My First “Mittens” Post of Misadventures

Well, the day has finally come. Last night, Misadventures in the Big Apple officially made its URL switch to Misadventures in the Mitten. For the next year, all traffic going to the original address will be routed automatically to the new, official, and permanent platform.

Nothing about the blog has changed, and nothing about me has particularly changed. It’s just finally time to talk about something new. Something other than New York City. It’s time to talk about a new life, a new chapter, and a new beginning.

To recap for those of you who haven’t been updated, I made the decision to officially leave NYU in April of 2015. If you watch the news, you’ve probably heard or read about the tuition increase and how NYU is now the most expensive college in the United States. I wish I could say I saw this coming, but I didn’t. Now it’s time to roll with the punches and do the smart thing: Move on.

That being said, there’s so much to tell you now that I’m home. It’s been probably two weeks since I’ve written a post, so this is pretty much pouring out of me.

When last I wrote, I was unsure about my school plans for the fall. I can now officially tell you that I will not be attending Michigan State University in the fall. Unfortunately, my Statistics Course at NYU doesn’t count as the required math credit that I need to be admitted. MSU is also in the process of deciding whether or not to accept my Expository Writing course at NYU as their writing composition credit requirement. Without these two credits, I can’t be admitted.

Luckily, I’ve spoken with an academic adviser at MSU who’s been helping me figure out what steps to take next. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of test taking, financial aid insanity, and registration issues. But, now that it’s finally said and done, I have a plan in place. This fall, I’ll be taking 3-4 courses through Lansing Community College (depending on whether or not my writing credit goes through) to fulfill MSU core requirements. Then, after reporting my midterm scores, I will be eligible (and likely accepted) at Michigan State for the spring semester.

Most college students transfer schools after two years, and the decision to do so is usually made because the student is choosing to save money by taking core classes at a community college before moving to a 4-year university for their degree. Because of this, many 4-year universities are geared toward transfer students who enter after two years of college. My specific situation complicates matters, but I’ve been working with what I have to push forward and get to where I need to be.

So that’s school. The other issue that goes hand in hand with commuting to college is having a vehicle. This is something that, coming from New York, I obviously don’t have. What does that mean for me? A job. You know, a real one that isn’t on campus and gives me enough hours to save up money.

After I got back home, I immediately applied at the Kroger right down the street (the parking lot is literally connected to where I live). I was hired as a cashier, and I’m actually scheduled to go there in two hours for additional training. I did the same thing on Wednesday, and I can pretty safely say that I’m going to like my job. This may sound unexpected, but it’s more interesting than working at Bobst. It involves more thinking and allows me to communicate better with customers. It’s also nice to see people at work other than college students.

Also, I get breaks. And oh my goodness, I love breaks.

On top of that, I’m still doing my freelance work. I just finished my second children’s story of the summer, and I’m also working on developing my second eCourse. I think the eCourse development job is one of the most rewarding freelance jobs I’ve ever taken, because I actually get to see graphic-oriented videos created from my scripts when I finish. My client actually sent me the promotional video for my first eCourse as a present on my birthday last week.

Speaking of birthdays, turning 19 wasn’t as groundbreaking as I thought it would be. It’s right there between the big 18 and the big 20, so it’s not like anything has changed. But, since so many of my friends and family read this blog, I just want to extend a sincere thank you for all of the birthday wishes and cards! I had a really amazing day.

What else do I have to update you on?

I’ll be making a post later this week about a topic that I feel very strongly about: Women changing their last name when they get married. I’m also going to discuss the idea of husbands taking their wives’ last names, and whether or not that should be “socially acceptable” (I heard a pretty disturbing conversation on the radio about it the other day).

Other than that, I think I’m typed out.

It’s official, though, everyone. Misadventures in the Mitten.

Wow.

Talk to you soon,

Cassie

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Leaving Manhattan and the Journey Home: Part 2

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The bus ride home.

Hey, everyone!

Sorry it’s been so long. I have a lot to update you on, but I’m going to finish my tale of love and loss first (aka leaving New York City).

Oh, and for those of you who missed part one of this post, click here for the link.

Sunday

Wow. It’s been almost seven days since I wrote the initial post and almost two weeks since I got back to Howell, so some of this is actually starting to get blurry for me. What happened on Sunday?

Oh, yeah. Now I remember. Sunday was the day that we wanted to go up to Central Park. Sunday was the not-so-fun, definitely full of misadventures day.

It started out really well. Austin and I woke up and headed out by 10:30, ate breakfast at a freakishly nice McDonald’s in Union Square, and then did some window shopping. We started at the four-story Barnes and Noble, as well as the neighboring pet store (which had these adorable albino rats that he wouldn’t let me buy), and ended at a smoothie cart near the subway station.

First misadventure of the day. I wanted a milkshake. This is what I get for going to a smoothie stand in New York City and ordering a milkshake.

It tasted like mint. My chocolate milkshake tasted like toothpaste. And I had a pretty good idea why. Neither of us think the vendor washed any of her blenders before making our drinks. That means, you guessed it, my chocolate milkshake was made in the same mixer as a bunch of orange and yellow fruit.

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Austin on the High Line. Forgot to post that before.

Austin’s smoothie, luckily, turned out just fine. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we were already well into the subway station that I realized the problem. Having already swiped in, it was too late to go back. Why do I never have any luck with milkshakes?

Anyway, we ended up in Times Square around noon, which was much earlier than we had planned. We checked out the Toys R Us, M&M Store, and this really sketchy card store on 38th and 5th. In my nine months in Manhattan, I never had to buzz into a second-floor store. Apparently, I wasn’t going to leave without having that experience. Austin found some Magic cards though, and I got a coke, so it ended on a positive note.

