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Senior Testimonial: Irene Schultz

News Story

From hiking mountains and snowshoeing through trails in her home state of New Hampshire to figuring out how to swipe her MetroCard just right and navigate the MTA system in New York City, graduating student Irene Schultz '16 shares some fun stops along her journey.

"I grew up in the middle of the woods, New Hampshire. Total country girl—plaid flannel shirt, camo jacket, neon orange knit beanie, and all. The closest Chipotle (which I didn’t even know existed until I came to Pace) is a two-hour drive away. I grew up hiking mountains, driving boats, and selling vegetables on a farm. Having never seen a Broadway show or skyscraper, my eyes glistened for the bright lights of the big city, however. As soon as I turned 18, I packed my duffle bag with rain boots and my favorite stuffed animal dog and made my way to the urban amusement park that awaited me. Boy, was I hit with the biggest culture shock. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. (And where are all the trees hiding around here?!, I thought.)

Coming from snowshoeing through trails and kayaking across the lake, I had never even seen any form of public transportation, let alone know how to use it! For the embarrassing amount of times I swiped my MetroCard to 'swiped too slowly, try again' before finally making it through the turnstile, I might as well have worn a big sign over my head labeled Tourist. What’s even worse is it took me at least three months into freshman year to figure out that there was a difference between uptown and downtown trains. (FYI. Incoming freshmen, the 4/5 green line does in fact go to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, but there is an identical 4/5 train that goes the opposite direction!). The whole system didn’t click until I watched an episode of Curious George where a two-year-old monkey made the same mistake during one of his many adventures in the Big Apple. At least he wasn’t late for class, though…

So the horseback riding redneck finally mastered the MTA system. Wrong. Later that semester, I needed to get to 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch the only ride back home to the woods for Christmas break. Grand Central, that’s the same thing as 42nd Street, I thought to myself, as I naïvely hopped on the 4/5 green line uptown. However, once I got off at 42nd, I realized just how long that famous street really is. This is when I discovered the east and west sides of the city. So, I had successfully made it to the right street, just on the completely opposite side of town. A 35-minute walk across avenues lugging a giant suitcase full of summer/fall clothes would assure me that I never made that mistake again. (Ok, I lied; I’ve definitively made that mistake too many times to call myself a New Yorker yet…)

Fast forward to senior year. Although I will soon have a degree in my hand, I can’t say I have fully aced the ever-complicated public transportation system. It’s okay, though, because I have the rest of my career to study for that test. To be honest, I will have to search in Google Maps (I wish I had discovered this app way sooner than sophomore year!) to figure out what train to take to Madison Square Garden to get to graduation on time, but I am proud to admit that, four years later, I am still just as curious and clueless as a monkey."

—Irene Schultz '16
Commercial Dance (BFA) and English
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences


Graduating in a few weeks? Share something about Pace you’ll miss, a professor who opened a door for you, a club or student org that changed your life, words of advice for current or prospective students, your plans for after graduation, etc. and we’ll include your quotes right here! Submit your Pace story here or e-mail it directly to with a photo. Plus, seniors who submit a testimonial will be randomly selected to win one of three Visa gift cards ($100, $100, and $50). Rather tweet or Instagram it? Use #SeniorSetters.