- I can't enter Henri Bendel without buying something. It's as enticing as a candy store, but the only things that are edible in there are served at the chocolate bar. I drooled at the headbands, indulged on too many beauty items, and had to keep myself from purchasing a bright yellow cocktail dress. I must say, I don't know how I'll ever be satisfied with shopping in my dear little nook of California when it doesn't entail designer sample sales or whimsical store displays. Actually, San Francisco has great shopping -- but the Gossip Girl experience in New York City is unforgettable.
- My internship was wonderful. Look, I even contributed to the 17 Buzz blog!
- I stayed at The Brandon Residence in the Upper West Side -- it is actually a very nice place to stay and I don't regret my decision. There were quite a few elderly ladies in my building who touched me with their endless tirades about how I didn't clean my sink properly or stopped me in the hallways to talk about which floor in the building is cleaner. But really, it's a very wonderful place to stay and very cheap at $250 a week (breakfast and dinner included -- and yes there's soymilk!).
- My taxi driver charged me $10 for driving down the block to pick up my huge suitcases, screamed at me in Cantonese and English because he couldn't understand what I was saying and was misinterpreting my words, and shouted and swore at me because I refused to pay him a tip after he dropped my 50 pound suitcases on my foot after shouting at me for an hour. But hey, he might have just had a bad day.
- I've realized that happiness is easy to achieve if you count your blessings. As high-school students, we're constantly pelted with pressure for getting into college, conflicts with our parents, disagreements with our friends, struggles to figure out where we want to go in life -- but if we can just name one thing that we did right every day, we can count that day well-spent.
- I am perfectly happy being who I am. For weeks in New York City, I considered myself the most boring prude on the planet -- yep, I don't party, drink, or do anything behind my parents' back and I fell completely silent when I listened to others talk about drinking and fake I.D.s. My idea of going wild is splurging on a pair of designer shoes, in fact -- but ladies and gents (yes I know you're reading this, Andrew), we are all fascinating people and there is no shame in doing what we, ourselves, want to do. I wish I realized this sooner, instead of beating myself up internally for not being "cool" enough.