Hi everyone! So, unfortunately, my time in New York has¬†nearly come to an end. I leave this Saturday morning and will be flying back to Wisconsin to go home for two weeks before driving down to Madison for my junior year of college. I’ve had many incredible, amazing experiences here and I am really grateful (and proud of myself) for taking the opportunity to come here for an internship. So today I wanted to take some time to share and reflect on these experiences, as well as provide some advice for any future interns in the city.

Making the decision to come here was a very scary one for me. I had never been in NY before, so I didn’t really know what to expect and I didn’t know anyone who would be here. I was completely and 100% on my own in a new place. I’ve wanted to live in the city since I was little (I totally blame Gossip Girl for this!), and so I was super excited to come here, but also scared. I didn’t know if I was ready to be on my own (I’m on my own in Madison, obviously, but home is only three hours away so it’s not as scary!) and I even had some fears about taking on a marketing internship since it wasn’t something I had done before.

But I am so, so glad that I’ve done this. Being here has taught me so much about myself and given me more confidence in myself and my ability to totally rock things :).

I flew in (by myself – another first) at the end of May and was quickly thrown into the city life. My first day, I met my roommate Victoria (who is super sweet and has been a great roomie this entire time!) as well as a few other interns in the building. Luckily, everyone was super nice and it wasn’t hard to find a few people to hang out with and explore the city with together!

For my stay here in NYC, I chose to live in NYU dorm housing because I found it to be the most cost-effective option. I had done a lot of research ahead of time about different intern housing options, and finally chose NYU because it personally made me feel the most safe and comfortable. I knew I would be around plenty of other college students so I would have the opportunity to make friends, and I personally really love the area around their campus. The dorm I was in was called Brittany, and it was surprisingly spacious (a lot more space than I expected for the city!) and came complete with its own in-suite bathroom, which was super nice.

As for my internship, I worked four days a week for a total of 30 hrs/week. The company’s called The University Network (TUN), and provides services for college students. It’s still relatively new, which is part of the reason I chose it, because I knew I wanted to work somewhere where I could see my actions directly affecting things. It was amazing knowing that everything I did during my internship was helping the company move forward. My co-workers were also super friendly and nice and we had a pretty cool office space located near the Empire State Building. I feel like I accomplished a lot this summer in my internship, and feel like I learned much there as well. (Learn more about TUN here).

As for the city itself, I have never loved New York as much as I love it now. This summer far exceeded my expectations, and I feel like I know more than ever that the city is where I need to end up after graduation. I am okay with leaving because I know I will be back again to dominate the city once more ūüėČ (To see more pictures of my adventures in NY, click here).¬†I have been to so many incredible places and seen so many amazing things, from Central Park to a million museums to the Statue of Liberty, it has all been truly incredible. When I was at Washington Square Park a few weeks ago, I spoke with someone in the park about it and he told me that NYC was the kind of place that you either love completely with all of your heart (even with its imperfections) or you hate it totally and fully; there’s no in-between. What I’ve definitely discovered this summer is that I think he was 100% right. For me, personally, NYC is a place I truly have come to love.

Most importantly, my NYC trip has taught me to trust in myself and keep going after my dreams. Because when¬†you want something, and are not afraid of going after it, you’re unstoppable. Unfortunately, too often in my life I have let fear hold me back from pursuing my dreams. But the biggest regrets in life are the choices we didn’t make, the chances we didn’t take. And I don’t want to regret those things any longer. So NYC, above anything else, has proven to me that I can accomplish amazing things when I’m not afraid of them.

Lastly, as for advice I would give to future interns in the city, I would just say to enjoy every single moment you are here. Experience everything you want to while you have the chance. Make a list of everywhere you want to go and everything you want to see ahead of time so you can make it happen. Don’t be afraid of talking to random strangers in the park; most of them are (probably) normal human beings.¬†The subway isn’t as confusing as you think¬†– and yes, there are rats down there. Don’t let yourself be scammed – there are many people here who could hurt you if you let them. Also, don’t be afraid of looking like a tourist – take many pictures, look up at the buildings as many times as you want, and pay attention to everything that’s happening outside of your phone screen. Let yourself become the person you are supposed to be. And if things aren’t happening for you like how you thought they would, go and make them happen. Take a chance. Be brave, my darling – the only person who can limit yourself is you.

Thank you, NYC, for giving me an amazing summer. I promise I will be back someday soon.

And thank you, my lovely readers, for (hopefully) sticking with me through this long blog post. I hope you found it enjoyable and I hope it inspired you to pursue your own dreams, wherever and whatever they may be. And¬†I hope that you will feel brave enough to share them with me, because I would love to listen and learn. Write a comment below or give me a shoutout on Twitter @CaseyDonart, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy end of summer!

xoxo Casey

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