Photography by: Coastal Flicks
I have been in New York for two years now but it honestly feels like I have been here for a decade. Not because I haven’t loved it, but because I have learned so much and absorbed so many different things that the time just doesn’t seem long enough for everything I have done so far. As I sit here and write this, the lessons I want to transcribe are just too many so instead, I narrow to my top 10 for the sake of my sanity.
Even Your Hustle is Hustling
New York is hard. It’s a city that is not very inviting at first but once you find your niche, it can truly bring you the highest joys. Living here is an everyday grind, not just because it’s expensive but because everything here takes a few extra steps. (I.e. Taking off work to go to my doctor on the West side, then taking public transportation to 3 different burroughs and 8 different Duane Reade’s because no one has my damn meds). Even on your days off, you will be working because the only way to truly excel here is to be on at all times. Not to scare people away but it’s the people here that bust their ass every single day who truly excel.
Only Date in Your Borough
You might think four miles is close, but when it takes you an hour and a half to get to your mister, you need to break things off and get your head back in your burrough game. I live in Brooklyn, so when I started dating a guy who lived in Harlem, the “long-distance” (as I like to call it) strain on our relationship just wasn’t working. Unless you’re down to live out of your suitcase for the majority of your week, keep things closer to home.
Don’t Make Out With Your Neighbor
Just because the cast on “Friends” regularly did it, does not mean you should too. That particular lesson actually applies to just about everything in that tv show – keeping your door unlocked, sitting on a random couch outside of a fountain, spending all of the money you don’t have at an overpriced coffee shop down the street, etc. But making out with your neighbor is probably the biggest take away. Sure it may seem convenient at 2am when you’ve had a bad night and their door is so close it may as well be your own. But trust me, when it’s a Tuesday evening and all you want do is take your makeup off, do your laundry that’s piled up for the past two months and go to the gym in the basement to watch Real Housewives of OC because your cable has been shut off, seeing your ridiculously good looking neighbor you haven’t spoken to since your drunken make out sesh is really the last thing you’ll want to endure.
This City Is A Lot Smaller Than One Would Think
Seriously, everyone is connected to somebody, somehow, someway, without fail. Especially when you are in public relations/fashion/marketing/yada yada. Because of this, you always have to watch what you say and do because things travel a lot faster then one would think. So don’t be crazy, try your hardest at work and don’t get too drunk.
Don’t go to past 28th Street Unless You Have To
No seriously, uptown just sucks…so don’t go there.
Don’t Be Friends With People because They Have a lot of Money
Just because their apartment is beautiful, they get tables at the best (but douchiest) clubs and have no trouble footing your uber/seamless bills, don’t be friends with someone just because their pockets are bursting with dolla dolla bills. It may seem tempting in a city where money is the currency for a lot more than just materials goods, but it’s a heftier price tag on your relationships.
The Color of a Cupcake Could Make Or Break Your Public Relations Career
This isn’t a metaphor. The color of a cupcake literally ended my public relations career. There I was, a meek 21 year old, equipped with nothing but a History major in my pocket and a dream. I was an assistant at a beauty public relations firm tasked to send branded cupcakes to the Vogue editor who had included my client’s skincare serum in her latest column. To my client’s disgust, I had sent a dozen cupcakes in the regular black branded logo instead of the hot pink color of the serum’s cap. “How could you?” she asked me in pure, repulsed astonishment as if I had decided to not complete a heart transplant. “Now she wont Instagram the f****** cupcake.” This, I have to say, was the moment I decided public relations was not my path.
Your Apartment Will be Used as a Makeshift Hotel
Post-college friends are poor. Post-college friend’s family members aren’t poor but will still sleep on your couch because they met you once before four years ago and they want to visit New York. You will have humans in and out of your house at all times because let’s face it, no one wants to drop $400 on a hotel room in Midtown that will barely fit your suitcase.
You Will Experience Your Lowest-Lows and Highest-Highs
I cannot stress this point enough. Moving and living in New York is a commitment and sometimes the thought of going home and giving up on New York tends to seep in. I have to say, I really have had some pretty shitty times here but my highs wouldn’t have felt nearly like they did without knowing how hard I fought for them. When I look back on some of my best moments here, I know from the bottom of my heart that I had to endure some of the lowest of the lows in order to truly embrace and understand some of these life-changing moments that couldn’t have happened anywhere else accept for in New York.
Being Underpaid and Overworked is a Form of Labor Abuse
You will be overworked and underpaid especially if you go into public relations. Because PR is a job that so many girls want to go into after college, companies can abuse their 21 year old workers and make them believe working 78 hours a week living basically on minimum wage without getting paid overtime is normal. Guess what? Getting paid in macaroons and mascara doesn’t buy the toilet paper in my one-bedroom apartment I share with three other girls.