Today marks one month since I moved to the area, one month since starting a full-time position at my dream job, and two months since graduating college. Moving here has honestly been the best decision I’ve made thus far. But full disclaimer, I don’t live in New York City, I live on the outskirts in New Jersey. Nevertheless, same vibes.
Since moving here, I vowed to myself to take notes, live in the moment, and just absorb everything that’s going on around me. In the past, I haven’t been able to do that because I was always so focused on ‘what’s next?’ I can’t imagine a better place to spend my early 20s. Especially considering I’ve wanted to live here since I was 8 years old.
So, in my one month of being a ‘New Yorker’, this is what I have learned. Stay tuned if you’re interested to hear where things go from here.
What Have I Learned Since Moving Here?
1. Take cheap out of your vocabulary. But what you rarely hear is that you can live as expensively or inexpensively as you want here. I pay $2.75 each way to get in and out of the city. Then add on lunch (unless you pack a lunch, which I occasionally do) for $10-15 a day. That’s a little more than $75/week on the lower end. But the takeaway here is that not all restaurants are expensive and not all fun activities require money!
2. Whoever said you don’t need a car, lied (unless you actually live in Manhattan). If you’re like me and you’re a big grocery shopper, there’s no way you’re carrying all those groceries for miles. And while we’re talking about transportation. The trains. The only way to make it out alive, until you know your routes, is to use an app. Live it, learn it, love it.
3. I have a problem with letting money dictate my life. One afternoon I was just looking out of our 15th-floor window onto Bryant Park. Noticing all the activity going on, appreciating how vibrant New York City is becoming again. However, greatly timed, one of my many introspective moments hit, and asked myself: “Do I really want to spend my youth sitting in this office working until 10 pm, constantly worrying about how am I going to make more money?”
No. That honestly sounds like a sad life.
“Alexa, play Love Yourz by J. Cole.”
From the outside looking in, New York is the perfect place to challenge your ambitions, tap into your work ethic, and professionally grow exponentially. However, I see this place as I giant book of knowledge. There are stories to be told on every corner. And having finite financial resources forces me to appreciate the beauty of the grit and grind around me. Having your breath taken away by the scenery makes you truly understand the saying “money isn’t everything.”
Side Notes and Travel Tips:
Doctors take the train too. Kinda reassuring in a way.
Stay off Broadway. Times Square is nice the first time you see it, but a major tourist trap. The mixtape guy, asking for a “donation” is politely saying pay me. Who still has a CD player?
If you think you’re getting on the wrong train … you probably are.
Two people to never to listen to about New York: Movies and people who don’t (and have never) live(d) here.
The alcohol-to-price ratio does not add up!
Despite the rederick you hear about the city, it’s not all bad nor is it as lovely as Trainwreck or Isn’t It Romantic might make it seem.
It truly is a melting pot, with so many cultures packed into one island, you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your fancy. Honestly, I can’t even DoorDash food because there are just too many options. But overall, it’s an experience and an accomplishment that I am very proud to say I’ve made happen in my life. Hopefully, these feelings stay the same one year from now!