I am moving back home to Pittsburgh next month, after a four-and-a half year adventure in New York City. I believe that this is the best move for me right now. Pittsburgh is known for being the “most livable” city, which is much more appealing than New York, which is becoming less and less affordable. I am hoping to gain job experience in Pittsburgh that can lead me to better opportunities later on, whether it be in Pittsburgh, New York, or elsewhere.
I loved New York City even before I experienced the city first-hand. It was after a high school trip that I confirmed my love for New York and I was determined to come back. I applied mostly to colleges in Pennsylvania, but I never gave up on my dream, and I also applied to a small liberal arts college in Staten Island. I ended up returning for a quick road trip to visit Wagner College after receiving a last minute scholarship that was comparable to my other top choices. It was a last minute decision to attend Wagner, but it was one of the greatest decisions ever.
I would have received a quality education no matter which of my top choices I decided to attend. But the experiences of living in New York City are incomparable to any college experience in Pennsylvania. I completed several internships in a variety of different fields. I gained skills in academics, the work force, and in real life. I went from directionally challenged to NYC subway savvy. I met writers and professionals from all over the world. The list goes on and on.
I not only experienced New York City in my four years at Wagner, but I also experienced both Madrid and Barcelona. I fell in love with art and food from two amazing cultures. My first experience in Spain was with an Expanding Your Horizons trip during winter break sophomore year at Wagner. My professor showed our class the best parts of the city, and I learned more than I ever did in the classroom. I couldn’t resist another trip to Spain, and I found a way to use scholarship money I earned in Pittsburgh to study abroad in Barcelona the summer before my senior year with Arcadia University. There’s no way to compare the two Spanish cities but Barcelona was a completely new experience that I enjoyed even more than Madrid. Learning the history of Catalunya and seeing the art and history of the city in person complete transformed that I learned in my Spanish classes. Everything “clicked,” and I really learned to appreciate my experiences in and outside of the classroom.
My passion for the Spanish language and journalism really blossomed during my time in New York. I thought I would study English in college but I learned that there is so much more to learn and experience. Without being in New York City, I wouldn’t have gained the experiences that helped me to appreciate and deepen my understandings of the world, and what I wanted to do in it.
I went from just a writer to a reporter to a real journalist. I started as a staff writer for my school newspaper, with no understanding of how to be a reporter or a journalist for that matter. Two years later, I was Co-Editor handling some of the toughest stories my school newspaper ever dealt with. The experiences at my school newspaper and a handful of journalism internships in New York City gave me a real taste of the journalism world. I landed a full-time internship right out of college at the local Staten Island newspaper. I have learned even more about how to be an ethical journalist and also how to be a great page designer and copy editor. These experiences have helped me to gain skills that I will use throughout my entire career.
Unfortunately, due to financial reasons and lack of opportunities for me presently in New York City, I am taking a break from my dream city and returning to the more practical, but still wonderful, city of Pittsburgh. I crave new adventures and experiences and am comforted knowing I will continue to return to this beautifully chaotic city time and time again. When I move to Pittsburgh in December, it won’t be good-bye, just see you later.