Bright Lights and the Big City

EARLY mornings, marathon school days and intense revision schedules are currently what my days involve.

I face a constant battle to achieve high grades, in what I describe as the toughest and most draining studies of my life to date.

Of course I am talking about A Levels, the dismal bane of my life.

However, they also act as a passport to a future of success, power and most importantly tonnes of lovely money.

A Levels may be getting me down in the dumps for the time being but to escape reality for a few moments, I always take myself back to when I experienced the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of” (thanks, Alicia Keys).

Yes, that’s right, I visited the enchanting city of New York and was truly captivated by the dazzling bright lights and the aura of success, style and independence.

Last February, an adventure of a lifetime unveiled itself to an excited bunch of Wickersley Business and Economics students.

I remember that the feeling of exhilaration totally made up for the sleepy eyes and dazed minds that were from a sleepless night.

The night had been spent laying wide awake, tossing and turning due to the magical events that the next four days had in store for us.

Sitting here now, writing this piece, I can almost smell the adrenaline in the air, picture the waves of anticipation and unfortunately have the all too familiar feeling of my fingers turning into a block of solid ice due to waiting for the coach early on a freezing cold winter morning.

If it wasn’t for the fact that the coach was going to be taking us to Heathrow Airport to depart for an excursion that will stay a focal point in my mind for eternity, I would probably have lost the plot and taken my icicle hands and body back to the warmth and comfort of my cosy bed.

However, I somehow managed to make an exception to standing in the cold seeing as though the magnificent skyline of the greatest city in the world was sitting patiently ready for our arrival.  

Initially, I was rather apprehensive about embarking on this extraordinary trip, simply because of the fact that I didn't know anybody going.

Now, these feelings seem rather weak and pathetic.

I mean, why would I want to turn down the opportunity to visit the city that is the home to the star studded illuminations of Broadway and the dynamic hustle and bustle of Times Square? God only knows.

But unsurprisingly it took little persuasion to change my mind and I then immediately handed in a rather large deposit.

I would repeatedly pay the earth to relive the fairytale of New York City and see the sky scraping buildings, the green oasis of Central Park and the iconic masses of bright yellow taxis that buzzed around, delivering real life Carrie Bradshaws to meet their genuine Mr Bigs.        

Personally, a highlight was indulging in America’s supersize cuisine.

Our choice of where to dine was endless, but our itinerary offered the most tantalising venues, and the very memory is whipping my taste buds into flavoursome frenzy.

From the gigantic juicy cheeseburgers in the lively Hard Rock Cafe to the scrumptious shrimps in Bubba Gump’s, I for one surely returned at least a stone heavier!

And that was just me, never mind my suitcase that was jam-packed due to diving into a rather large amount of retail therapy in one of the fashion capitals of the world.

However, the venture wasn’t just about spending our entire life savings on clothes, gadgets and bags — we were also there to discover the real heart, soul and depth of where business and economics is really brought to life.

This is of course Wall Street, the financial district in NYC that homes one of the most inspirational chief stock exchanges on the planet.

Not to mention, having the opportunity to visit one of the most iconic bank headquarters in the world in the form of Goldman Sachs and pursuing a lifelong dream of visiting the spine-tingling Empire State Building, the breathtaking Statue of Liberty and Times Square.   

So tomorrow, and the days that follow, when I am faced with a pile of revision that holds the delights of exogenous zeitgebers and expansionary fiscal policy, I will certainly be picturing the inspirational sights of New York City and reliving the motivational experiences that I was lucky enough to enjoy.

Watch out New York, because I will most definitely be back.


By Sophie Hodgson (17) , Wickersley Sixth Form


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