Analyzing Advice

I’m Ellen, another student with the NYAP this fall! I’m a senior from Albion College (Albion, MI) where I study English Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry. Through the NYAP Writing and Publishing group I’m working with the Poetry Society of America and The Seventh Wave.

I’m stoked to be working with these amazing organizations as well as writing for the NYAP blog this semester.

I’d thought I’d share a few pieces advice I’ve been given about coming to the city, and how it’s worked out so far.

  1. Do the tourist thing.

I’m gonna be honest, I’m still working on this one. But one of the really amazing things about the group of students this fall is that we’re all fairly connected via Facebook and the efforts of our RM. Sometimes it feels good to be a little bit of a tourist, and who wants to spend an entire semester in New York and go home having only seen the commute to and from work?

I feel like this tip works well with something the advisors mentioned at orientation: say yes. If your supervisor or someone at your internship asks if you can do something, say yes. I think it can be translated here as well. Learn to say yes to new experiences and opportunities; it’s worth the learning experience.

Part of the experience is being here, seeing all that New York has to offer and making it a learning experience. Working with amazing groups is huge, but ignoring the environment we’re in would be a serious waste of an opportunity. Let your inspiration come from all aspects of the program and don’t pass on the opportunities presented to you.

  1. You don’t have time to be polite.

This initially harsh-sounding tip came from the Writing and Publishing advisor, John Reed. He was talking to our group about time and the etiquette of the city and his point was this: you just don’t have time to be nice to everyone.

To paraphrase: New York has its own set of manners and its own pace, and the popular currency is time. If you stopped to smile at everyone you saw, you’d be using up time that could be better spent.

Time is the most valuable thing you have, and how you use it is up to you. Spending time on extra bits of politeness is like spending money on things you don’t really need: groceries vs. a new pair of shoes. Nice but not necessary. Part of being here is learning how to best spend the time you have, getting the most bang for your buck.

  1. If you get lost on the subway: Don’t leave the station.

Fair point. You don’t wanna pay the fare seven times because you keep getting turned around. Thankfully in this day and age we’re pretty lucky to have apps for the directionally challenged (i.e. me). There’s no shame in taking eight different screenshots of maps and using that to get around.

Essentially: if you get lost or turned around, don’t panic. The city’s a grid and you can always call Kelley if you’re seriously lost.

There’s no shame in getting lost. You will get your bearings. You’ll get in the groove of a new schedule, a new situation, and you’ll figure it out. And if you don’t? You’ve got back up.

I’m still figuring everything out, and I’m looking forward to getting a little bit lost along the way.


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