| Sep 25, 2014
New York City is one of the most overwhelming places to move to for the first time. With so much going on and such a fast pace to life, it’s easy to start feeling lost. And because local residents tend to keep to themselves (especially when compared to suburban life), you might soon start feeling isolated.
Settling in might take some time, but it is possible. Here are a few tips for making the transition easier. > Study a Subway Map
: You probably won’t feel at home on the Subway until you’ve ridden it for a few months, but you can reduce your number of mishaps by having some idea of the routes ahead of time.
> Visit Tourist Sites if You Want to
: Okay, so you’re going to look (and feel) like a tourist if you spend the first few weeks visiting places like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, but you are in New York, after all. If you want to see the major sites, go ahead and do it. These visits will help you get a sense of the city’s history and make you take pride in some of the attractions your new hometown offers.
> Find Places Nearby
: New York might seem like a huge, never-ending whirl of new faces and places, but you’d be surprised at how much like a small town certain neighborhoods can feel. Find a café you like, a great bar with wi-fi, or a bodega where you can grab lunch every day. By visiting a small number of places several times, you’ll start to pick up on familiar faces and the culture of that particular neighborhood.
> Have Things Delivered
: Food, groceries, toiletries, even furniture can be easily delivered in New York, and it’s a good idea to rely on these kinds of services whenever you can. Because driving yourself around is probably not going to happen (and because carrying bags of groceries home on the subway is never fun), it’s probably best to start letting the goods and services come to you.
> Invest in Earplugs
: The noise level of New York is high, and it keeps going all night long. Not getting enough sleep is a fast-track to feeling even more out-of-place and unhappy, so do what you have to in order to sleep well. Earplugs, white noise machines, going to bed an hour earlier than you’re used to…they can all help while you make the transition. Before you know it the sirens and car alarms won’t even phase you.
> Go to Parties (Even if you Don’t Want to)
: The only way to feel truly at home in New York is to get out and socialize. The last thing you might want to do is attend parties or join social groups, but if you want to feel at home, you’ll need to find a circle of friends where you feel at ease. Use the internet and local cafes to find groups of people with similar interests (no matter your hobby, you will be able to find like-minded people in NYC).
Ask anyone who’s been here for a while—life in New York is pretty great. There will be a learning curve, though, so don’t expect everything to happen overnight. Allow yourself to make mistakes, give yourself time to settle in, and try not to spend all your time at home. You’ll be a native in no time!