It’s no secret that the United States is one of the world’s biggest and most diverse countries, but what many, even Americans, tend to forget is how different life can be depending on where exactly in the country you live. Growing up in suburban Georgia, life was simple, mostly because there wasn’t any other option. Whenever my family and I wanted to go anywhere, there was only one logical form of transportation: the family van. When ordering take-out, there were really only two options: the mediocre pizza restaurant around the corner or the very obviously inauthentic Chinese restaurant conveniently located on the other side of town. By 10:00 p.m., every store within a ten-mile radius is closed and won’t reopen until mid-morning. There, a few hundred dollars a month can get you a pretty decent-sized apartment in a gated neighborhood. For me, transitioning from suburban to city life brought about life-changing lessons that I most likely wouldn’t have experienced living in my hometown.
If the United States is the land of opportunity, New York City is at its core. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or a quiet afternoon at a local museum, the opportunities are endless. There’s no such thing as being bored in NYC and if you are, you’re looking for fun in all the wrong places. For most Americans, NYC is a world of its own, complete with its own unique way of life and set of challenges, enough to intimidate and intrigue anyone who finds themselves here for more than a few days. In New York, it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by all that surrounds you, even after a few years of living here. From its people to its neighborhoods, NYC is filled with its fair share of unique personalities.
Unlike my hometown, diversity finds itself deeply embedded in NYC’s culture and history. For decades, people from all over the world have been flocking to the city, contributing a little part of themselves and their histories to all five boroughs. Soon after moving to NYC, you come to realize that the city is much more than what you see in the movies. There’s more to being in New York than hanging out a Times Square or frolicking in Central Park or taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. The heart of New York is found in the most remote corners—and the same goes for every major city in the world. By realizing this, you allow yourself the opportunity to make more out of your time here.
Moving from one city to another is a challenge in itself, but the real difficulty is experienced afterwards. Living in New York has tested my ability to adapt and forced me to grow beyond what I believed was possible while living in suburban Georgia. Let us know how your transition is going and what you’ve valued most about your time here thus far!