A Packing List for a NYC Summer Intern

So you landed the internship of your dreams. Come May, you’ll be packing your things and moving to the big apple for the summer. You excited? You should be.

I can honestly say that this last summer was the best summer of my life. Sure, I worked consistently more than 40 hours a week, had to put make up on every day, and didn’t get a tan… but it was worth it.

I’m a Kansas girl so I get how hard packing your life for a summer working across the country can be. If I could explain to you the struggle of choosing to pack ONLY 10 pairs of shoes for 10 weeks, I would.

In order to make your life a little easier, I’ve tried to make you a list of keys to a successful summer:

  1. A Mary Poppins-size bag: you will need this, I promise. During the work week, you can pack your laptop, your wallet, your lunch, and your extra pair of shoes. During the weekends, your beach towel and your book. You name it, you’ll use it. I got mine at Target.
  2. Comfortable shoes: yeah, yeah.. trust me, I know it’s a cliche thing to tell you to pack but you will not regret investing in comfortable work flats. New York feet are a real thing, and they aren’t pretty.
  3. An umbrella: it rains, and it rains often. Pack this in your Mary Poppins bag every day. You never know when a rain cloud will pop up during your lunch hour.
  4. Headphones: your new best friend. Listen to music while you wait for your subway, walk to work, go on a run, lay awkwardly in a public park trying to get a tan, the options are limitless.
    1. Earbuds will do, you don’t want to be the asshole on the metro where everyone can hear your music
    2. Make sure you can listen to your music without wifi/service… you’re underground a lot
  5. Figure out transportation: Download Uber, I promise it’s better than falling asleep on a subway at 3 a.m. Know that taxis with their number light on mean they’re available: don’t try and flag down a taxi who has its light off. Get a Metro card and try your best not to get frustrated: you will figure it out.
    1. Learn uptown from downtown
    2. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods you frequent often (East Village, West Village, Soho, Meat Packing, Lower East, Upper East, Midtown, etc.). By the end of the summer, you’ll be a pro.
    3. Memorize your address.
  6. Make friends: the most important necessity. Find friends to take to bottomless brunch, night clubs, broadway musicals, comedy shows, tea rooms, the many parks, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, flea markets, Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, random parades, etc. Make friends. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
  7. Make a bucket list: what do you want to do while your there? Depending on your internship, your weekends are free. I made a list of over 50 things I wanted to do while living in the city and amazingly was able to cross the majority of them off.

So, good luck! New York is my happy place and with these 7 things, I think you may feel the same. Take your Mary Poppins bag everywhere, wear comfortable shoes, pack an umbrella, utilize headphones, figure out transportation, and make friends. Realize New York isn’t for everyone, but by making your list, being spontaneous, and following my steps, I guarantee it’ll be a summer for the books.

Another year, another Thanksgiving

With Christmas fast approaching, Thanksgiving often seems to get the short end of the stick. Sure family comes in town and hours are spent in the kitchen in order to have a meal together. However, how often do we truly give thanks for the blessings in our lives? Should it be once a year, once a month, once a day?

I live a busy life and often forget to slow myself down. This last weekend, I had the opportunity to go on a leadership retreat with KU Athletics. We talked about the significance of value and we used meals to exemplify this need. Think of a raisin. It’s just a raisin if you pop it in your mouth. But, think of a raisin that you use your senses to enjoy. The raisin then becomes more than just a raisin. You take the time to taste before you swallow and the raisin takes on a completely new flavor. If we chose to truly enjoy each monotonous moment in our lives, think how wonderful our lives could be: they’d take on a new flavor.

Thanksgiving should not be taken for granted. I thank God every day for allowing me to continue playing softball, to obtain a college degree, and for the family I’ve been blessed with. I’m thankful for my health, my experiences, my freedoms, my friends, food on the table, my teammates, my sorority sisters, warm kitties, snuggles by the fire, and fresh cups of coffee. Life is good and we should take full advantage of our days off to truly savor it. Count your blessings, remember what’s worth fighting for, and never forget to chew slowly.

Happy Thanksgiving.



Why I abstained

I am a student senator, and I chose to abstain on the vote of the resolution in support of Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk’s demands. Voting records will be released early this week and I wanted to explain why I voted the way I did.

I do not serve on Student Rights Committee, so this was the first time I was able to hear RCIH’s demands in detail. I was interested in the logistics of specific demands, what RCIH recommends to prevent inaction from Student Senate in the future and the answers of questions I knew my peers had. I didn’t get any of the answers I was looking for.

I pride myself on becoming fully informed before I make decisions, especially when it comes to legislation. Going into Wednesday’s meeting, I was undecided on my decision in regards to Student Senate supporting the demands of RCIH. I wanted to hear from the group directly.

The discussions at the University of Kansas in the past week are a direct result of poor communication, in all aspects. Student Senate has been accused of not listening to minority students, but I’d venture to say the reality of the problem is that we are not listening to each other. Conversations between students are not happening. Senators were told our questions mischaracterized the history of segregation. Sponsors of the legislation told senators they were being watched and that they would make it known who didn’t support the resolution. We were told the Student Senate does not, and cannot speak for the diverse population of students, and that it was insulting for students of color to have to ask Student Senate for anything. The integrity of student senator’s votes was squandered by encouraging senators to save questions for after the meeting, after a vote had been taken.

Emotions were high on Wednesday for every party involved but there is no reason we should resort to intimidation for the sake of votes. The conversation could not be productive because free discussion was not permitted. Students that spoke were accused of victim blaming, accusatory question framing and being uninformed. Students who chose not to clap were called out, students who had questions were told to wait and students who were considering voting against were harassed. Intimidation and oppression are not solved through intimidation and oppression. Debate was shut down and the integrity of democracy was therefore lost.

I support the efforts of RCIH. I support the purpose of Student Senate and the potential change it can create. I acknowledge my privilege, but regardless of the education I receive, I may never have a full understanding of the coercion people face. I wanted to support this resolution but I wanted to learn, ask questions and have a discussion before I made my decision. The importance of intent versus impact is not forgotten. The proper action cannot be taken without working together and that is what this campus is missing.

I abstained because I did not feel like discussion was welcome, my questions were not answered and I could not vote without a full understanding.

The resolution passed 65-13-2; I’m amazed I was only 1 of 2.