The 2.5 weeks since I’ve moved from Irvine, California to Piscataway, New Jersey were spent at Target and IKEA, where I tried to make a a familiar home out of this strange new place. Besides settling in and getting ready for school and lab rotations, I somehow managed to make a 12-hour drive to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and a 1-hour bus ride to New York City. Here are some pictures:
Despite the lengthy drive (prolonged even more by terrible DC traffic), Chapel Hill was such a great trip. The city felt like home; although, I’m not sure if that was because Dmitriy lived there or it truly did feel like home. I didn’t realize how much I liked being one of many white Priuses in the parking lot until I got to NJ, but I definitely felt a sense of belonging again at Chapel Hill. Dmitriy and I spent the day exploring UNC and downtown Carrboro. And I can’t even begin to describe how overdue it felt to see Dmitriy again since he left on August 1st. I left at 7 AM on Sunday morning and got caught in a terrible storm that added four extra hours to my trip.
New York was also amazing, needless to say. I felt very uneasy having to depend solely on the public transportation system to take me 1) to the train station and 2) to the NYC, but it was a fantastic experience! The RU shuttle system has been very reliable so far, and it was definitely reliable that day. I spent the day walking around Central Park, visiting the Met, and figuring out the subway system. Since I was traveling alone, I had to catch the 4 PM bus back to NJ to not be stuck out and about at night, so I didn’t get to do as much as I’d wanted. Next time, I hope to catch the right subway with the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and maybe visit a notebook store (or two).
So, that’s it for my adventures for now. At the risk of sounding very sheltered, traveling to these locations by myself was terrifying but thrilling. I was a bit uncomfortable the entire time, but I’m glad that I was. The discomfort meant I was stepping out of my comfort zone, and it’s a sensation I will strive to feel throughout my graduate career and hopefully for the rest of my life.e.