About six months ago I read the most eloquent, and succinct, post on the trials and tribulations associated with your first year in New York. As my own one year anniversary approached (editors note: it was August 31), I kept thinking of Hallie's beautiful words and, at the risk of being a complete copy-cat, thought it was the perfect time to write my own love letter to Manhattan, and to offer some advice to any wide-eyed girl about to embark on her own New York adventure.
First, welcome! If you're anything like me, you're feeling a combination of apprehension, exhilaration, and total fear. Take a breath, you're going to love it here.
You will quickly learn that every cliche ever writen about New York is true. It is dirty, loud, obnoxious, and amazing.
Three apps you won't be able to live without are Seamless, Hopstop, and Dark Sky. By the time you
get home from work you'll be so exhausted you won't even have energy to boil water, so Seamless will become your best friend. The subway system can be very overwhelming (I was convinced I would never understand it) but Hopstop gives you every detail of directions. It also calculates the most cost, and time, effective options. You will also never check the weather more frequently than you do in the city, Dark Sky is my favorite weather app. Cabs don't stop in the rain so you always have to be prepared for a sudden shower. This app notifies you if rain is approaching and even the length and severity of the storm- it's amazing!
New York is fast paced and competitive. Block out the white noise. You are doing exactly what you need to do to construct the rest of your life. Don't allow others expectations to cloud your mind, you'll get there.
Along those same lines, look alive, whether it's when you're about to step on the train, in line at Starbucks, or when an opportunity strikes. This city will eat you alive if you're not constantly in motion. There's something so amazing about his city, it's like there's opportunity in the air. Every morning it will energize and excite you. (It did the impossible, it turned me into a morning person).
You'll become accustomed to seeing celebrities rather regularly.
Always leave yourself extra time during your commute, there's always an unexpected train delay.
You'll meet the most amazing, diverse, group of people. Some will become some of your closest friends, some will teach you unfortunate life lessons, and others will help you build your future. Appreciate each and every one of them for what you learn.
New Yorkers don't discuss the astronomical costs of things here, they're desensitized to it. Don't expect them to sympathize with you $35 salad. The only thing that is constantly talked about is real estate and the price of everyone's rent.
Try not to say "no" to any opportunity. Over the past year I've had more amazing experiences than I could ever have dreamt. When someone offers you tickets to an event or asks you if you want to join them on a weekend get-away, try and say yes. Get out of bed and go to brunch, or football games. You won't want to, especially since you may live so insanely far from your friends (like me) but it's so worth it.
SoulCycle is worth every penny.
Unfortunately, there will ALWAYS be someone with a better outfit, and more expensive accessories. Try your hardest not to let that get to you.
You'll develop a healthy, thick skin. People here don't sugar coat things, and they don't tolerate excuses. This will help you grow up and become a stronger version of yourself. (Just be vigilant not to lose too much of yourself).
And finally, there will be days, just like when you were in college, when you question your path and feel completely overwhelmed. It's natural but no matter what, at some point, every single day, there will be a moment that transcends upon you when you stop and remember exactly why you love this city and that this is exactly where you are meant to be.
Enjoy every second of this new, incredible, life.