People, lights, and busy streets with a side of roaches
In every classic Disney Channel movie, the main character is initially thrown into a world of chaos. Sometimes, the newly found chaos is their own doing, and other times, it is situational. Regardless, it is integral to the story unfolding. In Camp Rock, Mitchie had to adjust to the mean girls at music camp, while also soaking in her new surroundings. Similarly, in Princess Protection Program, Rosalinda—an international princess in hiding—had to fit in at an American public high school. My experience this summer was of the same caliber—not to be dramatic or anything.
Well no, I wasn’t a princess fearing my life or an antisocial girl at a music camp, but I did spend this summer interning in New York City. As a new city goer, this was a lot for me to handle. While I loved my internship experience this summer, I learned a lot about myself and the city outside of working hours. This was a new playground for me—one with different swings and slides than the ones I was used; my childhood in New Hampshire nor my college years in upstate New York had prepared me for a bite of the biggest apple.
For starters, it is true that the city never sleeps. At all times of the night, I could look out my bedroom window and see lights illuminating the buildings and streets. Additionally, police cars and fire trucks served as my new bedtime lullaby—this background music varied greatly from the quiet rustling of leaves I was used to in New Hampshire. While I wouldn’t advise roaming the streets at odd times of the night, you definitely wouldn’t be alone.
Whether a human would keep you company or a rat or a cockroach, I cannot say. The ratio of humans to creepy crawlers was honestly one-to-one—or at least it felt that way. Randomly, I would come across a roach or a rat, and instantly scream. Even after eleven weeks in the city, I couldn’t get used to the idea of dirty, unhealthy creatures living in my space. Thankfully, I surrounded myself with friends who understood my disgust. I wasn’t alone in how I felt, and was happy to have people to complain with.
My daily commute to work consisted of walking through Times Square, where there were numerous tourists at any given time. These flocks of people determined which sights I thought were worth seeing. By this, I mean that I tried to escape each and every crowded area or street in the city. And, in this process, I found that the city has wonderful, hidden parks. I used these green squares of trees and flat land to feel like I was back in suburbia—a craving that was satisfied in the city I least expected.
The city was integral to my story this summer. My internship experience would have been incomplete without the hustling nature of New York City. And, although it took me weeks to adjust, I am proud of myself for navigating the city and eventually feeling comfortable in doing so. I’m no Disney princess, but I sure did hear magical music during my last week in the city—I wasn’t as lost anymore; I had slain the dragon. Surely, this means my happily ever after is just around the corner?