Sunday, June 2, 2013

Welcome to the Concrete Jungle

Thumbing the etched “C8” on the side of my brassy key, I slip the corrugated peninsula into the lock. I twist the key to the left once and have no luck. I attempt again, this time twisting it to the right and the door still won’t budge. After three minutes of struggling, still no success.

Door: 1, Andrea: 0.

Of all the things I thought I would have difficulty with in New York, opening the door to my apartment was not on the list.

I yanked the key out of the door, stared defeated at the simple object in my hand, and resorted to calling my roommate Kayla to rescue me. After a 14-hour car ride, the NYU card center failing to have my NYUcard printed two days in a row and a few frightening encounters with yellow cabs, I was looking forward to the exciting night of socializing with the other interns. 

And what a night it was.

Of course everyone was nervous to meet one another and the typical introductory questions got tossed around. But as the night progressed, little tidbits of coincidences were discovered, and before long we all realized the six degrees of separation between us was uncanny.

By the end of the night, after much banter and some running around 14th Street, everyone had come to the agreement on a few things: We were all humbled and astonished to have been chosen to be part of the ASME internship program; we couldn’t believe we would be spending our summer in New York City, the mecca of journalism and easily one of the most exciting places in the world; and all of the money that was about to be spent on food and weekend activities was totally going to be worth the connections we would be making.

In the short week that has followed, I have experienced delayed subway trains accompanied with spontaneous accordion performances, the sounds and (sometimes not so pleasant) smells of the streets, explored the Lower East Side, sunbathed in Central Park, and gotten lost with Kayla in Brooklyn.

As each day goes by, my list of things to do while I am here grows longer and longer. I have determined that it will be impossible to accomplish it all, so I guess that’s just one more sign pointing me in the direction that I will one day (and hopefully soon) make New York City my home.

By Andrea Baumgartner, University of Illinois, Good Housekeeping
Edited by: Michela Tindera, Indiana University, Family Circle

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