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Being Young In The City: NYC’s Influence

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at New School chapter.

It is said that living in New York City isn’t for the weak. I’ve heard this many times since I decided to move. While being here for almost two years, I’ve realized how much the city has changed and affected me. 

With its fast-paced environment, New York City has earned a reputation as a city where dreams come true. While there are several opportunities offered through living in a larger city, the chances of leaving as the person you were when you came are slim to none. The city can change you in ways that you may not even realize.  

New York City is its own world, where everything seems to be stuck in a bubble away from the rest of society. The environment here is intense and it moves quickly. If you blink, you might miss out on the best opportunity life has to offer. The fast-paced environment has allowed my own personal work ethic to grow without me noticing. When everything around you feels as if days are equivalent to seconds, you have to keep moving forward without looking back. It seems intimidating when spoken out loud. However, being young in the city is able to help you blossom into the next chapter of your life. 

Everyone here is always working for something. While many people will argue that the competitive environment is intimidating, once you’re immersed in it, the intensity of the city seems natural. New York has allowed me to realize that if you don’t do it, someone else will. The city holds some of the most passionate and driven people I’ve ever seen. Being surrounded by this type of environment at a young age has had an impact on my own actions. The people I’ve been surrounded by, thanks to the city, have enabled me to grow into a passionate person myself. The work ethic that I’ve gained in my short time here is something I’ve grown to be incredibly proud of. 

New York City can cause you to grow into your independence. You’re immediately thrown into the “real world” once you enter. It can cause you to learn not to rely on people, only yourself. In the world of New York, you’re forced to have your own back and not expect others to be a safety net for you. You learn to take care of yourself quickly while being here. The independence you gain while living in the city is something to cherish. 

The amount of opportunities that New York has blessed me with in my short time here has been a dream come true. Where else are you going to be offered a job at a luxury fashion brand in a nightlife setting or find yourself having dinner two tables away from an A-list celebrity? However, I find myself questioning if the city has stolen my younger years from me. In comparison to others who decided to go to traditional schools to further their education, I’ve lost my college experience. The traditional college experience of trying to find yourself without a worry in the world was something that I found absent in my life. Surrounded in an environment where everyone and everything seems to be ten steps ahead, the feeling of being behind can be common as it’s unsettling.

When you choose to live in a fast-paced city like New York, you can’t help but think about what you’re sacrificing. I’m 19 and yet I feel like I’m already 29. 

So, what everyone said was right. The city is truly not for the weak. The obstacles that you encounter in New York City will help you grow in so many different ways. While it may be difficult to adapt to, the opportunities you’re given here are unimaginable. Coming to New York at a young age has taught me a lot. The city has broken my heart and put me back together several times while living here. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Hi! My name is Angela and I'm a student at The New School where I'm currently studying journalism. I love writing and reading poetry. The topics I enjoy writing about a range of topics including fashion/beauty, relationships, pop culture, and self help.