Americas

Subletting

This summer I have an internship in New York City. The excitement the news of my acceptance created was extreme, to say the least. I may consider myself a New Yorker but I’m a bit of a wannabe. I’ve spent over a decade of my life on Long Island, which is close enough to NYC in personality that we’re included as one of the family in the larger scheme of things. But when you get down to it, there are some major differences. To finally have the chance to live, semi-on-my-own, in the city is exhilaration.

Now, if I were to spend the summer living at home I would spend about five hours commuting, five days a week. And I realize that there are plenty of people who do commute for this amount of time, or longer. But I simply could not face the idea of commuting if it were possible to sublet an apartment. I might as well make the most of this opportunity, no? Really create the entire experience so I can see just how well I would survive city life. So, I asked a friend of mine who also has an internship in the city whether they would be willing to sublet a place together.

There are a couple problems to our plan, though. We both had finals up until a couple of days ago and were therefore unable to actually visit places before now. We also started before June which is when most people start subletting their places because it’s the beginning of the next month of rent. We have a rather tiny budget as we are interns. And though the positions are paid, which puts us in a much better spot than some, money is still an issue. And since we can’t look in person, relying on Craigslist is a tad frightening.

For the longest time nothing came up. After all, a two bedroom apartment that isn’t an incredibly long commute from our offices that is within an intern’s budget? Let’s just say New York City isn’t filled with apartments like that. And who would want to let two college students live in their furnished apartment for three months? We would email about a posting and receive no response or “Sorry, we’ve found someone.” Then two possible places came up and they looked pretty good.

Update

Before I could submit this article for review, our situation has been updated! Goodness, the real world moves fast. Wellesley has prepared me for everything else to move quickly. But housing and administrative details? Let’s just say start early if you’re attempting to iron those out at Wellesley. Unfortunately, one apartment is now taken. But the second one decided we are cool enough to be subletters. It’s fantastic! Luckily my friend’s final period ended before mine, allowing them to come back and see the place. We probably wouldn’t have gotten it otherwise.

Soon to be home

Soon to be home

But now logistics come into play. Along the way we did our best to insure that we were dealing with the right people, that we aren’t being taken advantage of. But the rent is reasonable considering where the apartment is. We now have to think of how we’ll be paying for the apartment and the utilities. Now that it’s actually happening. We’ve been asked for identification and will be given all the access necessary for the apartment. Tomorrow we’re heading in to sign our names and gain whatever keys we need to access the place.

In the end, our search for a 2 bedroom place in NYC didn’t end too badly. We’re probably two of the luckier interns in our situations. We are paid interns and have a place to sublet for the summer. Our commute will not reach the horrifying total of five hours per day, unless we do something ridiculous. I’ll be able to explore the world of city life in quasi-independence. And while it may not be long-term, the brief taste of it just may sustain me through my senior year of college. Assuming it’s positive. If it isn’t, I may just have to fail a few classes on purpose…

Part of me is extremely excited for this big step towards an adult future. But another part of me will miss summers filled with kids and being at home. A summer defined by working as a counselor, going to the beach when possible and hanging out with friends…

What I'm missing this summer

But I know this is the next step. I can’t always be a counselor if I really mean to pursue a career or studies in Computer Science. So, I’m looking forward. New York City and working in business clothes, here I come!

Sam Wu
Sam started traveling on the wrong foot and was every traveler’s pet peeve–the bawling baby who just couldn’t be silenced. Since then she has fallen in love with planes and boats and going places. Sam once studied abroad in London but is now slowly growing more roots in NYC.

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