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  • Writer's pictureMegan Richards

I Wish Life Came with a Meal Plan Like College Did

It was a whirlwind final semester of undergrad. Me and my friend, Kristen, who had also decided to throw off the choral chains that entangled her and run the race toward Broadway, had both been accepted to NYU. We finished up our student teaching, cranked out a just-for-fun music theatre recital and started a packing list that was as long and wide as our dreams.

It took one dinner with our parents for the list to be shot down.

“So…you want to pack up a U-Haul full of your college furniture and drive it from Texas to New York City?”

“Well, sure!” said the optimistic blonde and brunette.

“Yeah, that’s not going to happen,” said one set of Fun-Suckers – I mean, parents.

“You’ll be flying and you can pack whatever will fit into two suitcases,” said the other set.

We ended up living right by Washington Square Park in graduate housing that cost way too much, but it came with a meal plan which was a pretty sweet trade-off for two girls who considered baking pre-sliced cookie dough a photo-worthy moment.

NYU Steinhardt’s graduate program was expensive but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was challenging, exciting, painful and transformative. Things were lost (naivety, boyfriends, easy access to Shiner beer) and things were found (courage, skills, friendships with people who thought the bible belt was just an oddly named accessory). By the time I threw my cap into the air outside of Radio City Music Hall, I was ready for a change. I went home to Austin for a bit and came back renewed and determined to bite the bullet and start auditioning.

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