Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Wouldn't Trade This For Anything

Before I left Athens for New York City, I was a member of the Ohio University Division of Student Affairs Social Media Team. I gave up my position when I left for The Big Apple, and I have been eager to write a guest post for the social media team's blog, Blog on the Bricks, ever since. Today, my guest post was published. Read on to learn what I gave up when I decided to spend a quarter in the city and what I gained by doing so.

Spring Quarter in the City

Fests, Moms Weekend, afternoons at Strouds Run, Senior Sendoff: That’s just a short list of things to do during Spring Quarter at OU. Accordingly, that’s just a short list of things I won’t be doing this year.

This spring, I traded the bricks for the Big City. I’m skipping out on all of the warm Athens happenings to intern with the Miss Universe Organization in New York City.

My new home on Ninth Ave.

When the Miss Universe Organization offered me a Spring Quarter internship, I was ecstatic. I had always dreamt of living in New York and was eager to get more practical public relations experience.

After the excitement wore off, though, the nerves and doubts hit. I was worried that adjusting to the city would be difficult and scared that I would be missing out on an important part of my “college experience.”

After weighing the pros and cons (and reweighing and reweighing them again), I made the bold decision to spend my Spring Quarter interning in The Big Apple – and I haven’t regretted that decision for a second.

Life has changed quite a bit for me since I moved to NYC. My days used to consist of classes, UPC events, on-campus meetings, and long workouts at Ping. Now, I work for eight hours a day and spend all of my extra time exploring the concrete jungle.

This experience has been frightening, exciting, and, more than anything, empowering. This quarter, I am not reading textbooks and taking quizzes. Instead, I am writing press releases, attending events and pitching stories to the media. I am putting into practice everything I have learned thus far at OU, and I am proving to myself that I am ready for the real world. (Trust me, New York is as “real” as it gets.)

I’m not missing out on the college experience. Instead, I’m redefining what the “college experience” is. For me, it is walking around SoHo until my toes hurt and rushing to make the E train at 9 a.m. It is eating a cupcake the size of my head and running miles in Central Park. It is leaving Athens, my comfort zone, and finding a way to thrive in Manhattan.

Taking risks is necessary in life. I wasn’t sure that I was equipped to live in NYC, but I jumped at the opportunity and figured everything out on the way down. In the end, I’m happy with where I landed.

No, I’m not enjoying Bobcat baseball, South Green sand volleyball or the Wiz Khalifa concert this spring. I am, however, meeting new people, exploring new places, and learning tons of new things.

I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything -- not even a Spring Quarter in Athens.


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