Chelsea & The City: On apartment shopping and tablet design

I knew apartment hunting in NYC was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize exactly how hard.

My boyfriend Alberto and I got to NYC Saturday morning and we were definitely not prepared for what the next 48 hours would be like. Naïvely I thought I might see one or two apartments and then automatically have some ding go off in my head saying, “This is it, we have a winner!” But by Sunday at 3:00 p.m. I was sitting in a Starbucks crying because I was apartmentless and now hopeless. This was my one shot to find something and I blew it. We had one last appointment at 4:30 p.m. before our MegaBus left, but I had absolutely no hope in it being the one. Luckily, Alberto was there to encourage me and remind me everything was going to be okay, but I could tell he was a little nervous.

The second we walked into the last appointment, my nerves were instantly relieved. The ding I had been praying for went off and this was it. I officially had found my first New York City apartment. This was a moment I had been dreaming of since the first time I saw “Sleepless in Seattle” and said as an eight-year-old that one day I was going to live in NYC. (My parent’s probably didn’t take this seriously because at the time I also thought I was going to be on Broadway, but here I am today signing a lease.)

But before I start day dreaming too much about my adorable one bedroom on 135th and Broadway, there are a few last big projects I’m finishing up at Ball State.

Since I’m graduating from the Honors College, I have to write a senior thesis. Writing a 25+ page paper sounded like the last thing I wanted to do during my last semester at college, so I opted to do a “creative project” instead. It ended up being one of the most rewarding projects I have done at Ball State. My project was to create a tablet version of Ball Bearings, our student-run magazine (that I am also design editor of). At first I thought it was going to be pretty simple, just a little reformatting here and there and adding in some slideshows and videos. But, I was extremely wrong and ended up learning more than I ever could have imagined from this project. After hours upon hours and hours and hours of work throughout the past two months, I can finally say the magazine will be downloadable within the next few weeks! I am beyond thrilled.

This really opened my eyes to a whole new world of design. Rethinking every single part of a story and how the content could best be presented to the viewer as well as the best possible usability, made me fall in love with this process. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to start learning this while I am still in school. I really hope I will be able to delve more and more into this world in my professional career.

I still can’t believe this is coming to an end so quickly. Finishing up this project was a huge milestone for this semester. Just a few more pointless projects, my exit interview, two weeks and four days Ieft and I’m out of here!

New York, I am ready.


(Chelsea Kardokus is a senior journalism graphics major at Ball State University. See more of her work here.)

About Chelsea Kardokus

Chelsea Kardokus is a designer at TIME magazine.

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