Welcome to the epic conclusion of the three part series on my summer, Baltimore -> Boat -> Big Apple.
For the past 6ish weeks, I’ve relocated myself to Chinatown, in an NYU dorm so I could be closer to Wall Street for my internship. Living in another university’s dorms has been an experience in and of itself, almost as much so as actually interning.
First, although the actual layout of my room/suite is quite similar to living in Commons or Homewood, the feeling of living here is very different from Hopkins residential life. The social life here certainly exists, but in a much different form. At Hopkins, especially during your freshmen year when nobody really knows anyone else, it is entirely socially acceptable to leave your door open so people will walk in and make friends. For the most part, what I’ve found, is that people here tend to stick with the people they knew coming in. In addition to this, not many people here are students. Most of us are, like me, summer interns looking for a relatively inexpensive and easy place to crash for the summer. With most people, including myself and my suitemates, working 10-12 hours a day, weeknights are pretty quiet, but the weekends tend to be when a lot of activity begins to stir. At Hopkins, however, regardless of the time of week you’ll always be able to find someone to do something with (although, admittedly, it may get difficult during finals week and such). My dorm here is also much different from living at Hopkins in that I am, in fact, in the middle of Chinatown. Anyone who has been to both Canal Street (the main street in New York’s Chinatown) and Charles Street (the main street in the Homewood campus) can tell you that although both in the middle of a city, they are worlds apart. I’ve never been offered to buy a Rolex, Ray Ban sunglasses, or Louis Vuitton handbag on Charles street.
Another big difference between life in Baltimore and in New York is the way the public transportation system is organized. In Baltimore, subways are so rarely used by Hopkins students to the point where I don’t actually know of anyone ever taking a Baltimore subway. Rather, city buses, the Charm City Circulator, and cabs are the preferred methods of transportation (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4GIJ6GjPPo). Here, I’ve yet to take a cab or a bus. Most of my morning and evening commutes involve about 20 minutes of walking and 10 minutes on the subway, and I have yet to take a cab since I’ve been here.
The final big difference between what I’ve been doing and being at home/Hopkins is that I’ve been working. Not at a camp, or the admissions office, or Hillel. In an office, with a desk, a salary, and a business phone (seriously, why do I need a business phone? I have one, though, and that’s pretty cool). The experience has really showed me a lot about the corporate world, as well as some life skills and an ever increasing network of fellow interns and full time employees. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m not really the type that likes to sit at a desk for hours a day, but it really doesn’t feel like I am. Time flies by, especially when I’m “in the zone” (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYhOqPFmppE). So, really, it hasn’t been a bad experience, especially since I’ve come a very far way in my ability to function as a programmer in just a few weeks.
Thanks for reading!
Current track: Two Million by Avicii