The daughter of two medical school sweethearts was destined to study pre-med, at least that was the plan, before Olivia Simone found her passion for journalism. Unsure if she could nail a journalism job with little real-world experience, but the desire to pursue a journalism career post-college, Simone landed at New York University’s magazine writing program. Early on in her time at Boston College, where she went on to major in English, she knew her dislike for chemistry meant she would not stick with pre-med. So now still unsettled, her belongings just arriving to her Astoria apartment the day before we spoke, Simone explains her excitement for this new journey, her first time in a big city.
Why New York University: After hearing the program praised by a former student who visited our class at Boston College I started thinking about it. N.Y. is the headquarters of so many publications; I knew it was the place to be. I interned in the summer of 2012 for the “Newton Tab” and “Roslindale Transcript.” As a junior and senior at Boston College I wrote and managed “Gavel” magazine. I really like fitness and I read “Self” and “Shape.” I think I’d enjoy writing for a fitness magazine, but I haven’t made up my mind on that yet.
Christmas Baby: I wouldn’t want to spend my actual birthday with anyone but my family. My birthday is actually Dec. 25, so I am a Christmas baby and my birthday cake is always the dessert after Christmas dinner. I have never celebrated my birthday with anyone but family. My parents actually met in med school then opened up their own practice in Maine. I am really close to my family. I have a younger brother, Matthew, who is 20 years old, and also lives away from home in an apartment at school, the University of Maine. My mom has never had empty nest syndrome, so I’m sure she is happy to have some alone time now.
Big City Obstacles: My biggest obstacle coming to New York University to study journalism is probably learning to live in such a big city. I do not really know how to get around. I’m worried about navigating the large N.Y. events, like fashion week. I do not have many friends here, though I do live with two people that with me from Boston College. I live with Mason and Tracy in Astoria because Mason refused to live in Manhattan. According to Mason, Manhattan is too crowded and he didn’t want a closet for a bedroom, but I partially think it’s because he wanted to live in a neighborhood that was more “hip.” The culture in Astoria is great. The food, different languages and even the farmer’s market on the weekends all make Astoria very likeable. I like to go eat at little hole in the wall more ethnic restaurants, so I look forward to finding some of those while I’m here.
Music Minor: I have always loved music, that’s why I decided to minor in it. I listen to classic rock, indie and instrumental music. The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeplin are a few of my favorite classic rock bands, and Phish is a jam band I enjoy listening to. When it’s raining, I listen to John Coltrane. The last festival I went to was Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee in June 2013.
Home Sick Blues, Travel Itch: I am very into fitness and health, and in Maine I would do a lot of outdoor activities with my friends. That’s what I miss most from Maine: hiking, lakes and even driving a car! I do like to travel and see new places though. I’d love to travel to India for a summer to backpack of sorts through the country. I want to witness disparities. The poet Wallace Stevens was obsessed with Sri Lanka, and my thesis focused on Stevens, so I’d really like to travel to Sri Lanka.