You can take the girl out of the South — but you can’t take the South out of the girl.
A little over three months ago, I began my career in New York and finally feel a little more settled and able to reflect on my experiences thus far. I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech. New York City certainly is no Blacksburg or Richmond, Virginia — a no brainer there.
It hasn’t exactly been an easy ride, but I can say that it’s definitely been worth it.
Before moving to New York, I never really considered Virginia “the South.” But I noticed some big differences here. People don’t always smile back, hold the door, or regularly sport cowboy boots — but I’ve found my niche at a company that challenges me while allowing me to be myself.
KBS+P, where I landed, has the phrase “do things that matter.” Ironically enough, I upheld the standard of Virginia Tech’s motto “ut prosim” (that I may serve) and “do good” as part of Delta Gamma — so essentially, this made me feel right at home.
I can interact with the president of the company almost every day, and there aren’t big egos that get in the way. My teams want to give me greater responsibility and see me grow. Therefore, I feel that my contributions are highly valued. It’s rare to find this in a first job right out of school, but I consider myself lucky and am very appreciative.
I’m learning so much about myself personally and professionally in this first year — my strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and how to rebound when I feel overwhelmed. My life is a constant adjustment with no day ever the same. But it keeps me guessing, keeps me learning and, most importantly, keeps me grounded.
In this environment, you learn very quickly the meaning of expecting the unexpected. It is no cliché when they say that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. There’s a thrill in knowing that for the first time in my life, I have no idea what the future holds for me, but the canvas that this city has laid out for me so far is quickly proving to the foundation for an interesting picture.
Has New York changed me? Well, I’m no Carrie Bradshaw.
If anything, it makes me appreciate where I come from and how I have been able to adapt and cope with the many changes and curveballs that this city has thrown at me.
Do I miss the South? Sure. I miss the 70 degree days in the middle of February, sleeping without the interruption of sirens and the convenience of hopping in to a car that I don’t need to pay a fare for.
What I do get in New York is important — a greater appreciation of culture, an abundance of coffee shops and gourmet food at every turn, the exquisite sights and sounds that this city has to offer and a list of things that keeps growing by the day.
What’s most exciting, though, is that this the first chapter in what I know will be a long book. And I couldn’t ask for a better place to start.