It’s been a bit over two months since I’ve been in New York, and exactly two more months until I leave. I am very thankful for my time here and that introduces my first lesson learnt about myself; finally my managing my time efficiently. Travelling abroad (for a limited time) means that you have to maximise and use your time wisely. For the first month here, I could honestly say it was an intense time of adjusting to the jet lag, the constant commutes and the never-ending bucket list of things to do in this amazing city. However, although being excessively exhausted, I’m extremely thankful for my first two months in New York as an exchange student. I feel like I’m making the most of my limited time here, however, I still feel I waste a load of time (sleeping/staying in my dorm), but so far, this experience has been nothing short of enjoyable, whilst still focusing on my studies – which is a sign I’m improving my time management skills.
Secondly, I have learnt that I want to live here in New York someday. Yes, I know it’s only been two months, but I feel like I have this inextricable connection to this city. Honestly, if you stayed here for two days or two years – this city has the potential to be life changing; and it has certainly changed my life. The reason why I love this city is because as soon as I landed here, I felt a sense of happiness, relief and gratitude that I have never felt. Walking aimlessly around the city, I felt like I could permanently be here (one day with a purpose, one day with an aim), maybe not straight away, maybe not in five years time. But I can tell you this I want to be here; one day, I want to live here & start a life here in New York. However, it’s just a feeling at the moment, It may not come to life, but I’ll do whatever I can to keep this little dream of mine. But right now, I am unfathomably joyful that I’m here and I still can’t believe I’m actually here in the city I’ve actually always wanted to be in!
Lastly, the third thing I’ve learnt about myself is that I am extremely lucky and blessed. For example, I randomly applied for tickets for the David Letterman show. The tickets are only obtainable through an online process where you leave your name and number, alongside with your chosen plus-one and what specific dates you can watch the show. They select randomly and I was lucky enough to get a phone call from a staff member from the show and had to answer a trivia question in order to win guaranteed tickets. The question was simple (if you know the show) – “What instrument does Paul Shaffer play?” I immediately answered “The keys” (the Piano) and was guaranteed two tickets (for me and my roommate) for the November 12 show – which promises to be a great show, guest starring Jennifer Lawrence!! Apparently, locals of New York wait months and even years to get a chance to see this show, so I’m considering myself lucky!
I am also lucky and blessed to have networked well here, I have made life-long friends such as my roommates and through joining and actively participating in an organisation called P.A.R.E (Philippine Americans Reaching Everyone) – they have showed me the best of times (partying, city adventures and many more) and more promising times ahead!
These three lessons I’ve learnt about myself whilst studying abroad are the result of just putting myself out there. Being open, cherishing every moment and making the most out of everything studying abroad has to offer, let alone what New York City has to offer for me! In conclusion, I believe this exchange program is a chance for me to start over in a place thousands of miles away from home, learning as many lessons along the way.