Before the age of eighteen, you only ever knew what it was like to live in a small town. Your friends are a few blocks away and there’s a farm on just about every corner. High school is only about a ten-minute walk from your house, and it doesn’t even take ten minutes for the town’s daily gossip to multiply to full capacity. The only “new” things that occur are the building of new houses and launch of yet another family owned restaurant. The term “different” has no real place, but “usual” will always offer a comforting greeting. You don’t dismiss where you come from, but you’ll also find that there’s not much to say about it when you leave. Old souls like you prefer a mature challenge, one with a luxurious reward.
The Fashion Institute of Technology will become the reason you make the move, leaping straight into college and new surroundings. Trading mountain views for skyscrapers is a dream you always found thrilling, but it will be something you might also find difficult. Money will not be an easy factor at first, especially when attending school in one of the most expensive areas. Odd jobs will be your friend, and the city is filled with them. Whether it’s babysitting, walking dogs, working retail etc., you’ll do it all for the extra buck in your account and that perfect glass of red wine to get through it all.
And then there’s actually getting used to the city. One day you’ll end up in Queens with your roommate by accident, unaware that there are apps such as Citymapper to help with direction illiterates like yourself. A particular salesman might get aggressive if you walk the other way in Times Square (don’t even think about going near the costumed characters). Oh, and I should warn you that going back to your old town will be like going back in time—hello innovation, have you guys heard of it?!
Aside from daily adjustments, it will all be worth it. Unlike your old town, you’ll have everything you need in a ten-minute walk. New York truly is an escape; a small separate world. Some of the best nightclubs like Black Flamingo will let you have an unforgettable time. You can finally live like Blair Waldorf by having a date night at Gramercy Tavern and putting together a wish list from Bergdorf’s (you don’t have quite enough saved for that Gucci yet). A slew of events will occur every weekend such as Smorgasburg. In your new life, your fresh opportunity, there is so much to do, and you will find that this is the place to make it happen.
You’ll also find that several people will try to shove their opinions at you, give you doubts and ultimately tell you that life in the city is only for the select few. Just know they’re on an opposite path, saying their wedding vows before hitting age twenty. When you make it to twenty, you’ll have already checked off some lifetime goals like attending NYFW, signing a lease to an apartment and meeting friends that will propel you to your best self yet.
So, keep setting your goals high. I trust that you will find the next few years of your life to be utterly mesmerizing. Although if you still have any doubts about making the big trade, understand that no part of your family wants to own and operate a restaurant...
[Photo via @tesajurjasevic]