Students in the ICNYC program share their experiences and insights from one of the greatest cities in the world.
Monday, October 13, 2014
The following post was written by Giulia Dwight, a senior Communication Management and Design major.
There is something about New York City that has always fascinated me. Maybe it’s the way that it always has something to give. Maybe it’s the way that people don’t stop, the lights don’t go off, the trains run all night… everything moves, constantly. So when at IC we were told they were starting a new program which would allow us to spend a semester in NYC, I knew I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity. I moved to New York on May 23rd with 5 suitcases and desire to live, learn, explore. A few days later my friends moved in as well and by the end of the month I was settled in and taking the L train to Union Square, switching to the NQR and getting off at Herald Square to head to my new desk on 6th Ave and 37th St. That desk is now the old one. The new one is at 2 Penn Plaza at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
I knew since I was just a kid that I would one day live and work in the big city. Every time I came on vacation I looked at all the beautiful women in black dresses and Louboutin pumps walking the streets next to men in suits – who knows what wonderful careers they had. I looked at my boots, my warm red jacket and my blue jeans and dreamed about the day I too would live that life. Obviously I am not there yet. Internship pay will buy me a pair of shoes in ChinaTown (jk, I can afford to stop by Century 21 at times) and my friends don’t wear suits. But it doesn’t bother me at all, because when I wake up I have a reason to try and be a little better than the day before, work a little harder, improve my makeup, fill up my schedule, look professional, be healthy. There is something about the opportunity to be here that makes me want to give 200% each day, whether it comes to my professional, my educational, or my social life. Everywhere I go, at whatever time of day, I feel the energy of 8million people showing me that being here is my one shot at getting the life I want.
I talk to my friends about being here and we all take away something different from it. We all see the upsides and the downsides of being here, and although the idea is generally similar (free museum nights, concerts and plays in the park, the most amazing variety of good food), the small things are very individual. For example, I like taking the L train in the morning, during rush hour; no matter how packed and uncomfortably close to each we have to stand, there is a certain unspoken etiquette that leaves me speechless. I like getting out of the gym on 19th, walking to Whole Foods to grab a bite to eat, and sitting on the footsteps of Union Square for a while. I have met some of the most interesting people on those footsteps; I even networked on those footsteps. Then it comes to the things that I don’t like so much… no matter how many people I meet every day, I do realize that my closest friends are miles away. Some coffee costs $3 a cup, and even though I would gladly make it myself before leaving for work, the size of my kitchen (which is also a laundry room and a bathroom) just makes me change my mind.
I don’t think that everyone is made for this city. It takes a lot of energy and a little bit of insanity to like it here. But I do think that this city is for everyone. No matter what you like and what you do, you will find people to share it with. At one point I considered doing a program somewhere else. I am incredibly glad I ended up deciding on ICNYC. Thank you Ithaca College, this has truly been the most educational, exciting, frustrating, and motivating experience so far.