This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting Boston, Mass. for the first time. Attending a conference at Harvard University, I unfortunately had little time to explore the historical wonders of one of America’s greatest revolutionary cities. I mostly walked aimlessly down the Charles River, occasionally striking up conversations with a few delightfully friendly Uber drivers.
What I did have time to do during my copious amount of travel time was reflect on the city I have called home for the past four years. The urgency that comes with acknowledging the fact that it is April, combined with the intense self-awareness that inherently comes from a New Yorker’s first excursion to Boston, fostered an immense sense of gratitude in someone who will be graduating in less than 50 days.
It also brought about the realization that “New York is my campus” is more than just a trite line in a brochure.
Over the last four years of college, New York City became a personality unto itself—a defining aspect of belonging to the Fordham community. It’s filled to the brim with opportunities to touch remarkable pieces of history stuffed with new sensations, experiences and adventures. Overflowing with an endless supply of tremendous and unique people, each with a personal story more engrossing than the last. The vividness of life is always on display in all its esoteric, kinetic glory.
It became a crucible through which to earn your merit, requiring nothing less than radical growth. New York demands you rise to the challenges placed before you, whether that means working in Midtown or confronting the visceral reality of poverty. It expects nothing less than unbridled passion in all your endeavors, revealing that work is just love made visible. The city changes everyone who touches it, imbibing within them that quiet pride of purpose behind our fast-paced lives.
Even after studying in London, nothing came close to replacing New York’s distinguishing charm, that pulsating character that defines life here. It became an intoxicating vortex of optimism, a place where people had the grace to dream of a better tomorrow—and had the grit to achieve it. The sense that something new was just around the corner, if only you had the eager tenacity to discover it, became palpable. Endless possibility fused with undying hope. The hum of the city never quiets. Its lives that breathe it into existence are far too resilient to allow anything less than constant, colorful motion.
Thank you, New York.
You exposed me to a rhythm of life unlike anything else on Earth, gave me opportunities to excel and fail and to develop into a person I never imagined I could be.
Thank you for letting me be a small part of your grand, unfinished symphony.