Preparing to live “The Dream”

nAlmost every journalist-hopeful I know has the same idea in mind: pack up and leave for New York City with practically no money. Living will be no issue since obviously they’ll land the job of their dreams or settle for their second dream job in about two or three weeks. With the city being so big, and opportunities around every corner, everything has got to work out. After all, it is the Big Apple.

Unlike all my fellow writers, I’ve never had my mind set on New York City, but this summer I’m jumping feet first into city life. I have an internship with Travel Weekly Magazine in Secaucus, New Jersey, right across the Hudson River from NYC. After a series of unfortunate events, I’m exactly a week away from starting my part-time internship with no housing arrangement, no job and no friends (I know one person who lives in New York State and that’s it). All I have is my unpaid internship to hang on to. My housing arrangements fell through a few days ago, so naturally I’ve been emailing people night and day. And just so you know, what they say about creeps on Craigslist is true.

I got this gem after inquiring about the price of a single room in a large Victorian house that temporarily rents to tenants. Needless to say, I did not email back.

One way or the other, I’ll be in northern New Jersey in six days. Being a resident of North Carolina my entire life, and having never been north of Washington DC before, I know I’ll be in for a culture shock. One lady I spoke to on the phone a few days ago was annoyed that I called her “ma’am”; sir and ma’am are a part of manners that have been embedded in me since I could speak. I’ve been told by relatives that my car might be stolen; I used to leave my keys in my unlocked car in my hometown. I’m naturally a nice and trusting person, and I’ve been advised to be more reserved since I could easily be taken advantage of. Besides all the “opportunities” that are there, I’m not sure what to look forward to. But millions of people live there, so there must be something to love. My goal for this summer is to find it. I’m going to exchange my hypothetical boots for a hypothetical pair of stilettos.

This is it. I’m doing what millions of others have done before me, and what just as many will do after me. Complete with not having housing or a job and filling my car with most of my belongings, I’m moving to New Jersey for the summer to live the dream. Life in/near the big city, eh? I would say I’d get a running start, but I’d probably break my ankles in the new stilettos.

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