But even though they are scared that I'm here, and will probably be coming back here after I graduate, I've gotten nothing but love and support from them, and I can't thank them enough for that.
This summer also would not have been possible without another lady. After multiple freak outs at the beginning of May in which I thoroughly thought I would be couch hopping throughout the summer for lack of a place to live and a lack of exorbitant amounts of money to find an apartment by my lonesome, my mom's best friend called me, and said that her friend's neighbor had moved out to Weehawken a few years ago and had a spare room to rent out. Brenda literally saved me from being homeless in New York City, she explored with me, and got me to try rice pudding, and for that I--and my parents--cannot thank her enough (although I fully blame her for getting me hooked on The Bachelorette (I know, I'm sort of cringing too, but it's really funny entertainment, I swear!)).
Now, I'm preparing to head back to good ol' honest to goodness Indiana for my last year at Ball State, and I'm excited (despite the fact that 90% decided to graduate or get semester internships in NYC and leave me) to finish my college years strong. My packing is kind of finished (I keep getting distracted by this thing called sleep), and there's only two full days left of work at the Time and Life Building. I have to somehow spend $25 in the cafeteria, because my ID card accidentally replenished itself. I still have to take down my cubicle decorations and grab the next issue of GOLF magazine for my dad. But more importantly, I have to make a game plan for lugging my huge suitcase and two duffle bags around Newark and Midway on Saturday, because I still have absolutely no upper body strength, despite that time some of the SI sales reps had us do wall sits and tried to get me to do a push up.
See you later, New York City. It's been fun.