My last day in NYC was enjoyable. We checked out at 9:00 AM and said our goodbyes to our new friends and our RAs. Most of my RAs plan on staying in touch with us and offered to hang out with us if we’re ever in town. It’s hard saying goodbye, even though it’s only been three weeks. When you’re put into a situation where you must adapt quickly, you learn to get attached quickly. I realized when I looked into my room for the last time that that was home for the past 3 weeks. It had become part of me, along with Columbia for that matter. I had just started to get used to the campus and city when it was time to go.
We spent the remaining time before we departed by visiting the Rock. We went to the Top of the Rock where we had an amazing view of NYC. I never realized how large the city was until I could see almost all of it and it was huge! It made me start to miss New York because that was one of the last times I would see the city before I left.
The rest of the time we wandered around Central Park. That park is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen and to think that it’s in the middle of a city is pretty weird. Every part of the park is different. You can’t find two parts of it that are the same. We had lunch in a restaurant that was on the edge of the smaller lake. We got a table right on the water and enjoyed our lunch looking out at the view of the lake. I wish I would have known that there were boats you could have rented and paddled yourself around the lake in. That would have been cool to do.
I can’t believe that this is over, even though it’s not really over. This memory will live on forever. I can’t thank everyone enough who let me go on this unbelievable experience- the administrators, the sponsors, our chaperone, and my parents. Without any of your help, I would have never thought of going to the East Coast to go after my dreams. I would have stayed at home and would have never known what was out there, calling my name. There are no words to describe how much this whole experience means to me. And for that, I thank everyone who helped make this trip possible.
On our way back, our flight was early but had some sudden changes that caused it to be late about an hour and a half. First, there was no room for us to land a SFO. We circled around probably 5 times before the pilot announced we were out of fuel and had to land in Oakland to refuel and then head back to SFO. I’ve never seen a more useless moment than that. To get fuel just to fly 3 minutes back to SFO to land. It was ridiculous. On the way there, problems occurred landing which delayed the flight into Oakland even more. In the end we all arrived on time and we welcomed by our worrying and overjoyed parents.
Of course, I might be back. Who knows? I could be flying back as a freshman next year at Columbia or UPENN or Yale or Vassar or Cornell or Brown. The opportunities are endless now, and this wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for so many people backing me up.