It doesn’t take long living and working in a place like New York City before you start to come to terms with some harsh realities you never imagined would be a part of your dream life. Morning commutes are hectic and honestly, sweaty. What seem like endless hours at your desk will have you longing for cocktails and the clock to strike 5.
However, the benefits of big city living far outweigh the stressors. If you choose to stick with the movers & the shakers, there are definitely some things that can help make this sort of life transition easier for you. Some of them are material goods, while others are something you’ll have to pull from within. In any case, they’ve helped me and maybe they can help you too.
Good shoes and/or lots of band-aids
Since I’ve been living in the city I walk an average of 6 miles a day. It’s great hidden exercise that allows you to foodie hard with barely noticing the toll its taking on your body. Utilizing the subway or walking to work makes life seem like a breeze, until the day you wear the wrong shoes. Seriously consider investing in good pairs of sneakers like Adidas or a stylish pair of New Balances. During the summertime, Steve Madden and Birkenstock are great sandal options that will keep your feet happy. Still, carrying band-aids on your person at all times is an absolute must - not only for you but to share with friends and coworkers on the same struggle bus.
Headphones and great playlists
One of the first things you notice when you end up in a big city is EVERYONE wearing their headphones all the time. I never thought I’d be one of those people but my perspective changed very quickly. This is due to a number of factors. It’s a great way to make sure you’re not being harassed by people on the street trying to get you to take a bus tour or see the latest musical they’re promoting. It also drastically improves your commute from place to place. For me, the most important thing it’s done so far has jump started my mornings or picked me up when I was feeling pathetic. No one likes waking up early or getting overwhelmed at their new job, but that’s why we make playlists full of OG rap, your favorite uplifting dance music, or sometimes just a calming station to help you relax on your walk after a long day. Sometimes you just have to put on your headphones, drown the world out, and handle it.
Paying attention on the Subway
This is where altering your mental awareness comes into play. Whether you’re new learning how to navigate, or a season veteran who’s just being comfortably absent minded, getting on the wrong subway train is a lot easier than you think. If you’re not hyper aware of whether you need to be going Uptown or Downtown, whether you actually can only take the E on the ACE line, or just completely drown out the announcement of what stop you’re at, you’ll find yourself in the wrong place. This may not be a problem when you’re just hanging out with friends, but when you’re getting to work or running an errand from your boss, you DON’T wanna be that person.
An undying love for Happy Hour
Depending on the industry you work in, you might get the perk of having happy hour in the office (I do, and it’s amazing). Regardless, everyone in New York goes to happy hour. This could be due to the fact that people are hustling and grinding all day and need to relax, or just because you’re surrounded by that many bars. With how expensive alcohol can get in big cities, taking advantage of the deals is a must - especially on an intern or entry level salary. It’s also a great way to network with people at your company or other people your age with awesome jobs you’d like to know more about. Pick your signature cocktail and claim a table at your favorite rooftop with friends.
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