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Why I’d Recommend Everyone Lives in New York City (Even If It Isn’t For You)

By Jackie Pereira, Junior Newhouse NYC student and PR major 

jackie p

Growing up in Connecticut and being told from a young age about the wonders of Manhattan, I always had it in my head that I would live here. I had that classic (not at all realistic) vision of myself as a young professional flouncing down the streets of the city, briefcase in one hand, coffee in the other. The city was always the game plan for me.

With this, some might say obsession, of the city consuming me for the first 19 years of my life, I finally was given the chance to test my theory this past semester while I lived, worked, and took classes in New York City. And I discovered something magical.

New York isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay.

Despite the fact that my life plan since age seven hinged on the fact that I would live in New York City, I came here and it wasn’t all I wanted it to be. And yes, I would say that I came in with some over-the-top expectations, but eventually I realized that maybe the city just wasn’t the place for me. But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

I didn’t hate the city. Like any relationship, there were days where the two of us were head over heels (i.e. that one time I was able to go watch Shia LeBouf movies with Shia LeBouf). There were also other days where we took some space – the times I would hide out in Central Park for hours at a time (don’t worry Mom, never at night). And eventually, when the times we were apart started to feel better than when we were together, I had to admit to myself that maybe it just wasn’t right.

But I wasn’t going to let the semester go to waste. If I walk away with one lesson from this semester, it’s that you should make the best of wherever you are. I was in New York for three months. That’s not a lot of time, and I didn’t want to waste a second of it. I went to countless museums, dozens of brunches, and I did a fair amount of networking. I didn’t want to walk away from this semester with any regrets, and I’m proud to say I’m not.

The best thing that could’ve happened this semester did. I realized what I don’t want, and now I can’t wait to see what the future brings. I’m applying all over the country for my next internship, and who knows where I’ll end up after graduation. Manhattan and I might one day rekindle our romance, but in the words of Vanessa Hudgens in the iconic High School Musical 2, “at least for now, I gotta go my own way.”

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