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  • Writer's pictureLauren

What I wish I knew about moving to New York City

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

A lot of people dream of moving to New York City. I was not one of those people. Even though I wasn't dreaming of the city, during my senior year I got an amazing offer from a tech company based in NYC and so, obviously, NYC was dreaming of me. I had reservations about moving. I've never done it before and lived in the same house for my entire life. I also only went to college only 30 minutes away. So, it was finally time to get out of the suburbs and become a city girl! I see this as a great chance for me to grow into my own person away from the things I've always known.


The actual move


New York is about 3.5 hours from where I live, so we packed up a moving truck and got on the road. The actual process of moving was horrible. We rode down in two cars, the moving truck and our own car. We made it to the city, through horrible traffic and as soon as we got to the city, the car started smoking and a mile from my apartment the car broke down. And then to make everything better it was the weekend of the tropical storm. So as we started unloading the truck it started pouring rain. Despite the initial road bumps over the last month or so I've been able to settle in and make New York feel a little more like home and a little less like a dream.


Here are some things I've learned since moving to NYC


  • Be prepared to be overwhelmed, this has been one of the biggest adjustments for me. It's really an example of trying to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Moving to New York from the suburbs of Maryland to Manhattan was a huge adjustment. The city's sheer number of people around me caught me off guard and initially put me on edge. I know that everyone knows New York is packed with people, but knowing it and actually experiencing it in your day-to-day life is extremely different. I walk out of my building and suddenly there are people bustling all around me and so many things to be aware of. Even smaller tasks that were easy and peaceful at home like grocery shopping become a buzz of activity with people fighting to get the last tomato.


  • Find a budget you can actually stick to. Everyone says it, New York City (especially Manhattan) is an expensive place. Finding an apartment that works for your budget is the first part. There are many websites you can use to narrow down the neighborhoods and budgets that you're looking for. My roommate and I used a broker, who was super helpful in the process. But other than the sky-high price of rent, spending within your means is doable. I'm living in the East Village and around me there's a lot of affordable restaurants, bars, and activities (oh yeah those important things like grocery stores. Of course, food and dining are a huge part of my monthly expenses, so understanding that and picking budget-friendly places have been key. This is one of my first times really creating a budget that I actually need to stick to so I've been using a 50-30-20 budget. This simply means spending 50 percent of monthly income on your necessary expenses, 30 percent discretionary spending, and 20 percent goes into savings.


  • You'll keep getting lost. I keep getting turned around and basically have no idea where I am going most of this time whether I'm on the subway, walking or taking the bus. Not knowing where I am going has actually that's been the best way to get to know your way around. I've gotten around through the magic of googlemaps and the subway app.


  • There really is always something to do. So enjoy it, take advantage of all the fun around. So far I've already been to the U.S. Open, governors balls, and a few happy hours and brunches. There's also many free things that you can do too. Not everything that you do in New York has to be expensive or fancy.

  • You're going to see weird things. Don't let the shows and tiktok fool you. For all of the cities great things there's a lot of strange things going on too. I've seen things that I can't unsee. That's a little dramatic, but seriously it's not all pretty skylines is rooftop views. There's also a lot of interesting smells.


This is a little of what I've learned in my first month of living in New York. There's good and bad about living here but for me it's been an overwhelmingly good experience. It's forcing me to grow and become more confident while having a lot of fun and creating new experiences. I'm excited to be here, in one of the most exciting cities in the world and I'm eager to share it with

you all!


On that note,


Cheers to new adventures in a new city


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