Exchanging One City For Another

Manhattan, New York
United States

As a first-year student, I was terrified of moving here by myself. Chicago may be a famous big city, but it was nothing compared to New York’s vibrant streets and culture. I was told by everyone I knew that I had to be very careful because - and this was straight from my guidance counselor’s mouth- “New York City was like Chicago but on crack.” This made me extra paranoid about moving into the city, especially when I was lowkey a massive Law & Order: SVU and Quantico fan. In fact, when I finally had all my stuff settled in my dorm, it took me three weeks to eventually work up the courage to take the train by myself. How silly is that? But despite this fear that buzzed inside of me in the beginning, if given a choice to pick Pace University NYC again, I wouldn’t do anything differently because I’m happy with the experience I’ve had away from home.

I assumed that my freshman year would be awkward and uneventful due to my shyness, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. Due to the freedom of living on my own so far from home, I had to become more independent and grow up faster than before. Therefore, as a result, I broke out of that shy shell that shut me out from others. It’s true what people say about NYC. The city really does change a person, and it changed me for the better. In just one year, not only did I had learned to live on a budget, but I became an Executive Assistant for Her Campus, joined a sorority (Sigma Delta Tau), and made more friends than I had initially anticipated. This just proves that even though moving away from home may seem scary at first, in the end, you won’t regret it because life is full of surprises. That’s why I plan to continue staying in New York City for the rest of my life. Hopefully,  I can bring some of the magic that is NYC back to Chicago to share with others and inspire them not to be afraid to do the same.