New York or New Year


• Sutton, MA

It was the first of July—my first day in New York City before I started my co-op at Pivotal Software. As I lay on the mattress of a room that wasn’t really mine, I reiterated to myself that I would spend the next half year in a city I hadn’t been to for more than a couple days, at most. I felt restless and overwhelmed at the same time. I could’t wait to start work in four, long days.

And then, that half year was up. It was now the Friday before Christmas. The office population had been waning for the past few days, and now, it was my day to go, too. Around 5:00 p.m., after one last round of Dr. Mario (my team’s staple video game), I said farewell to those still in the office. This would be my last time leaving the office, stepping into the streets of Chelsea, and returning to my Williamsburg apartment.

These months in New York City have been awesome. Not always easy, but great nonetheless.

At Pivotal, I had so much fun designing software and learning from my coworkers, whether it be discovering the facets of extreme programming or improving how I work with others on a team. During lunch, I enjoyed discussing books and articles, solving math problems, playing boardgames, and more. Thank you to all the people who made my experience there memorable and worthwhile.

Outside of work, particularly at the beginning my internship, I was unusually challenged by boredom and unmotivation—I didn’t know what to do with myself or how to use my time. In fact, I didn’t understand why I wasn’t happy doing the things I wanted to do during my spare time. I suspected it would improve as I became more familiar with my environment, but that wasn’t entirely the case. I gradually found that pursuing regular activities with others and creating worthwhile routines (like spending weekend mornings getting work done at coffeeshops) helped me to feel that I was spending my time well.

During the summer months, I participated in activities like yoga at the Battery or hip-hop dance aerobics at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. These were fun, free, and fairly regular, but since only some people attended regularly, it was hard to meet new people.

As summer cooled off into fall, I began an improv class at the Magnet Theater and a salsa class close by to my apartment. Since the same people would meet weekly, it was a great way to meet other people in New York City and to carve out a small community amongst the noise.

My improv class was challenging but extraordinarily fun. Doing scenes was uncomfortable at first, particularly because of my indecisiveness. It was daunting to get up with another person in the class not knowing what I would do or say. Eventually though, through sheer exposure, it was almost natural to volunteer myself to perform a scene. I finally felt comfortable just in time for our class show, and later continued doing improv (with complete strangers!) on stage at the weekly mixers. Thank you to those who make the Magnet amazing, and to those who made it amazing with and for me.

The past six months of New York City have been worth it all, whether it be what I have done and learned at Pivotal, how the city illuminated new challenges in my life, or those I met and experienced it all with. Thank you to everyone who has been part of my time in New York City, and my experiences of 2017 overall.

Let’s dance, 2018.