At this point, we were both really hungry, tired, and hot. It was probably eighty-five degrees that day, and we were walking to Central Park from Times Square. It may only be 12-15 blocks, depending on where you start from, but it felt like five miles to us.

We were both so grumpy that, when we finally got the park, we sat on the first bench inside the entrance, took a few glances around, and had the following conversation.

Me: This feels like it was a waste of time.

Austin: Isn’t this what Washington Square Park looks like?

Me: We should’ve just gone there this morning.

Austin: Wanna go home and read Shakespeare and Stephen King?

Me: Nothing I’d rather do.

So my experience with Central Park was a washout. I guess I’m really not a nature-girl.

We went back to the dorm and settled in with some books. I’m having trouble remembering if we went out again that night, but I don’t think we did. Other than getting dinner from the dining hall, I’m pretty sure we stayed in and watched a few movies…wait, no. We went out again. We went to Weinstein again. Now I remember. Austin had an obsession with that place.

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The sketchy card store.

 

After that we settled in for a few movies and fell asleep.

Monday

My last full day in Manhattan as an NYU student, and the day of my last final (in case any of you were curious as to why I stayed in my dorm with nothing academic to do, my American Constitutional Law final was Monday evening). I was a little emotional, and definitely nervous. I’d been struggling with that class all semester, and the final counted for the vast majority of the grade.

The day itself was mostly uneventful. We went to Weinstein for breakfast, then stayed in and enjoyed the quiet dorm (Sophia had already moved out, Mara had left for the weekend, and Juli was off studying for her final). I think we actually had time to take a nap, now that I’m thinking back.

My study group arrived around 4pm, after my professor had sent the final prompt. Our job was basically to identify the key constitutional issues in the prompt, then find Supreme Court cases to justify the answers to the issues. We had until 10pm to find the problems and write the paper. By the time I finished, it was 8pm and the group had left.

After my final had been turned in, we enjoyed our last night by talking and reading. The next day, I’d be leaving Manhattan for good.

Tuesday

I’ll admit, some tears were shed. Most of them out of frustration. Imagine moving into your dorm at the beginning of freshman year with an entire truck-bed full of boxes, and then having to move out with only two suitcases and two carry-on bags. (We did cheat a little though. We each brought two carry-on bags and no one noticed.)

Granted, I’d been throwing things away all year. You know how it is. After the winter months, your closet needs to be cleaned out. When the semester ends, your textbooks can go. Most dishes, pillows, and cleaning supplies aren’t necessary to take back when you’re moving home permanently. And I’d already brought a giant suitcase of decorations and belongings home when I visited my family in April.

But it was still a tight fit. Some things didn’t make the cut. Thank goodness for Kathleen Laturi, who brought home my guitar for me when her parents came to pick her up. Oh…I still need to call her to pick that up. Someone remind me. Thanks.

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The sketchy card store stairway.

And then it was time for check-out. Luckily for us, I enforced a strict 1:30 check-out time, even though our bus was set to leave at 3:15. Traffic in the cab was unbearable. I think we were only in line for 10-15 minutes before the bus started loading.

I think I still have my last picture of Manhattan on my Facebook page somewhere. If I can find it, I’ll include it in this post.

The bus ride itself was so much better with company. We played the Alphabet Game and the License Plate Game (we were on that bus for twelve hours and didn’t win either one). We were able to eat our really rushed meals together, and we were able to use one another as pillows. Neither of us slept much though. It’s hard to do that when you’re sharing the seat with someone else.

And then, I crossed that Michigan line. And now I’m here, writing this post to all of you. I’m home. I’m back. The journey is over…and so much sooner than I thought it would be. So I have a few quick things to fill you in on before I end this post, and I hope they’ll ease your mind.

1.) I am still waiting for acceptance into Michigan State University. I should know anytime now. I will be living at home and commuting 2-3 days a week.

2.) New York University released my financial aid statement this week. I was right about the jump in tuition. Almost a $2,000 jump in tuition, and an estimated $9,000 jump in overall costs. Their method of financial compensation? Sticking my parents with $14,000 in Parent PLUS Loans. Sorry NYU. I’ll tell you where you can stick it. (Sorry, angry Cassie here).

My last shot of Manhattan.
My last shot of Manhattan.

3.) I don’t feel any regret. I know some of you were worried that I would, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come home. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been focused and on my game. Of the five freelance jobs I’ve applied to, I’ve received four. I’m on track to make nearly $450 over the next two weeks from that alone. It feels great to be that on-target again. I think I needed my family to bring that out of me. I told my mom the other day that I don’t want to look back on the best three or four years of my life…and not have them in it. I know I did the right thing.

4.) I got my $1000 refund. It will be going toward my car in mid-August.

5.) I’m going to start training at the Kroger down the road as a cashier, until I can move up into an internship that has something to do with my career path. I think it’ll be exciting to have a job where everyone around me cares as much as they’re supposed to, because they’ll actually get fired and face some kind of penalty if they don’t show up or are caught on Facebook at work. I think it’ll be a good experience for me too, having a real job. How hard can it be to cashier anyway? (I can feel a blog post coming on. Just kidding, I’m not going to get myself fired already.)

6.) And last, but not least, my grades. Though I’m still waiting on my Journalism Ethics final, I can tell you that I survived NYU without getting a single CIn fact, I’m fairly certain I never got anything below a B. Investigating Journalism: B+. Comparative Politics: B. And that pesky Constitutional Law class that isn’t even meant for freshmen? B+. And thank goodness for that.

I hope that’s everything. I think it’s about time to get my new blog going and stop focusing on New York. It’s time to focus on my new life, my new goals and, most importantly, my writing. Let’s start sharing some of that, because that’s what my life is about. That’s what this blog is about.

Let’s have some Michigan Misadventures.