New York, New Person

February 2013, MIW Gateway Course

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks. I’m at the age (I’ll be 22) where birthdays shouldn’t really be a big deal, but because nothing fun ever goes on in January paired with the devastating fact that Blue Lep is indefinitely closed, I find there’s not too much to look forward to lately. Plus, after how much fun I had on my 21st birthday, I can’t help but to get excited.

Last year, it’s 11 p.m. on a Monday night, February 4th. I’m in a group of ten people, sitting in the “VIP” (no one was in the bar) couches of Charley’s. We’re here to get my free shot, then we’ll head to Blue Lep (RIP). Normally on a 21st birthday we’d head to Ricks, but due to the snow and the fact that this is the first week where people are starting to have finals, we’re not sure anyone will be there.

I’m with a few of my roommates who are my closest friends and a few of our guy friends. We pregamed heavily and people start buying shots. I’m not sure what my current tolerance is and I know I’ll be pushed to my limits tonight, so I ask my friend, Emily, to keep track of how many drinks I’m having throughout the night.

“I don’t want to know the number, just keep track, and if it gets dangerous, stop me.” I will later find out that Emily and I have different definitions of dangerous (“You were fine!” she’ll later explain).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m encouraging these drinks. Normally we’d go out at midnight on the 3rd, but I had an interview for an internship the morning of my birthday at 8 a.m. I accept this as a present, considering I’m struggling to find somewhere to work for the summer. The final round interview was for Michigan’s DSIP program. I could live in Ann Arbor for the summer with the rest of my friends. It’d be perfect.

Someone buys me a Maize and Blue shot. Then a Papa Smurf shot. Then Ross buys me a shot of Fireball (when I think of where the night went downhill, I land here). My best friend Kamille buys me a shot and says some really nice things as a toast over the music as I lean over to listen. I look around at the people who made it out for my and I’m so grateful to have such good friends.

The next thing I remember is being in Blue Lep, someone putting a pink shot that looked like bubble gum in my face and putting out my hands in a rejection gesture. I shake my head back and forth saying “I’ve had enough.”

December 2013, MIW Capstone Course

I have a Skype interview in two minutes. I am sitting at my kitchen table in front of my computer, using Photo Booth to make sure I look professional. the computer is too low so it’s an unflattering angle. Two minutes, think. The answer lies behind my computer. I grab the box of Franzia wine on the opposite side of the table and put it underneath my laptop. Now it’s the perfect height.

And this is the best way I know how to describe my senior year of college.

Dressed in a suit, trying to look professional, using boxed wine for help. Constantly emailing recruiters from companies while sending my friends ugly Snapchats. It’s weird, but I’ve never felt old until this year.

I didn’t end up getting the DSIP job. I was very upset at the time. I had no other prospects and wanted to be able to stay in Ann Arbor for the summer. I love this city, I love this university, I love my friends, it was the perfect summer job.

Today, I’m so grateful they didn’t pick me.

Had they picked me, I wouldn’t have been forced to continue my job search. I wouldn’t have applied to AIG and accepted their summer internship in New York City. I wouldn’t have moved to Manhattan for 10 weeks and worked in the Financial District. I wouldn’t have moved to arguably the most intimidating city in the world by myself leaving my family, friends and comfort in Michigan.

As I’m about to turn 22 I feel so different than the night I was turning 21. I went to New York, mastered the Subway, made new friends, worked for a crazy boss and grew so much as a person. Now as I’m looking for full time positions, none are in Michigan. I’ll probably end up in New York or Chicago. Had you told me that a year ago I would have laughed in your face.

It’s amazing how much can change in just one year. Makes me wonder what I’ll be doing when I’m about to turn 23. Wherever I end up next year, “I’ll always love you though, New York.”

3 thoughts to “New York, New Person”

  1. Hi Christine,

    I really enjoyed your story! I feel like I can relate, as I’m applying to similar jobs myself and balancing social and work life is hard!

    Also like you, I spent time in a city that I found intimidating because of its size and cultural barriers. I definitely grew as a person from that experience, and I find that I have brought some of Rome’s culture back with me and combine it with my life in Ann Arbor. I’m curious, do you ever find yourself acting like a “New Yorker” in Ann Arbor?

  2. I really enjoy how detailed and descriptive your stories are. I too can relate to how crazy it is that so much can change in just a short period of time. I like how your blog post commented on the notion that we are constantly changing individuals.

  3. Hi Christine!

    I loved your stories! They made me really excited for you. I couldn’t imagine being in big New York all by myself doing something so new. It sounds so scary but I can only imagine how much it forces you to grow as a person and reach your independence. This also reminds me of the sang “everything happens for a reason”. This is a good example of that. Best of luck to you and i hope you have an amazing birthday! 😀

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