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I was born and raised in just about as opposite of New York City as America gets. My rural hometown in deep East Texas resembles, in many senses, the Friday Night Lights TV series. It’s a cruise-the-county-roads and wave-to-your-neighbor high school football kind of town, sleepy yet solid in the most endearing way. Honestly, when I was growing up, the idea that I would one day find myself interning at a magazine in the Big Apple would probably have both exhilarated and terrified me.
Yet here I am, spending my summer interning with Best Life and embracing all that Manhattan has to offer, albeit cautiously. Although I stretched outside my comfort zone when I made the leap to Virginia to attend college at Washington and Lee University, the noise and sheer volume of the city (not to mention navigating the subway system!) has still been quite a learning curve.
If nothing else, this summer has left me with a sense of awe for the relentless pace of digital journalism. Through my internship, I’ve had the opportunity to research and write articles on topics ranging from the weirdest urban legend in every state to the 50 worst cities to drive in. The broad scope of Best Life’s coverage has kept me on my toes, teaching me to pivot seamlessly from wrapping up a quip-filled piece to poring over an Excel spreadsheet, moving efficiently from one assignment to the next. Along the way, the weekly ASME lunches have introduced me to people truly excelling in a variety of careers across the landscape of today’s ever-evolving magazine industry, giving me a taste of what my future could look like.
Reflecting on this experience, I’m thankful for this summer of learning to stretch and flex my creative muscles, while also allowing myself to give city life the benefit of the doubt. If I’m being truthful, there have certainly been growing pains along the way. But that’s the beauty of stepping outside your comfort zone, I suppose.
When I’m not writing articles, I enjoy spending time with my family, venturing out for the occasional run, and curling up with a cup of coffee and a good book.