Jan 262012
Authors: Erin Eastburn

New York City. It’s hard to believe I made the 1,800-mile move.

To give you a little background on me: I am the past photo editor for the Collegian, majoring in apparel and merchandising. I have left my perfect college life to live my “dream life” in Manhattan for a full-time, school-credited fashion internship.

Let me say it again –– school-credited –– meaning I am not getting paid to work full time, and I’m living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Since I get a small sum for writing this, I agreed to share my fabulous, broke, shoe-obsessed city life with all of you: my sincerely missed CSU peers.

After living here for almost three weeks, I realized a few things: $500 only lasts about one week –– I can’t go out of my apartment without passing at least five Starbucks and countless H&Ms. And lastly, I am a compete new-comer.

As I realize how pitiful my life is compared to all the fabulous people here, it is also expanding into a new, interesting, unpredictable and hopefully someday successful, life. Don’t worry, I’m not delirious –– a successful day for me is not falling down the subway stairs in my heeled boots, which are a towering three inches. Yes, this happens to me.

The best solution to this fear of heights is wearing sneakers, but this is New York; there’s too much fabulous competition here. Being in fashion, you have to define yourself with a style, attitude and purpose as to why you put yourself through the hours, tears and disappointments that surround the fashion industry.

My long-term goal, besides not looking like a tourist and only falling occasionally, is succeeding. Yes, this is a broad goal, but I like to live my life with room to grow.

Psychologically speaking, my life is pretty undefined right now –– it can literally go in 100 different directions after my 12-week internship is finished.

And to give you a little perspective of my physical life: my female roommate has to cut through my petite 8 foot by 10 foot room to get to our bathroom.

In reality, I don’t mind the cramped quarters, and I’ve found new inspirations: the MET, a new gym for a $20 a month, and walking into a bar alone and meeting a group of 45-year-old women who befriended me –– who would have thought that NYC would be neighborly?

One major plus about living here is definitely the shopping, although, like any true shopaholic, I have major spending limitations. For example, I bought boots that were originally $200 for $85, but then realized I had no more budget for food for the rest of the week –– major success in my mind, but lets be real, I chose shoes over food.

I guess that’s one diet plan.

I could have returned them, but my heart said the six-block walk to Nordstrom Rack would just make me change my mind (again). Plus, it was raining that day.

After my first week and spending my first month’s budget, I realized this is not good.

I have put myself into retail lock-down and have restricted myself to exclusive window shopping. This works perfectly, since I intern with a women’s wear designer and get to look, touch and smell all the new merchandise on a daily basis. Yes, I said smell.

What can I say –– I like my designer clothes.

My small contribution as a student intern is hard to take seriously. My professional skills have been placed in a much more competitive arena here, but at least I make a contribution. It’s a start, and I’m living in NYC, which is pretty fabulous.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the life I’ve been waiting for, rats in the subway and all.

I have even come up with a game when I’m bored waiting for the subway: I count as many live rats I can see down on the tracks. My record is three. I’ll let you know when I beat my high score, which will probably be by my next column.

It’s a brave new world. Wish me luck.

Erin Eastburn is a senior apparel and merchandising major who is currently interning for Tory Burch in New York City.

 Posted by at 3:50 pm

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