NYC Survival Guide: 5 Things I’ve Learned While Living in New York City

My whole life, I’ve known New York City was the place for me. Growing up in a small town, I learned many things from family and friends, however there are countless lessons I had to learn on my own and experience for myself when I moved to the city for college. Here are five thing I wish I knew before moving to New York City:

  1. 1. Always carry cash on you

    This may not seem like an important one because almost every place takes cards, but TRUST ME, even $20 is enough to have on hand at all times. Prior to moving to the city, I never carried cash because it seemed like a hassle and I felt that card was faster. However, if you are thirsty and want a soda on the street, vendors do not always take cards. Even pop- up events around the city don’t always take them. Carry cash just in case because you never know where you are going to end up and who accepts what form of payment. Nothing haunts us more than the things we didn't buy!

  2. 2. Change into your shoes as you arrive

    Yes, you read that right! Have you ever passed by a woman strutting down 7th Avenue in 6-inch heels and wondered how she’s surviving? It turns out that image is just a myth and is not realistic for New York City women. The best thing to do is carry your heels (or whatever you plan on wearing for the day) in your purse and change into them upon arrival. This allows you to wear comfortable shoes for the walk and prevent aching feet all day long.

  3. 3. Do not make any eye contact on the streets

    As cold-hearted as this makes the New York stereotype sound, this is for your own safety. By keeping your eyes ahead and focused, you are showing those around you that you are not attentive to them as they may be shouting at you. This can prevent you from being approached in the long run. Just keep walking and doing your own thing and your confidence will show.

  4. 4. The best pizza is $1

    As you are out exploring, you will see hundreds of pizza places that all look great and probably are. However, a lot of them are tourist traps and charge $5 a slice anywhere you go. I’ve found that the best pizza is at the $1 places and it is actually delicious! These can be found all over New York City. You know you are a true city girl when you walk around with a slice in your hand.

  5. 5. Dress to impress

    One of my favorite parts about living in a big city is waking up and not knowing where I will end up throughout the day - there are so many opportunities to take on. With that being said, dress to impress! I say this because you never know what you will see and when you will be taking your next Instagram photo. When you stumble upon  the perfect location, you will already be photo-ready! Better yet, you never know what celebrities you will run into at any given time.

While it’s definitely no walk in the park, living in New York City is an amazing experience! With these tips, you’ll feel like a real New Yorker in no time.