Performed live at TenX9 August 2019
I never really wanted to go to college, until I realized that NYU existed. I’m serious. I never had any interest in the collegiate world or furthering my education until I realized I could use New York University as a coverup for getting to live in New York City for four years. I thought I would get to live like Mary Kate & Ashley–two of the many famous NYU alumni who I was excited about in 2008.
I was an orch’dork’ which is short for orchestra dork but I was also super into “fashion” meaning I wore dresses and heels to high school. I did this despite playing the cello every day first period, an instrument where you have to spread your legs to make it play unless you want to get a Charlie horse. I wasn’t into orchestra because I liked playing the cello, I was in it for the trips. My freshman year of high school we went to my favorite place on Earth at the time– Disney World and then my junior year we went to New York City. It quickly surpassed Disney World an became my favorite place on Earth.
I didn’t even get to spend any time really experiencing New York City properly–we spent our days in matinees of Mary Poppins or playing our instruments at the United Nations and spent our nights sleeping in New Jersey. But it didn’t matter to me! It was FABULOUS–this was 2007 after all and FABULOUS was a fanciful word and not yet overused.
So I wasn’t into college and I wasn’t into orchestra but I was into fashion–I was also super into another famous NYU alumni Lady Gaga. She was just coming up at the time and only had one single and a handful of songs but I knew she was special. She used words like FABULOUS and she looked the part of the FABULOUS POP STAR. I don’t know if I was into fashion because of Lady Gaga or if I was into Lady Gaga because of fashion but maybe both??
Finding out that Lady Gaga had gone to NYU made me want to go there like so bad. Like when you want to go to an amusement park as a child. You just want it so bad you’re a little delusional about it. You know it’ll be fun but you’re also maybe a little scared?
College can be scary for anyone but New York City is scary to like everyone. Especially girls from the suburbs of Chicago.
I was in my junior year when I found a “prospective NYU student event” at a hotel in Oak Brook. I quickly signed up and was looking forward to going every day for over two months until the day finally came.
I was sure it would be a reassuring day that would also somehow help my prospects of getting into the school? I was so young and so naive.
It’s finally the day of the NYU event and I AM READY. I am wearing a purple (NYU’S COLOR) velvet skirt and silk shirt with a very discreet peacock print and purple silk flats. I think I look like a casual every day NYU student–all fashionable and understated in Jewel tones.
I’m in my room sitting at my vanity putting on purple eyeliner –I’ve heard it brings the gold out of brown eyes. I also know it matches my outfit and I’m all about matching! It’s a big day I have to look my best. You also straighten your hair even if you have pin straight hair because you believe straightening straight hair makes it shinier? Idk “science”???
I hop off my seat at my vanity to go get a q-tip and immediately experience pain like I’ve never known before in my right foot. I swear I’ve been shot. That’s the only explanation for what I’m feeling. I screamed in pain and began to tear up. I look down and realized I had stepped on my mini hair straightener. It had clamped down on my foot and was searing both the underside and the top of my foot. I quickly pulled off the straightener and with it about three layers of skin. The layers below continued to burn. It’s like when you take a steak off the grill it continues to cook for a few minutes after it’s off.
I was in so much pain. My brother came out from his video game den and my mom ran up the stairs to see what I was screaming about. It was only then I realized I had to leave for the NYU event in about fifteen minutes.
As my foot continued to cook and rather than going to the ER like I would later learn I should have I just wrapped it up and hobbled out to the car to go to Oak Park to the NYU event.
I didn’t end up learning anything important about the school that I didn’t already know from their website and I didn’t get to talk to anyone important that could help me with admissions so the day was kind of a bust.
I hobbled home and iced my foot. The next day at school I was made fun of for being like Michael Scott on The Office & burning my foot in an embarrassing way and no one cared to hear about the fact that I was still in love with and planning on attending NYU.
I did eventually get into NYU and I still love Lady Gaga more than I love most people i know in real life but if I really think about it I do blame her for my scar on my foot that prohibits me from wearing sandals in the sun without major sunscreen. My scar from the straighter still burns like Harry Potter’s scar when I go out in the sun the way his burns when Voldemort is around. It’s a little like Lady Gaga is MY horcrux.
I ended up going to college, the most expensive college in the nation at the time, just so I could live in New York City. And I’ll tell ya– it was worth the pain. The pain of schoolwork, early mornings, rejection, dating woes and all that goes along with college and also that damn burn on my foot when I stepped on my straightener.
See below (if you dare!) photo from many months into the healing process
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