New York, New York

January 7, 2009
By Lauren Clark, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

It was a cold December morning and I was boarding a train headed for New York City. It was my first time visiting New York City. I was nervous and happy all at the same time. I felt like a little kid at Christmas, waiting for Santa to bring her a new bike. Since I had never been there I could feel the nervousness building up. I had butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. I wasn’t to the point where my palms were sweating, but my heartbeat raced as the train began to pull away. I was on my way to the City.
The train ride was an hour long, or so my aunt said. I was with my brother Patrick, my mom, and my Aunt Meme. I remember the stories my aunt used to tell me about New York and how she had to take the train there every day for work. It sounded amazing, but naturally for her it was just another trip to the city. The conductor’s announcement interrupted my thoughts: “New York Penn Station. Next stop: New York Penn Station.” We were almost there. I was looking out the train window when surprisingly the window turned black. We were in a tunnel. My ears popped and I remember it hurting so badly. Yet it would be worth it. Five minutes later, we were out of the train and in Penn Station. My aunt, my mom, and my older brother walking quite fast and it was hard for me to keep up. Since I was only around five or six and my legs weren’t long enough to keep up. But I walked as fast as I could.
My aunt led us out to the street. As soon as I got out of the station I rested my legs and took in the New York City air. The loud noises of the taxi cab horns and bustling crowd was all I could hear. We walked down the street toward Rockefeller Center. We were going to see the huge Christmas tree. My brother, who had already been into the city, told me it was a giant tree in the middle of the street covered in lights. I was nearly running down the street next to my mom heading to see this magnificent tree that I had heard so much about. The cold air didn’t seem to affect me at all. I was just eager to make it to the tree.
A couple of blocks later we arrived and saw there it was, twinkling brightly in front of my eyes. It was amazing and the most beautiful tree, I thought, in the world. We walked a little farther and saw the ice skaters gliding around on the ice. These sites and sounds all contributed to my love of New York City. It was then that I knew I was destined to be a part of the “the Big Apple.”

My mom told me I had to pick out about six colleges I wanted to go to. It was then that I started thinking about what type of scenery I wanted to surround me for the four years. I compiled a pro’s and con’s lists. The pros of New York City outweighed the cons of any other location by a landslide. I knew it was the place for me. Next, I decided to research schools in New York that offered psychology as a major. As I was reading about different school one was obvious: Pace University. My brother attended the school and invited me to visit. He too loved the city and when it was his turn to decide on a school he chose Pace. I had never heard of the school, before he enrolled.

“But was Manhattan really the right place for me? Would I want to come home when I got there?” I worried that I may not like it and would have to transfer there. I asked myself the question, “Would I really be happy here?” however after considering all of my options, I realized I would never know until I tried it. I needed to apply and see what happens.

It was a Sunday in October at 11 o’clock in the morning when I first started my applications. The applications were confusing at first, but after repetition and determination I was able to complete all eight of them. The next day they were in the mail. I brought my transcript request forms to guidance the following day. I felt relieved. As the stressful process was almost finished. It was finally over and done with. The decision was now in the college’s hands. A week later I got letters from each school informing me that they got my paperwork. It’s now only a matter of time before I find out whether I will be participating in the New York way of life.

New York is my favorite place to be. At this point in my life I am ready to live in the city. It has all the things I want in my life. In New York, you can create your own style and express yourself. Even though I like to wear things I see in magazines, New York offers the different people that populate the city and make it unique. I want to be involved in light-flashing, horns honking, crowded city sidewalks. I want it all. Yet even if I wanted to walk out in the street in Ugg’s and sweatpants, that would be acceptable in New York.
The people there vary in all sides of the spectrum, Goths to Jocks, Indies to Nerds, Fashionistas to Bums. There are so many different groups of people that add to the charisma of the city. These people are what I want in my life. I don’t have that now. Going to my high school has provided me with an unbelievable education, but the people are basically all the same. I have a sense of style, I think, that people here aren’t familiar with. However living and attending school in New York will allow me to express my style and the way I want to present myself. New York is a fast pace city that I think I am ready for and by going to college in the city, it will make me feel at home.

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