My Experience Of My Life In New York City

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I lived in the outskirts of New York City for the first seventeen years, eleven months, and twenty-three days of my life. I loved the enormous oak tree outside my house; the winding roads through my neighborhood in Valley Stream; the quiet moments when the lights went out on the train connecting Long Island to lively Manhattan; the tiled murals scattering the walls of subway stations; the indescribable energy of people bustling around Union Square. Underneath the colossal skyscrapers, I often felt like a tiny ant crawling between blades of grass — small, perhaps even a little insignificant, but grounded. Looking up at the top of buildings, feeling the flow of passersby around me, I could not help but feel that I was standing exactly where I belonged. I wanted to stay in New York City so badly that all but one of the colleges I applied to during my senior year were within three hours of Manhattan. All but the one I ultimately chose, Minerva, a liberal arts university where undergraduates live and learn in seven cities around the globe.
I had always fantasized about travelling the world — who doesn’t? At the same time, I wasn’t a seasoned global traveller like some of my Minerva classmates were even before they came to Minerva. Though I had briefly visited Europe, taken a two-week bus tour to Toronto with my family, and flown back to China every few years to visit relatives, I had never really felt at home anywhere but New York. The feeling of stepping foot in a completely
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