I packed up my tiny New York City dorm room yesterday and drove nine hours back to Ohio. The drive home was bittersweet – I'm excited to relax with my family before heading off to Germany for fall semester, but I'm going to miss my awesome internship and life in the city.
Ironically, my dad had a business meeting in NYC early in the week so he was able to drive me home on Thursday. I am so grateful because I would've struggled with navigating three suitcases through the airport. My dad and I met for dinner on Tuesday and got cheesesteak sandwiches at Shorty's in Hell's Kitchen. On Wednesday, the last day of my internship, he took me to Keen's Chophouse, which was delicious! We stuffed ourselves with steaks, salads, and potatoes.
We left at 3 p.m. on Thursday and immediately got stuck in NYC traffic around SoHo. I kid you not, we drove for over two hours to travel four miles. People were ordering from food vendors while sitting in their cars! At least NYC has a great public transportation system to make commuting a little more manageable on a daily basis. After a few bouts of traffic and construction, my dad and I pulled into our driveway a little after midnight.
My whole summer in NYC was amazing and life changing. I was anxious to make the transition from a small town to a big city by myself, especially since I was negatively overwhelmed when I visited New York a few years ago. After a few tough weeks overcoming subway mishaps, crowded sidewalks, and extreme prices, I learned to love the city. The energy and excitement never ceased to amaze me. I felt revitalized and ready to embrace the world every time I left my dorm room. New York City is so full of opportunity that you can almost taste it. You never know who or what you're going to see every time you leave your place, which I think is an advantage over my small town in Ohio, where the only thing you might run into is deer on the road. This summer I also couldn't get enough of the countless restaurants and shops lining every street, or the complete emphasis on night life. Everything happens later in NYC – some jobs (like mine) don't start until 9:30 or 10 a.m., and people don't usually eat dinner until at least 8 p.m.
Of course, some aspects of life in a city were a constant annoyance. I wasn't too fond of squeezing myself between strangers on my morning subway commute, and standing in long lines at the grocery store got old very fast. One of the hardest parts of living in NYC was not being able to escape. I'm the type of person who needs some alone time every once in a while, but I couldn't even walk to Starbucks without navigating a crowd on the sidewalk. Even the parks were always teeming with people.
My incredible internship made these little annoyances completely worthwhile. I got to see the inner workings of a magazine and do actual, meaningful work. I connected with so many inspiring people and got a sense of life as a journalist. I'm already hoping to get another magazine internship in New York City next summer!