From Suburbs to City: My Summer as an Intern

Week 1: Learning to be a "City Girl"

Once upon a time, I was a nice (by some standards) New England girl from a farming town (kind of) in the suburbs of CT. Then I got the crazy idea that it would be a good idea to get an internship in a city for the summer. As I was unpacking my far from business casual wardrobe into my 9th floor apartment, it dawned on me that I knew absolutely squat about living in a city. I liked my hilly neighborhoods where I could run aimlessly, I liked my cozy breakfast place where I knew my order every time. Fortunately, my crazy idea was not too over the top due to the fact that I am not living alone, but with a fellow domer who I will not let watch her crime shows in our apartment at night because then I am afraid to walk down the hallways.  So I plan to use this summer to share with you my experiences of this crazy idea as I am thrown out of apple orchards and tobacco fields and into bright lights and honking horns. 

To start after just one week, I have learned a lot about city life, here are some tips for those like me who are experiencing city life for the first time

1. Get used to noise and lights

Expect sirens (as I began to type this one started, no joke) and invest in a sleeping mask or some killer shades because your room will never be fully dark if not

2. Google every free event in the area

Free yoga, free food, free art, there are millions of things going on in a city at all times as I have learned when in one weekend when I stumbled upon the opening of a new Cake Boss bakery, a TLC block party, free cupcakes, free yoga (I try to balance out all the city eating you know), and oh and let’s not forget the free concert that due to them many other things I just couldn’t make it. Seriously, these Google/Facebook searches are very nice for the college kid wallet.

3. Running is a great way to explore

Mom, if you’re reading this do not freak out. I am not an idiot, I do not go running aimlessly through the streets of the city, but if you know there is a safe area nearby or you have found a trail or park, go run it. It is a great way to give you your bearings while getting fresh air. Additionally, since you are running in a city you can scope out all the shops and restaurants that are around you while doing it. For example, I found an Einstein’s the other day and it was a great surprise because honey almond shmear, am I right?

4. Reach out to all your connections in the area

I think I have messaged every person I know who has gone to college in my area for recommendations. It is super helpful. Also, reach out to the ND club in the area, you never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities or cool Notre Dame events they may have for you so you can pretend to be in your ND bubble again for a hot sec

5. Get good shoes and sunscreen

There’s lots of walking in a city. Blisters are real and surprise you don’t have to be on a beach to get a sunburn and since I am interning at a cancer facility for the summer, I must say, use sunscreen people!

6. Be a tourist for a day

For my first weekend, along with my fellow domer intern, I took the city by storm. Take a bus tour, see the sites, and find out the history. It not only helps you to get your bearings and a list of cool places to go, but great facts to add to your nerd bank

7. Find the local city food Instagram and then hold onto your wallet

Do it. Your only regret will be because you are drooling all over your phone

8.Get acquainted with your breaks

Again, once upon a time I also thought I was a decent driver. Then I had to drive in the city (have no fear for me or my car I’ve gotten better). However, turn your cat like reflexes on and get used to no rights on red.

9.The locals will be your best friends and worst enemies

Best friends: Helping you find your way

Worst enemies: Jumping out randomly in front your car to cross the street

10. Use a map

GPS is a fabulous invention. My Google Maps is wonderful, but it also does not know the neighborhoods that a college girl alone in her car should be driving in. Ask around what areas you should avoid and then look at a map and learn the streets you can/can’t go on before you embark on your journey. It will also make you much more comfortable and you can tell your GPS off/prove your smarter when it tries to tell you to go the "not so nice" way.

As you can see, one week and I’m getting it down already. The real world isn’t so scary after all!


The HCND application is now open! For more information contact Rebecca Rogalski at [email protected] or Katrina Linden at [email protected]

Follow HCND on Twitter, like us on FacebookPin with us and show our Instagram some love!


Images: 1, all other images provided by author and fellow "domer city adventurers "