I’ve had a few friends recently talk to me about a possible move to the City. I’ve been doing my best to be super biased and persuade them to come (with a little bit of logic in there, t00).
The response to actually moving seems to be: I really want to, but… 1. I’m scared 2. The outcome is so uncertain 3. I’m worried about money.
That’s right, up and moving is scary, uncertain, and you should be worried about money. But I believe our 20s is the time when we should be allowed to take some real chances and let our life bea risk.
When I moved here I paid ahead for two months of a sublet and had $900. I came on a one-way ticket. I had no job. I knew two people.
Living in the City has been really hard. I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for the help (and by “help” I mean “loans of cold, hard cash”) of family and friends. All of which I have been able to pay back (expect for one month’s rent to my parents – k thx luv ya).
I’ve been lucky to stay in New York City as long as I have – 17 months now. I’ve had many, many, many ups and downs. I’ve wanted to pack up and leave. In moments of frustration I’ve regretted showing up at all. But, in the grand scheme of life, I’m so happy I came. I’ll save you the part about how magical the City is and how I’m super, duper inspired all the time. For one thing it’s only half true, and for another it’s super cheesy and annoying.
Life happens. Here are a few ways my life has happened since I moved here: I…
- Woke up with over 30 bed bug bites my third morning in the City
- Got laid off
- Literally had $0 in all three bank accounts
- Had a homeless man stick his finger in my ear and call me a “handsome mother f***er” in broad daylight
- Have canceled weekends worth of social plans because I didn’t have the $2.25 subway fare to take the train
- Went a 24-hour period without eating because I didn’t have money for food
- Broke a heart
- Got a “haircut” at a placed called “Sisters” in Harlem… and having to go home and buzz my head with a beard trimmer because it was a hack job (I refer to this as The Harlem Hair Catastrophe)
- Applied to over 300 jobs, got 11 interviews, and (finally) one offer – only to have the job turn out to kind of be a bust
When something crappy happens I always say, “It will add more drama to my E! True Hollywood Story.”
If you’re thinking about a move: Yes, be scared – that’s natural. Yes, worry about money, have some sort of plan, but don’t worry about every detail. But also, know that if you come, you’re in for an adventure. I love being a 20-something in the City. There’s a whole community of us, so you must know you won’t be alone. New York is still a City of great opportunity, even amongst the competition.
I suggest saving enough to be able to pay three months ahead on a sublet. That will give you enough time to get here, settle in a bit, and hopefully find some sort of job. Ideally, try to hit the one year mark in the City before you decide if it’s worth staying any longer. You’ll likely find out living here is a love/ hate relationship.
Don’t be afraid of failure. You may not make it in the City (I still don’t think I have). You may find out the City just isn’t for you. But you will never know until you try – that’s what ultimately got me here.
I miss home. I miss undergrad. I miss my family. I miss my friends. But right now, for this season of life, I want to be nowhere else but New York City.