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In high school, the decor in my room could be described as a tribute to magazines. There were large sculptural piles everywhere – on my bedside table, under piles of clothes on my chair, on my bookcase, on the floor. Instead of framed photos of me and my friends, my walls were adorned with massive collages of fashion broadcasts, inspirational articles I loved, and celebrity photoshoots.
I had to protest because my dream was to become a writer and work in a magazine. When high school graduation came and it was time to choose a major, I quickly and enthusiastically declared journalism.
As I learned more about writing in college, I realized that for me, pursuing my career goal had to mean stepping out of the comforts of my small rural town in South Jersey and moving to a new home. in New York – a first for all of my family. .
My hometown is only a few hours from Manhattan, but it couldn’t be more different. Like Garden State, I grew up around fields full of crops and wide open spaces. My awakening was often the sound of sunken wild turkeys crossing my front yard. Even though I watched movies that glorified living, working and prospering in New York City, I was terrified.
Back then, new and crowded places caused me horrible anxiety, so working and living permanently in a city that never sleeps seemed like an intimidating emotional challenge. I also hated being alone. When you’re the first to move to a new place – with no close friends and family nearby to show you the ropes and make suggestions – you really have to write your own guidebook and trust your own instincts.
As scary as it may sound, the thought of ditching my security blanket and starting a new chapter in life was also strangely exciting. Not only did the move give me the opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams, but it was also the opportunity to try a new rhythm of life without influence and to face the fears that have held me back so much. experiences in the past.
To test the waters and gain the necessary experience, I applied for internships which allowed me to go to town by train. Over time, I got a lot less lost in the metro and felt confident navigating the crowded streets of the city. I have come to love my morning solo ride. I even made friends and acquaintances who offered me advice of all kinds, from career advice to the best places to have a really good cup of coffee.
A few years later, I ended up getting a job as an entry-level writer. A year later, New York City has become my sweet home and, yes, large sculptural magazine stacks still adorn my living room.
The kindness, guidance, and encouragement have helped convince me to try writing in New York City, so I’m committed to offering this to others looking to explore creative or content-driven jobs. I explained during my alma mater’s class how writing is such a valuable skill in so many different career paths, and I’m excited about mentoring, networking, and lending an ear (and an editor’s eye!) Whenever possible.
I’m almost officially a New Yorker (they say it takes 10 years), and I really can’t imagine living anywhere else. I always jump at the chance to encourage everyone – friends, family, acquaintances – who are interested in trading their small town for city life, whatever their career. I can come up with my own suggestions for cafes, and I will speak poetically about the calming sounds of the city streets.
I’m proud to have been the first in my family to take the plunge, but even more proud (and happier) I’m officially not the last.