Despite growing up in upstate New York and managing to make my way into New York City quite often, my recent move to The Big Apple was still quite overwhelming.
One evening during my first week, a friend of mine who made NYC her home a few years prior, took my poor, still slightly terrified self in for an evening of pizza and beer. When she started talking about how she felt when she first moved, I instantly felt a massive sense of relief that I was not alone.
It’s quite common to feel scared and hugely out of place when you first arrive in NYC. We both agreed that there are so many aspects of living here that no one is warned about, aspects we did not even think would be an issue.
So, I have decided to create a list based on my experience here for all my fellow NYC newbies:
You might hate it at first.
I apologize for starting off so brutally honest, but it’s true. I’ll be the first to admit that it took every ounce of my willpower to not hop back on a train home my first few days in the city.
You will instantly feel like a fish out of water. You don’t know how to get anywhere, you’re afraid of being mugged and you’ve seen way too many episodes of "Law & Order." It’s enough to make anyone long for his or her blissfully boring existence back in Nowheresville, USA.
Fear not; it will pass.
You will be exhausted.
Merely existing in New York City is tiring. Even if you don’t leave your apartment all day long, you will feel drained.
I’ve discovered that all New Yorkers are forced to build up what I call NYC Stamina: the ability to work, travel, live and socialize without collapsing into a puddle.
It’s something everyone goes though, and it is not easy. I in no way condone drug use, but the excessive amount of cocaine ingested by Leonardo DiCaprio and his friends in "The Wolf of Wall Street" makes so much more sense to me. The struggle is real.
Your core strength will greatly improve.
Due to lurching subway cars, this will develop out of mere necessity. Once you witness a man fall fully on top of another man when the train starts to move -- flailing limbs and all -- you will do whatever it takes to prevent yourself from toppling over.
If you wear sunglasses on the subway, people will ask you for directions.
I really don’t know why this is, but in my experience, if you wear your sunglasses underground, people dub you a local. Which will result in one of two things: You will be flattered and proud of yourself that you can point them in the right direction, or you will have absolutely no idea how to help them and feel like a fraud.
There’s always the third option of giving an answer that you really don’t know is correct. (I do not recommend this option.)
You will get in the way of tourists' photos.
In the midst of all your high-speed walking that the city often requires, you will inevitably and unknowingly step directly in front of a group of tourists posing for a photo.
Due to this high-speed walking, however, by the time you realize what is happening, it will be too late. You will have no choice but to continue walking past them and feel like a complete jerk.
Your feet will be calloused and gross from walking everywhere.
It’s really not cute, but it’s okay because at $9, a pedicure is one of the few things you can actually afford here.
You will probably fall in love with it.
Simply put, there’s nothing else like NYC. There’s just something magical about New York, and even if it ultimately is not the place for you, you still won’t be able to deny that it has its spectacular moments.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It