After three months of working and living in New York, I went back home to Texas at the end of August, where I’ve been vegetating and frantically reading up a storm in preparation for Oxford ever since. Being home has given me ample (extremely ample) time to reflect upon my summer in New York and how much it taught me about the industry I hope to work in one day, “adulting,” and living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Since my last post covered my perspective on publishing, I’ll start on a professional note. My internship was such an awesome experience overall. While I can see how it could be easy, especially as an editorial assistant, to get caught up in paperwork or routing materials or filing things for your boss, I think most people working in publishing are good at reminding themselves why they chose to go into the book business. I loved simply being around people who read voraciously, who take books seriously and talk incessantly about them, and who recognize the worth in what they’re doing. Although I realize I risk sounding a little idealistic by saying this, I’ll say it anyway: I can think of nothing better than to work on books all the time and be around people who feel the same.
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, although I technically moved away from home when I started at Cornell, this summer was a whole new experience in “adulting,” the annoying Millennial term that we use only slightly ironically. For the first time, nothing was done for me. I had to figure out how to get around, how to feed myself, how to take care of myself. I’m sure that sounds painfully dramatic to most anyone reading this, but it was truly a big step. This summer was a completely new lifestyle for me, in all seriousness.
Without having any tests or assignments to worry about, I found myself with more free time than I’ve ever had before. Coming home to nothing on my plate but dinner that I cooked (or, more appropriately, threw haphazardly together) was downright strange for the first week or so. I didn’t waste much time, though—for most of the summer, I read like a madwoman. I also watched a healthy amount of TV, though still failed to start Game of Thrones as I vowed to do, and occasionally did something fun with Ali or other friends, but many of my nights were spent in what felt like a very adult bliss.
I fell into an easy and somewhat lethargic routine. Working 9-5 and choosing what to do with my down time was actually really enjoyable, even if it sounds monotonous and boring. I know that my life in New York (nice apartment, good internship, living with friends) was devoid of responsibility for the most part, but it was definitely a step in the postgrad, spread-your-wings and fly-or-fall direction.
The best part of my summer, though, had to be its setting: I really, really loved living in New York City. Yes, it’s a little dirty and noisy. Yes, there is a startling lack of nature. Yes, it’s expensive as hell. Yes, some days make you question your faith in humanity. But there’s just so much there. You can find every kind of person within the five boroughs. You can find some kind of show or event to attend on any given night of the week. And, especially important to me, you will absolutely never run out of new and amazing foods to try.
The past few months contain too many happy memories to count, much less write out here. I have had the most wonderful time, and it wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t been living in NYC. From seeing some of the most popular broadway shows of our time (namely, Hamilton) to going to impromptu comedy or music shows; from trying Sri Lankan food to getting every flavor I wanted from Dough doughnuts; from going to the beach with KD lineage friends on Long Island to taking a day trip to Governors Island; clearly, I fit a lot in. The endless opportunities that the city provided (one of which was my internship! Seriously, publishing is almost completely based there) truly made my summer the best I’ve ever had. I loved every minute of it.
Okay, almost every minute.