Living and working in New York City has definitely challenged me to think on my feet and be able to make quick, important decisions that impact not only myself, but also impact my students. Decisions ranging from how to speak to students about being late to curfew to which direction to walk when leaving the platform to how to get students home when the trains are majorly delayed in the city sometimes have to be made quickly.
One example of this quick decision making happened during my first trip, when another RA and I led a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That particular Friday it was quite stormy and we first had to decide whether or not to even run the trip. Later on, after visiting the museum, we found ourselves a ways away from campus and had to decide on how to safely get back. While I knew I would be making decisions, I have definitely been challenged to think on the spot and take multiple factors into consideration.
Another surprise I’ve found is that I have to act as both an authority, caregiver and friend to my high school students. Navigating this relationship can be challenging, as I want to get to know them really well, but I also have to enforce the rules at all times, for fairness and their safety. However, after six weeks working as an RA, I can say with some certainty that I’ve really begun to master this skill, and feel that I have a good relationship with most of my students!
Lastly, I just didn’t anticipate how busy a city New York is! I am learning that while there is a lot to do, that doesn’t mean I should be doing it all! I am relearning self care and trying to rest more and slow down – especially in this NYC heat! It’s very hard to do, but necessary if I want to stay proficient in this amazing internship and enjoy every moment!