A Day in the Life of a Tech Student in New York City
"I hope tomorrow will be a little less tiring but just as exhilarating."
Read Time: 4 Mins
I toss and turn in my bed for a while, happy to be cozy in my bed and in a half-conscious state. Then I jolt up, suddenly fully awake and aware. It feels late. The safe feeling I had only a few seconds earlier is gone. I start to panic, what time is it? I have a meeting at 11:00 a.m. and it will take me about an hour to get there from home. Today, I can’t afford to sleep in. I check my phone, and it’s thankfully only 7:34 a.m.
I get out of bed and walk into the living room, not wanting to waste any time. Thick rays of sun spill through the balcony window of our New York City apartment. I play with my dog, Sadie, for a while and talk with my mom. I try to ease into the day while also keeping my time constraints in mind.
8:37 a.m. The appointment I have today is an interview for a private women's college in Massachusetts I applied to. I’m meeting an alumna at a cafe/boutique called Nespresso where we’ll talk about why I’m interested in the school, my background, and interests. I want to research the school a little bit before I leave so I get on my computer.
I check my email and see that the two textbooks I ordered from Amazon shipped. I’m a homeschooled student and I self-teach, so I usually order my own school materials. It’s a Wednesday, I’ll have to do my school when I come home. It is one advantage to being homeschooled, I can make plans in the middle of the day and still get school work done later.
Once I’m done with my computer, I go to the bathroom to get dressed. Layers of dark brown hair frame my face, and I temporarily tuck them away with a stretchy gold headband to cleanse and moisturize my face. Afterwards, I put on a little bit of a pink lip color and take the headband off.
9:40 a.m. It’s still pretty early, but my bag’s pack and I decide I should just leave now.
I take two trains to get to my destination without delay or error.The podcast I’m listening to blocks out most of the usual subway noise, though I can still vaguely hear the sound of the train spurring rapidly underground and the automated voice that announces the stops. It’s a feminine voice and pauses in between some of its words. “This is a Brooklyn bound… M train. Transfer is available to the… 6 and… E train.”
I get off the subway and arrive in Manhattan's Upper East Side. The sidewalks are small and compact, nothing like the wide chunks of sidewalk you see downtown. The area is a mix of residential streets, housed mostly with brownstones, and strips of fancy shops with signs in cursive lettering.
I’ve never been to this area of the city before but am familiar with East Side avenues. I pass by an older woman as I walk up Madison Avenue to Nespresso. She’s wearing a fur coat and holds a bag from Barney’s in her right hand. I don’t catch a glimpse of her face, I can smell her perfume and powder as I pass by.
10:45 a.m. I enter Nespresso and I’m early. I get settled in and then order a caramel vanilla latte. I drink my coffee and read Emma by Jane Austen at an empty table.
11:30 a.m. My interviewer arrives and we start to talk. I tell her about participating in Girls Who Code and being in an all-female environment. Then we get on to talking a lot about tech and the gender gap, a topic which we both have a lot to say about. I mention that I work with She Can Code and she writes down the name. “What’s ‘io’ in the website name stand for?” she asks. I tell her I have no idea. Maybe it’s a British thing?
12:37 p.m. The interview is over and we part ways. I’m really happy with how it went, but am ready to go home. I feel a thrill of excitement to visit the school and to find out in the spring if I’m accepted.
I walk ten blocks to a train station because the one closest to me has major delays. The air is cold, but not frigid and it’s pleasant to walk through the streets in silence. I swipe my student MetroCard at the turnstile and find a seat on the train.
1:00 p.m. Still on the train, I check my phone and see that I have an email. I applied for an internship for a prominent tech-education company and now we're trying to arrange an interview. The position sounds amazing and I’m looking forward to learning more about it. I write back with a few explanation points.
3:15 p.m. I do some errands before finally coming back to my apartment. I rest for awhile, just watching videos on my phone and trying to zone out. Eventually, I get the motivation to sit up and do my schoolwork for the day. Once I finish everything I get my computer and start working on a new coding project. I’m working on a program that will generate a rock-paper-scissors game with the user. The keyboard clicks as lines of Python appear on my text-editor. It’s oddly relaxing and I can feel myself start to unwind.
5:45 p.m. Sadie and I get outside for her evening walk. We run for a bit, while I think of my coding and Sadie thinks about… Peanut butter? Belly rubs? … Whatever a dog thinks about.
The Python project is the first coding challenge I’ve given myself in awhile, it’s good to be back in the saddle.
My night is mellow and calm once we get back. I love days like today that are busy though I still relish my ability to come back home and not have to worry about anything. I fall asleep around 10:40 p.m. thinking about school, my phone interview in a few days, and how I hope tomorrow will be a little less tiring but just as exhilarating.
Still itching for more? Check out Claire’s Day in the Life of a Wimpy Mum.
Adriana Chavez is a student and writer based in New York. She currently works as part of the Day of the Girl-US action team where she runs the Girls in STEM blog series. She is passionate about coding and intersectional feminism. When not hidden behind her computer or a great book, she can be found walking the streets of New York with her rescue dog.