Why New York Has Changed Me
I get questions all the time about why did I decide to move to New York and why did I decide to take the step to go to school so far away from everything I know and why New York specifically?
Well, I think I should start by saying that I decided to move to New York for school first and foremost, but second, I applied to school in New York because it was always a dream of mine since I was young to live in the big city. I always wanted to be in the center of culture, fashion, and the fast pace energy that New York brings. It is truly unlike any city I have ever been to.
When I made the decision to move to New York, I was definitely at a point in my life where I needed to be pushed. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I needed to grow. I needed to figure out who I really was as a person (still learning every day!). And I needed to spread my wings and take an opportunity of a lifetime of moving to a new place and at a young age.
So why has New York changed me?
I grew up being extremely shy and I would say more so introverted than extroverted. Although always extremely friendly, I was not always the most independent. I often needed a partner in crime and someone by my side in order to really feel comfortable in new places or new social situations. Although there have been other turning points in my life that have also pushed me to become slowly more independent and confident (cheerleading in high school in front of huge crowds, leading recruitment for Pi Phi at USC), New York has pushed and challenged me in new ways.
In a city filled with so many people, one would think that it is super easy to meet new people and fall into place. However, for me, it was extremely challenging. My first year here, I felt extremely alone most of the time and had a hard time pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone (my apartment). I met people through school who were nice and always invited me out and I had my friends from undergraduate, but it wasn’t until this past year that I really began to find my groove here. I started to do little things on my own, go to work-out classes, have a cup of coffee somewhere, meet up with friends that I normally wouldn’t have gone out with on my own… and the craziest thing happened (well crazy to me, because I never realized that this would happen)… I began to love the independence.
I loved going to new places and chatting with new people and pushing myself to become my own person. I found that when I was on my own, I was living more in the moment and not so worried about doing everything with someone all the time or worried about if everyone else around me was happy. I began to worry about if I was happy and I think that is beyond important. (disclaimer: I still also love hanging with my friends in the city)
In the hustle and bustle of the crazy, amazing city, I originally allowed it to make me feel alone… but after being fed up with not enjoying my experience enough, I decided that being independent really wasn’t that scary. New York has changed me for the better. It has made me become more me than I ever thought I could be. I am still working each day to be more outgoing, but this city has made me love myself more and love exploring and creating new memories in a place miles and miles from home.