Oh, New York, the "Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of." Although that much is true, it's going to take more than a few Alicia Keys lyrics to aid your survival in the city that never sleeps.
You've completed step one by crossing the Mason-Dixon line, but here are 10 tips that will help any Southerner master the Empire State.
1. Repeat after me: There is no such thing as sweet tea.
The sooner you can accept this, the better. Your waiter will probably reply to your request with, “We have tea, but it's not sweet, cool?”
You heard right; in New York City, sweet tea is not a “thing.” This is not to say that it doesn't exist, but you have to search far and wide to find it.
2. Getting married super young while living in NYC doesn't happen often.
The average age in New York City to get married is between 30 and 34, so if you're heading up North to find a husband or wife, might be best to keep wandering down where it's still warm.
The NYC social scene definitely has a lot to offer, and there are so many singles who are totally dateable. But, the closest thing you're going to come to young marriage up here is “liking” your southern friend's engagement status on Facebook.
3. Publix subs, Zaxby's chicken fingers and Bojangles? #Fuhgidaboutit
While in NYC, you're going to be exposed to more food options than ever before. There are so many choices when it comes to delectable dining and never enough time to enjoy it all.
Zaxby's hasn't found its way to Manhattan as of yet, and a sub and banana pudding from Publix will become a sweet memory of the past, but you will find a way to move on. You can always fulfill your food cravings when you go home to see your family over the holidays.
4. "Y'all" is a dead giveaway every time.
Say it aloud and prepare for looks of utter confusion.
5. There is no such thing as personal space.
Let's face it: There are at least 3 million people in Manhattan alone on a typical workday, and they all want to squeeze onto the uptown train as desperately as you do. Prepare to be very, very close to strangers, but try to avoid face-to-armpit contact at all costs.
6. There are no Walmarts, but you will learn to love your neighborhood bodega.
So what if you can't get groceries, vacuum cleaners and shaving cream at one store? The neighborhood bodega has the best egg, bacon and cheese sandwich ever.
7. You're going to pay more for your two-bedroom apartment than your parents pay for their six-bedroom house.
No one said life was fair, okay?
8. There is an art to the “speed walk.”
Long gone are the days of taking your precious time to mosey down the sidewalk. This is New York City, so walk with a purpose. You will soon find your Southern-bred habit to smile at every person you see as you pass on the sidewalk fading away like your country accent.
9. You're going to see it all while riding public transportation.
Children doing acrobatics on the train? Opera singers dressed like Elmo in the subway station? You will see every type of performance you can imagine while traveling to your next location in New York City, and will eventually even begin to know the choreography by heart.
10.You're going to forget the negatives that come with living in NYC because it's the best city ever.
Crazy how that works, right? Despite the hundreds of tourists bumping into you as they read their maps and attempt to walk simultaneously, or discovering rats the size of baby kittens actually exist, nothing beats living in the best city ever.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It