Top 5 Lessons I’ve Learned in NYC


If you know me or have been following my NYC journey on social media, then you probably know I moved from North Carolina to New York a little under a year ago. With my first year of graduate school at Columbia coming to a close, I thought this would be a great time to reflect upon all of the lessons learned during my first year in the city.

  1. Don’t take it personal – New Yorkers tend to be direct. Don’t mistake the bluntness as a personal affront.
  2. Try everything once – New York has some of the most unique restaurants and events in the world. If you get invited to a science fiction play about technology and humanity, go! There is no such thing as time wasted in NYC.
  3. Duane Reade is king – The regional drugstore literally has everything, and they are on almost every street corner in New York. I find myself in the store several times a week. You name it, they have it.
  4. Do it alone – NYC is the best place to explore your independence. I don’t encourage doing everything alone, but if your friends are too busy to go to an event I suggest going anyways. I’ve attended some amazing readings and lectures in the city… alone! The best part is that you meet new people. From dinner out to going to a Broadway show, you’d be surprised how often people do things solo in the city.
  5. It’s okay to smile – One of my biggest fears in moving to NYC was that people would be cold and unfriendly. Not true. New Yorkers do have a no nonsense exterior, but kindness is far from rare and a smile goes a long way. I wouldn’t suggest cheesing at everyone you see, but taking the time to acknowledge your barista or the owner of the local dry cleaners goes a long way.

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