How is Carrie Bradshaw, the main character from Sex and the City, able to afford rows of Jimmy Choo shoes while bar hopping and taking taxis everywhere? The answer: she can’t. Bradshaw is employed as a weekly columnist and, although her writing is popular, the show has still grossly inflated her ability to live such a lavish lifestyle.
Characters like Hannah Horvath from HBO’s Girls, Rachel Green from Friends, and the cast of New Girl appear to be doing well in LA and New York without high-earning jobs. While we’re aware on some level that producers are stretching the characters’ entry-level salaries far beyond reasonable bounds, I question whether or not it still affects our perceptions of what the real world will look like after college. Allow me to put on my best Bradshaw-esque impression at the computer when I say:
Have television shows given twenty-somethings ridiculous expectations about housing and their dream internships?
The website Gothamist posted some of the floor plans from popular sitcoms over the years. The floor plans are colorful and detailed, and even without the apartments’ location in the city, it’s easy to see how unrealistic the sizes are.
With the mad scramble for summer internships underway, sites such as http://ed2010.com/ and https://www.internmatch.com/ are helpful in getting students a job, but unhelpful in preparing people for the realities that accompany them. A lot of that pressure comes from finding a place that matches a student’s expectations, and TV shows only seem to supply examples of “cheap apartments” with perfectly aged wooden flooring that creaks in a charming (and completely un-creepy) kind of way. Sure, apartments like this exist, but for a much higher price tag than a ten-dollars-an-hour internship will get you, and they certainly won’t be right across the hall from the cast of Friends.
In the end, internships are there to:
1. Help you gain new skills in the professional work force.
2. Observe how a business or company runs.
3. Test out if it’s the right field for you.
4. Learn something while potentially getting school credit for your work.
Overall, iconic apartments from popular shows that everyone knows and loves function as more of a “best case scenario” situation for students already from a particular background, and practicality is key in locking down summer plans.