As someone born and raised in Connecticut, it may seem a little arbitrary to praise an out-of-state city for changing the course of one’s life, but that is what New York did for me.
New York City is a city known, and admired, all over the world. Because of this, a lot of New York visitors can recall the first time they stepped into the magical city, took in the sights, and decided they adored the city that never sleeps, but I can’t. I was probably around two years old when I first went to New York.
I was introduced to the city surrounded by family. Every year, on the first Saturday of December, my grandpa would take my whole family there. Picture two grandparents, five adults, and 11 children running around. Now, picture it in 20 degree weather.
So thank you, New York, for giving me some of my best memories.
We usually always did the same things–walks in Central Park, seeing the tree, trips to F.A.O. Schwartz, and the Rockefeller Christmas show. After 10 years of doing the same exact thing, you’d think it would get old, but it never did.
Thank you, New York, for giving me tradition.
When we stopped going to New York as a family, I took it upon myself to continue going every December. No matter how crazy my schedule was or who I had to convince to come with me, I was there every year without fail. It’s become a tradition I once shared with my family, now share with my friends, and hope to continue for the rest of my life.
Thank you, New York, for giving me something to aspire to.
I was 10 years old when I decided that I was going to move to New York, and I’d tell anyone who would listen, “When I graduate college, I’m going to move to New York,” and somehow everyone I told knew that it was a perfect fit for me.
I swore the day I broke my “New York City Girl” phone case in middle school would go down in history as the worst day of my life.
In some ways, I was manifesting before I even knew what manifesting was. Even from that young age, I wholeheartedly believed that I would end up in the city, and even though almost every other thing about me has changed, that desire never has.
I never cared for school. I was a terrible student throughout middle school and my freshman year of high school. I didn’t get the point of sitting in a classroom all day, until my high school started preparing us for college. That’s when my New York game plan kicked in.
Thank you, New York, for helping prove that I am capable.
If you looked at my grades from 6th-10th grade and compared them to my grades from 11th grade-junior year of college, you’d think I either started spending hundreds of dollars on tutors or I somehow got really good at cheating, but neither of those things happened. Sophomore year is when I realized that in order to make it to New York doing something I love, I had to start working right then.
When I didn’t want to do my homework, I thought of New York. When I thought a test wasn’t worth studying for, I thought of New York. While most students stacked up their extracurriculars because it would look good on their college applications, I was thinking beyond college and thinking about New York.
Even though I always pictured myself in New York, it somehow felt like a far away dream. Now, as a senior, I’m realizing that it’s actually not so far away. And while it’s still a dream, I’m realizing the value the city will forever have in my life even if I never move there, because it kept me going when I didn’t think I could.
So, thank you, New York, for everything.