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.

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