As August comes to a halting close, I am at a loss for words. How did time move so quickly? How has it been a month since my Second City internship ended? How has it already been so long since I moved out of my State St. dorm in downtown Chicago? So many questions.
As August unfolded and now closes, I have had time to reflect on my 9 weeks in Chicago and there is no way I can chalk it up to “just a summer in the city” or “another summer internship.” This summer in the city was eye opening to me and provided me with so many new experiences. It’s hard to narrow down the ones that impacted me the most, as there were so many firsts. But I’m going to try.
- My Second City internship as a marketing intern for UP Comedy Club. Wow, where do I begin? I miss the days of waking up and taking the brown line to Old Town. I miss waiting in the Starbucks downstairs for work to start. From seeing new comedy shows unfold in their early stages, like Unelectable You, to conducting ticket sales research and analysis for #DateMe after it closed its summer run of 2016, I learned so much. I began to appreciate well designed websites. Tip- if you design a site, make sure the “Contact Us” section is CLEARLY visible, up to date, and able to be accessed. As a PR and marketing professional, I can assure you that it makes our lives so much easier.
- A city of about 3 million people….what a huge change to the slow pace of living and small town vibe Florence has. As an extroverted introvert, I found it hard to put myself out there and meet new people. How does a new human to a city of that size even begin to make friends? Maybe at your job or in your dorm. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends from Dream Careers in my dorm and my fellow interns were great. But where do I find “my people” or “the fam?” Emo Night. That’s where I finally found a group of people who were welcoming, friendly, helpful, fun to be around and more. These were people that I had no trouble becoming friends with or hanging out with. The guys who run the Emo Nights are kind of like distant older brothers there to look out for ya. Plus the shared love of music. The city offers a million places to meet people, you just have to find where you belong. It can take time. But there’s a place for small me in a city that vast.
- I lost my virginity this summer. I met a boy at Emo Night/a local show in Logan Square. We were at Burlington Bar. I’m not going to go into a ton of detail. That is a story for another day. But we started hanging out, and I started staying over at his apartment more than I was sleeping in my dorm. The sex part wasn’t the part that really had the greatest impact on me. It’s more that I fell for him so hard in the four weeks we knew each other. But doing the whole :long distance” thing wasn’t really on the table and while there were feelings on both ends, he just stopped talking to me after he dropped me off at the airport. I was standing on the sidewalk by his car. He hugged me as I cried. We kissed and it was the hardest goodbye I’ve ever felt. When something so intense happens so quickly, I guess it has to come to an end unless literally every star is aligned. What I’m beginning to learn from that as I try to get over him is this- Don’t regret something just because it’s over. Don’t regret feelings if at one point, they made you the happiest you can remember being. Don’t wish you had never met that boy just because things didn’t work out. At a point, things were perfect with him, and I finally felt what it was like to be with someone in that way and be happy, feel wanted.
A lot happened this summer. Between my time at Second City, exploring the city, meeting new people, trying some of the best brunches I have ever had and finally feeling like I found my place, it was hard to say “goodbye for now.” But this was more than a summer in the city. This was the summer that will become the stepping stone to the rest of my life.