I’ve officially lived in New York City for exactly four months today, but I have no idea where those four months went! I can’t believe I’m nearly done with my first semester of grad school. While I have had a pretty great New York experience so far, I think what I’m really grateful at the end of this semester are the people who I’ve met here and how I’ve grown both personally and academically.
The people at CLACS, including those in my program and the faculty and staff, have all been great sources of encouragement throughout this semester. I’ve been amazed by how quickly my cohort has come together and how we’ve really become a family this semester. Everyone is so supportive of each other’s work, genuinely interested in everyone else’s research, and always willing to give out research and writing tips. Every single person is so passionate about their work and eager to learn that it’s really inspired me to work harder. I feel extremely lucky that I’m stuck with these people for another year-they’re pretty amazing and have made my time at NYU that much more enjoyable.
Academically, I feel that these past few months at CLACS have allowed me define my academic interests while broadening my career interests. While my main interest is still in the areas of development and human rights, I’ve gotten more interested in journalism and the representation of people and their voices. I’m also interested in learning more about gender and sexuality in Latin America, as well as U.S.-Latin American relations. I am feeling more and more confident, and I’m excited about next semester and the new kinds of connections that I will make between class assignments, lectures, and guest speakers to my own research interests. I think this semester has helped me become more sure in myself and my opinions and interpretations of readings, discussions, and even conclusions of my own research, which I think will be a big help in the spring, as we submit our grant proposals and prepare for summer research abroad.
I have less than a week left in the city before heading home for the holidays, and I can honestly say that while it has not been an easy transition, I have loved living in New York and enjoyed meeting all of the incredible people who have come my way these past few months. NYU and CLACS have done a terrific job of making me feel at home here, and I can’t wait to see what next semester will bring!
Elizabeth Con is an MA Candidate at CLACS at NYU