In February I went on a college trip with MAP to New York City. This trip reminded me of the dangers of complacency. Living in my small city I had grown used to riding the same bus, seeing the same people, and breathing the same air; I had become comfortable. New York City reminded me that the world is so much bigger than I’m consciously aware of.
It’s crazy because we didn’t tour Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. My favorite moment might have been walking around and randomly discovering this donut company called “The Donut Factory”. I can still picture the Maple Bacon Donut I and I realized I would never have new experiences like this if I am not open to it.
We also went to the New School for Social Research and met with an admissions counselor, Andre. Andre had a unique school and a refreshing thirst for knowledge, even though we were supposed to be the students. Andre expressed to me that his school is more about following my passions and interests, not a specific curriculum. I want to be a family doctor and assumed I would have to take a lot of science heavy classes; which I’m not opposed too, but Andre told me for my undergrad I could take classes like Epigenetics, which is the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off. He also mentioned Dietetics, two classes that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. At the New School the goal is to figure out who you are and who want to become, not to fit in to a specific mold. That spoke to me on a spiritual level, I want to spend my time exploring new experiences in the world.
I really enjoyed people watching in New York City. I’m glad none of the city residents were offended by my intrusive stare. I need glasses, but I enjoyed watching how people presented themselves. A common appearance I saw on speeding feet were dress shoes, something I only wear when I want to “dress for success”. So why would people who generally walk most places wear uncomfortable shoes? I got the feeling everyone was doing their best not to become like the homeless men we would ignore.