Conquering the concrete jungle
Senior recounts weekend spent touring New York alone
January 13, 2017
Filed under Voice
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My backpack, a metrocard, and a friendly warm southern smile are all I had with me when I arrived to the ‘Big Apple’. Just a warning, there is no giant apple in the middle of the city, do not be fooled the way I was. Ever since I can remember, I knew there was something about New York City that felt so right for me. As a senior, I decided I had to go check it out for myself and see what all the fuss inside of me was about.
I spent my weekend trying to get from Queens to Times Square and ended up in Central Park somehow at late hours of the night. It’s not that safe, but it’s also not that bad; you can find some interesting people on benches at two in the morning with plenty of stories to tell. I spent an afternoon at the top of the Empire State Building, asking strangers to take pictures of me and the view. I ate New York style hot dogs from a man with a thick accent and a sassy spirit.
Through the course of my 72 hours in the city that never sleeps, a quality that the two of us have in common, I realized my inner urge to travel 1,654 miles north had guided me the right way. When I listened – really sat in silence and let whatever idea was inside me unravel – I discovered one of the greatest adventures of my life.
Even if I don’t end up in New York next year for college, or life ends up taking me on another adventure somewhere I had never even imagined, I will be happy. I explored this exhilarating city during my last year of high school. I gained an experience and a first-hand example that this world is vast. There are people and places waiting to be found and lived all around. Next year, the class of 2017 will be left to experience what so many call ‘the real world’ and out of the environment we have grown accustomed to. It is time to reach and take. Take all the chances that come your way and reach for the risks. Comfort is sweet but it does not compare to feeling wholly and completely alive. It could be a weekend getaway to the big city, or applying to your dream school, or something as simple as starting a conversation with a new person, the world is ready for you to venture.