5 Things I Learned From Living in NYC
5 Things I Learned From Living in NYC
As a handful of you might know, I spent a very interesting (and not necessarily productive) summer in New York City. Wide-eyed and ready for action, I moved into the city with high expectations and a long list of things that I wanted to see/do/accomplish. I did like, three of those things, ended up quitting my internship, and mainly spent my time wrapped up in my fuzzy blanket, avoiding any sort of human interaction. Although the summer didn’t go as planned (I’ll get into that later), I did learn quite a few things, and it ended up being still pivotal and educational, just not in the way I thought it would be. Here are some of the things I’ve learned, my friends. Learn from my mistakes (and my successes- if there are any).
You feel like an introverted tadpole in a sea of sweaty people
OH MY GOD. Let me just say that there are WAYYYYY too many people in New York. The over-populatedness of the city was something that I always thought I loved, but until you live there you don’t realize how draining that can be. You are constantly, constantly surrounded by humans. Did I say constantly? Constantly. Walking down the street? Humans. Going on the subway? Face-to-body with humans. Maybe you’re going to the park to get some peace and quiet. Well in order to do so, you have to transport yourself there, which requires being around loads of- you guessed it. Humans.
Think you’re alone in your tiny little apartment? Nope, you’re not, because you can hear the homeless guy that screams outside, allllllll the way from the 16th floor of your apartment building. Thin windows are a very real thing.
You WILL spend obscene amounts of money
One time, I got a sandwich and it was like, $20. Another time, I got a 6 oz. glass of apple juice and it cost $5. Want a cookie? A burger? A single french fry? Muster up your life savings, because that’s what you’ll be spending on food in New York. I didn’t even get to shop, because my Honeycrisp apples cost me $5 a pound.
NYC is an oddly lonely place
There’s this weird thing about New York, where you feel so alone, so isolated, even though you’re technically surrounded by people (see #1 for more on that).I spoke to a few people who go to school in NYC, and all of them said the same thing: “Oh yeah, New York is the loneliest city ever.” It’s like this weird, unspoken, running joke amongst those who live there- everyone feels lonely. I felt polarized, I was in a new city- no job, no friends, no roommates, no connections. It’s definitely not a fun thing to experience, but I suppose it allows you to spend a lot of time with yourself (which can be both a good and bad thing). You are forced to endure the silence (speaking metaphorically, because you really can’t find any of that in New York), and reflect on yourself, your mind, your actions, your life.
On the flip side, you’ll meet the most inspiring, unique individuals
I cannot explain how much I love the people that I encountered while being in New York. I met artists, yoga teachers, dancers, interns, students, etc. Everyone had a story, and to share ideas and feelings with someone that you just met is something that seems so common in the city. People are open and open-minded; they are also the kindest people you will ever meet. Whoever said that New Yorkers are rude clearly has never ventured outside of Time Square (which is all tourists, not locals). The number of individuals that helped me lift my massive intern-errand-bag up the subway steps was amazing. People will literally come up and offer you their help (okay, obviously you still have to have your street smarts cap on)…. anyways, New Yorkers are amazing.
We all have one thing in common- we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing with our lives
In the midst of meeting so many different people, I realized one thing: none of us feel like we have our lives together. EVERYONE I met was either in the midst of changing careers, confused with their path, stressed with life, feeling unmotivated, etc. It made me realize that we all have our own journeys and struggles, and yet the confusion you feel as a young individual (whether it be school, careers, love, etc) is a commonality amongst ALL of us. How could it be that within the realms of the great Manhattan skyline, so many people share these common feelings? We are all so different, yet so alike. I find it to be beautiful, to be quite honest.
xx Julia B.