The 10 Ways New York City Has Ruined Your Youth

by Eddie Cuffin

New York City: the concrete jungle, the capital of the world, the wasteland of the youth. This intense city is a place where you will find all likes of people from many backgrounds and cultures. It is a city that isn't for everyone, but once you're here, you're stuck. Growing up in NYC is truly a unique experience and it only gets weirder the more you grow up.

In New York you are forced to grow up fast, you are placed in a wild jungle where everyone is trying to survive. Survival in this city is key. As a child growing up here, you never really have a youth. You are immersed in a life with many moving parts. There is no such thing as a childhood out here.

When you come across true New Yorkers, you can tell that they have been through it all here. They tend to identify themselves with an older crowd because people their age are a little behind. It's just the sad truth: New York eats its young. Here are the 10 Reasons New York City has ruined your youth:

With everything at your fingertips, it's so easy to get spoiled.

Growing up in New York, you have everything at your fingertips, all that you want is conveniently close so all you have to do is get up and go. There are a variety of cultures and restaurants available for your leisure. You can experience so much in one city that going anywhere else gets boring fast.

You've definitely saw a crackhead masturbate before you could.

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This city isn't for the faint of heart, it really takes a lot of energy to live here. You will seen anything and everything, at a certain point nothing will surprise you anymore. I mean there are just weird people out in these streets and who knows what you will get from these crackheads on these streets?

The fast pace of the city engulfs you.

Nothing in this world is more stressful than the fast-paced life of such a city. Everyone is constantly moving, building and working towards the next thing and if you don't keep up, you fall back quickly. This puts a lot of pressure on you as a kid, to grow up and mature quickly. You begin to think differently and the "New York Minute" mindset consumes you, forcing you to become an adult early on.

Getting drugs at any age is as easy as going to your deli.

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Drug dealers will sell to anyone, and there is always one available. They are in the business of making money and in this city, you need to be available with product if you want to survive as a dealer. Kids out here start smoking weed and experimenting with other drugs as early as high school. I mean girls in high school rip lines and go on cocaine diets before they even start drinking.

Lower East Side dive bars give you an affinity for whiskey before you get a good fake ID.

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Your fake id isn't good enough to get you into clubs, but it works in the Lower East Side. Who doesn't remember going to dive bars to get whiskey because you knew the bouncer didn't care how old you are. He knows your ID is fake but he still lets you in because the bar needs the money. You're only here for a short time because your good fake ID is coming in from China and it will get you into all the clubs.

Everyone is looking to get something for themselves, so you must compete with them.

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In this city, everyone wants to get their piece of the pie, there is always an incentive for people who want to get involved. You may think people are your friends, but there is always some personal interest. At an early age, you begin to notice this and you will begin to look at people differently. Friends can become enemies and enemies will become friends if they each get something out of it. Friends are no longer the people you played with at recess.

You're tired of the club scene before you're old enough to drink.

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If you know what you're doing in New York, you usually start clubbing around the age of 16. Just straight going out until dawn drinking hard liquor. There's nothing like being 16 and experiencing New York nightlife for the first time. All the young girls are fresh on the scene and usually get hit on by the older rich guys. By the time you're old enough to drink, you get annoyed with the whole club scene; seeing all the same people just going out to be seen rather than to enjoy themselves.

If you want to survive, you have to adapt.

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Thinking quickly on your feet is just as critical as breathing in this city. As early as your days in elementary school, you are forced to think fast and become mature. You have all types of people around you, older and younger who are trying to make it in this city. Your best quality will be learning how to adapt and it starts at a young age.

The things you experience at the age of 16, people elsewhere do at 21.

This is just fact, in this city, what you see and experience is not like any other city. You are immersed in a fast lifestyle that forces you to mature more quickly. Everything happens at a faster pace out here and your life is never really the same. At 16, you will have problems and issues that people deal with later in their lives. There is nothing you can do about this at all, no matter how sheltered you are or how much your parents try to protect you, there is nothing they can do about it.

There's too much freedom way too fast

New York City is truly a jungle, once you leave your home, you are pretty much thrown into an abyss. You are free to do whatever you want because there is so much to do out here. It is your job to make sure you stay on path and do the right things, but many people fall under pressure. But really? What are you supposed to do when you live in a such a diverse area where no one block is the same?

Top Photo Courtesy: Lazy Desperados