Last winter, I found myself at a crossroads—an extremely busy one. So busy, in fact, that if I stood still for just ten seconds longer, I may have been run over by the relentless taxicab drivers speeding every which way.
I was in New York City, wearing a wide-eyed, open-mouthed look on my face and gripping an oversized transit map as if someone might snatch it from my hands at any minute.
On a tight schedule, I bounced around the city from one public relations agency to the next with my PRSSA peers (note: wear sneakers, not heels, when commuting via subway). This year, a small group of us took on the Big Apple for the annual networking trip to meet with public relations professionals from six different agencies.
While I soaked up all the tricks, tips and takeaways I could, one particular, but simple, piece of advice made me pause: be uncertain + be unlikely = never be bored.
That’s when I started to think.
A couple months before, I was offered a public relations internship with the Miss Universe Organization in New York City during Fall Semester 2013. Although I had my eye on this specific opportunity since freshmen year, I was hesitant to accept the offer.
I knew the internship would be more than valuable and worthwhile, but I didn’t have answers to the questions shooting through my mind. Where would I live and how could I afford it? How would I navigate my way around a city I hardly knew? What would it be like to live completely alone, nine hours away from family and friends? And, the most difficult of all, was I willing to give up part of my final year at Ohio University, in a town I had grown to love with the people I cared for most?
I was certainly uncertain, but maybe that was the beauty of it all. Instead of embracing the obvious, why not take the road less traveled?
By placing myself in uncomfortable, unfamiliar situations, I’ll make mistakes and grow from them, figure out how to adjust and then improve, explore new ideas, places and people and learn from my experiences.
Spending the semester in New York City and traveling to Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe Pageant is far from what I imagined I’d be doing my senior year, but it’s an opportunity I might not ever have again.
Although I don’t suggest having an epiphany in the middle of the street, at that moment, I realized it was time to stop questioning and to start packing.
Just four weeks away from starting my new internship, I couldn’t be more excited to dive in and find out what’s ahead.
As for the last part of the equation, I have no doubt the flying cabs will always keep me on my toes.
-Katie Grady is a senior studying strategic communications with specializations in business and political science. Follow her adventures in NYC at @kaitgrady.