Final Thoughts After My First Year in New York City

Location: 
Manhattan, New York
United States
US

As my first year of college in New York City comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on how I got here. Growing up, I had always known that I wanted to be in New York City. The hard part for me was getting here. As a senior in high school, I only applied to one college because I thought I knew exactly what I wanted; turned out, I had no idea.

I was set on going to school for photography and planned to turn that passion into a career no matter how difficult. When I didn’t get into my dream school, I saw my future in New York starting to disappear. I ended up attending the community college in my hometown for a year. It’s not where I wanted to be by any means but I’d say it was for the best.

I learned so much about myself that first year of college and took different classes to try and figure out what I wanted to do. I began to realize that photography was going to have to be a side business for me and not my career. This was not because I lost faith in my own abilities, but because I hated the idea of being graded and critiqued on such a personal thing. Photography was personal to me. It’s still something I love and hold dear to this day. As long as I’m doing it on my own terms it makes me happy.

This realization made me feel confused about my future. I took many classes on any topics I was remotely interested in, in hopes of finding direction. I ended up in a scriptwriting class and it’s safe to say I was terrified. I found out we would be pitching ideas of our films to the class and writing scripts that would be read and collaborated on by everyone. It freaked me out, but I had always loved movies, tv shows, and writing. I never wrote anything for people to read but I wrote all the time growing up.

All of that being said, this ended up being my favorite class. I was thriving. People actually liked my ideas; other students in the class would come up to me to tell me that they read my whole script and loved it. It was eye-opening for me. I found this ability that I never knew I had - and I loved it. Because of this, I decided to look for film programs in New York. And that’s how I found Pace.

 

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Since moving to New York, so much has changed. I’m studying something I absolutely love and have amazing friends. I’ve joined organizations that I really enjoy and I truly believe are helping me prepare for the future. Living in New York forces you into this sense of independence, whether you knew you had it in you or not. College in general forces you to manage your time and truly learn what it means to care for yourself on your own for the first time.

When that happens in New York, it’s a bit different. Living in the fastest pace and motivated environment can sometimes be hard. It can make you feel like you’ve failed if you are constantly comparing yourself to others. The important thing to remember is how far you’ve already come and that if you keep working hard, you’ll get to where you want to be someday. Even if it’s not as fast as everyone else.

 

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While being here, I’ve watched the city I love so much become too much for some people. There’s no shame in it and I now completely understand why. You can get so caught up in the lifestyle that you lose yourself a little bit. However, I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. There are moments where it hits me, when I’m riding the subway alone or when I’m falling asleep listening to the sounds of the city, where I realize I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted to be.

Change can be scary, and leaving your comfort zone can be absolutely terrifying. However, when we leave our comfort zone is where the most personal growth can occur. I love it here, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.