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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Let's Hear It For New York

Today started off a bit rough for me. We planned to visit Columbia University in New York city today. I was so excited for it the night before that I could hardly get myself to sleep but once I did, my body just didn't want to wake up. Despite the three alarms I set, I still didn't wake up in time. I felt really bad about over sleeping and I knew that if we had missed the train, it would have been my fault and I wouldn't be able to forgive myself because my cohort and I have been looking forward to this trip all week. 

We took separate taxis to the train station and made it in time for our train. I initially had planned to read further in my summer book because it was a two hour train ride, things don't always go as planned. I ended up talking to Rudy during the entire train ride. We tried to have a whole conversation in Spanish but I kept breaking the conversation to English whenever I couldn't think of a word, Rudy didn't seem to mind, I think he's a pretty good teacher. 

We arrived in Trenton and stopped for a quick McDonald breakfast before we rushed over to our next train that would take us to New York. I've been to New York once before and I completely fell in love with MOST of the city. I like the energy, food, and the strange people you'll run into. Due to construction, we had some delays with our train and we made the last half hour of our campus tour. 

I love Columbia and it's one of the most beautiful schools in the United States, I just don't think it's for me because New York is too distracting of a city for me. There's so much happening in New York at any given moment and I think that it would be challenging to prioritize. I could see myself putting too much on my plate, for example taking too many classes, taking on a job or internship, research, and a social life. The school has so many things going for it, such as the job opportunities exclusive to Columbia students and the ability to be well rounded by being introduced to different classes. Our tour guide had a Engineering focused tour and he gave us some fun facts about the engineering program such as the swim test and how the engineering students don't have to do it but every other student at Columbia does. 
After our tour, we at lunch at a cute pizza place. The day is a bit scrambled up in my head and I'm not sure about the order of events after the tour, but I am positive that at some point between our lunch break and our trip to the Brooklyn Bridge, we ran into Tracy Morgan. I had recognized him but couldn't remember his name, I felt bad about this but he's Tracy Morgan and I'm sure he doesn't care about whether a random girl from California can remember his name. He did have a very nice car. 

Central Park was very busy with a variety of activities happening. People were playing frisbee while other sun bathed. The park is so big and I hope that I'll get the chance to explore its entirety at some point in the future. We walked on the Brooklyn Bridge and I learned that it was one of the first suspension bridges ever built. We saw the Statue of Liberty from the bridge which was cool because I've never seen lady liberty before. I've been wanting to see it for a couple of months now because she's been the focus of many political cartoons in relation to whether liberty is a inalienable right that accessible to both white people and people of color. 

After the Brooklyn bridge, we decided to eat at the Hard Rock cafe however after witnessing the line, John thought it would be a better idea to get dinner once we were back in Pennsylvania. I caught up on some sleep on the train ride from New York even though it started out a bit crazy. The train ride was overly crowded because Taylor Swift was performing in New Jersey today. We had dinner at the Shake Shack, their burgers exceeded my expectations though their milkshakes tasted a lot like melted ice cream. As our tired feet trudged back to the campus, I reflected on the day and was excited. Not many teens can say they were in three different states in less than 15 hours. Being part of the Ivy League Connections has definitely made me appreciate traveling. I hope that I'm still traveling years from now because "life is not meant to be lived in one place."

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