Jessica and Heidi’s respective pre-college and post-college guides got me thinkin’ about the time I made one of the biggest transitions in my life: moving from Southern California to New York. In between that time, I studied abroad in Italy, which was actually sort of a nice way to get myself at least a little bit ready for the major re-acclimation that was to come.
Although some of this advice can apply to any larger city you move to that is the exact opposite of where you came from, New York can be juuuuust a touch different from the rest of the country.
I somewhat touched on it here, but, you should always expect that there be no more than 2 outlets in your entire apartment. Sometimes you get lucky and get maybe 3, but all I have to say is that you should invest in some extension cords and power strips. Especially for your kitchen, which, if you’re lucky, you’ll have more than one section of counter space.
Thought you were done with IKEA after college? Think again. Even if you’re making a fairly reasonable salary, the amount you probably pay for rent sort of leaves you almost nowhere when it comes to furniture. The only other alternative is Craigslist or the street…which brings me to my next point,
Bedbugs & Nature’s Other Friends
There was a time in New York where one could find perfectly good furniture on the street free for the taking. Though I’ve had it just about up to here with bedbug alarmists, it’s just generally a good idea not to buy or adopt used furniture. Also, if you’re from California, you’ve probably never had a roach, mice, or rats problem. Well, welcome to the Black Plague II: The Plaguening, aka probably half of the spaces you ever walk into. You’re kind of on your own here– though with your rodent friends of course.
“Now I Live in the Slums!”
My ex-boyfriend, who was my boyfriend at the time I moved here, once jokingly said to me after I moved into my first apartment in Bushwick, “Hi, my name’s Anna G. I used to live in Scripps Ranch, and now I live in the slums!” True, my first apartment wasn’t in a particularly attractive area, nor was the apartment itself quite a non-slum, but you know what? I LIKED IT. If you don’t like it, then you should probably just move back to wherever you came from and shut up. Haha, just kidding. Kind of.
People Are Actually Nice, Unless You’re an Asshole, or they work at Jamba Juice or Duane Reade
I remember being sort of stumped as to how other people in the country have given New Yorkers such a bad rap for being “rude”. I found that people were actually much nicer and much more sociable, talkative and helpful, generally. Except if you ask a really stupid question or if you yourself are a rude prick. One marked difference I also found, being from the birthplace of Jamba Juice, is that people really don’t give a shit about smoothies here, which is the total opposite of Southern California. In fact, I was once FIRED from Jamba Juice in San Diego for not giving nearly enough of a shit. I don’t know why it is exactly that not only are those who make minimum wage in CA forced to be cheerful at gunpoint, but, regardless, that is certainly not the case at any New York Jamba Juice or Duane Reade. They don’t even attempt in the slightest to PRETEND to give a shit. Fair enough.
You Might Have Several Anxiety Attacks Out of Nowhere
Everything in New York is hyper-competitive, hyper-stressful, and just MAGNIFIED. It’s important to also remember that pleasure is also hyper-magnified. It can be a challenge not to sink yourself completely into one or the other, or oscillate horrendously between both. Stop comparing yourself to others, because, guess what? You’re never going to be Suri Cruise with her 100K treehouse and shag carpeting! NEVER! So, just try to relax and have non-manic driven fun with your friends (though I know how fun it is to do hood rat things with your friends).
You Came Here to Do One Thing
If you moved to New York by your own volition, chances are, you probably came here generally to find opportunities for better jobs and get the fuck away from your provincial hometown that makes you vomit every time you think of it for various reasons, and eventually– because you’ll realize that nowhere in the US will do. That’s what you should focus on instead of freaking out all the time. Because you’ll probably be freaking out a lot.
Got any other pieces of advice? I’d like to see you fucking try. Really, though, I would. Leave them in the comments.
Photo courtesy of YourCompleteGuideForMovingToNewYorkCity.