I've got to tell you, Edsters. I was pretty darn scared about coming to NYC. I've known since I was 14 years old that I wanted to break into this industry, and ever since that age I knew that this very summer was going to be a make it or break it situation for me. Was I going to land an internship in the big city? Was I going to sink or swim? It's a scary thought, but not everyone is going to succeed at the one thing they want to do the most.
New York went from being a fantasy land in my mind where dreams come true and only the best movies are filmed (Devil Wears Prada, anyone?), to an insanely big island with tall, scary buildings where I suddenly wasn't sure of anything I wanted to do.
It was tough at first. I didn't know anyone, I wasn't sure of the best places to go for lunch, and the Subway system was downright terrifying. But after staying here for months on end and mastering the art of public transit, I wasn't too surprised when I found myself fighting a tear or two as my plane took off from La Guardia and my perfect view of Manhattan slowly faded from view.
The things I've learned about not only this industry, but also myself, are still mind boggling to me. I think back to the person I was trying to be a year ago from this moment, and I wish I could go back and tell them not to stress, just keep working hard and don't think twice about seizing your big break when it practically slaps you in the face. New York has been nothing short of an incredible experience, and I wish I could write one giant "Thank You" note to the entire city. Actually, that's totally something I would love to do, but postage would be outrageous.
I guess what I'm trying to get at here, Edsters, is to not doubt yourself. If you think this is the industry you want to be in, do everything in your power to get that first internship and learn for yourself. You'll be able to see first hand how a staff at a magazine operates, how story ideas are developed, what art directors and executive editors do, and you might even be lucky enough to learn your way around a fancy copy machine. You'll live in the big city, make a friend or two, and when it's all said and done, you will be able to know if this is the route for you. If it is, great, but if it's not, at least you tried and you'll never kick yourself for not knowing.
My summer in the city was definitely unforgettable and filled with incredible experiences that I never would have been able to get elsewhere. I know now that New York City isn't a place I want to live forever, but I definitely want to move back after graduation and keeping chasing that dream job.
What are your feelings about moving to the big city for a job or internship? Your fellow Edsters and I would love to hear your words of wisdom in the comments section.
Ed's Lifestyle Intern