It' 21st December and I'm sitting in JFK waiting to board my flight back home. It's been four months since I last saw my family and England and I can't wait to be back. It's quite bizarre waiting here. It's the first time I've taken a flight alone, and I'm pretty relieved to have made it past security. The whole process of packing, locking the rooms, making my way to the airport and finding the gate was surprisingly nerve-wracking. So I'm more than content to sit here and watch the waves of faces pass by.
It's also a great spot to stop and think back on my first semester. But as the year draws to a close, I can't help but think of 2014 as a whole. In January, the possibility of moving to New York was as remote as turning water into wine. Yet, fast forward eleven months and here I am, a student of NYU, a second home in East Village and a whole five months of new experiences.
So how was the first semester?
Brilliant. Incredible. Utterly overwhelming.
How do you put into words the awesome experience of college, and particularly college in New York? When I first moved to the city, I, along with other nervous freshmen, would tentatively venture out. We would look in awe at the fleets of yellow taxis, crane our necks at the beautiful East Village buildings and admire the outlandish confidence of its residents. Our incongruousness was most evident at the road crossings. We would stand firmly of the sidewalk and wait until the pedestrian light was clearly on even if there was tumbleweed blowing in the road. We would watch the "natives" stand partway across the avenues and begin crossing before the traffic had grinded to a halt. I remember thinking that those people were crazy. But, now we all do it without thinking. It sounds like a small detail, and really it is. What difference does it make if we now indulge in partial jaywalking? Yet, it is significant in mapping the progress I feel I have made; striding across the roads makes me feel like a part of New York in a way that I never thought I would. Coming into this crazy, massive metropolis, I really didn't know if I would feel at home. But after just five months, I really do.
Just writing the words five months is quite startling. They have just sped by. The first semester has just been this fantastic mix of classes, people and exploring. There hasn't been a single moment where I've felt bored, or wondered what to do with my time. There has always been something to do. At times it's not been fun - another essay to finish, but more often than not, it's been exciting; a pre-release screening of a film, or an event on the Met's rooftop. I've love the rush - the constant jumping from different commitments and things I want to do. It's also been exhausting. Undoubtedly, I now sleep a lot less. Thus, there were the mornings where I contemplated sleeping through 8AMs, although my conscience always prevailed, and I unfortunately found myself sprinting to class. Perhaps it's the tiredness that makes New Yorkers such obstinate jaywalkers. Yet, although I grumbled and complained about my weariness, there was never a question about it not being worth it. NYU, New York, it was always worth it. More than that, it was always a complete joy to be here. I won't miss the city while I'm gone - it's only a month after all, plus I have a lot of sleep to catch up on. But, I will look forward to returning. It's been an utterly wonderful first semester, and I'll see you in 2015 NYU!