I experienced a similar feeling when I was about to start college in NYU. Having lived in New Jersey for most of my life, I came to New York quite often. In fact, I can show you ten different pictures of myself in the same spots over the course of my childhood. However, looking at New York and living in New York are two very different things. Once again, I thought, “How can such a familiar place be so scary?”
One of the most nerve-wracking things when I first came to New York was using the subway. I know that this seems like a simple task, but I grew up in the suburbs all my life, and I’m also directionally challenged. A constant concern I had was that I would take the wrong train and end up in the middle of nowhere without knowing how to get back. Of course, soon enough, I found my savior: Google Maps. It tells me which line to use, where to change trains, and the subway timings. As a result, my newly acquired New York life hack is to never leave my room without my phone.
Another nerve-wracking part about being in New York was crossing the street. Again, I know it sounds absurd, but I was genuinely shocked when I saw people crossing the road while two cars were speeding in their direction. I mean, there are pedestrian signals for a reason! Soon enough, I realized that I can sometimes cross a street even if there is a stop signal, like when there are no cars on the other side. At least, as long as my dad doesn’t find out.
There are many things about living in New York that sound easy when you hear them, but are quite nerve-wracking when you experience them for the first time. It has only been a few months since I’ve lived in the city, but each day is a new experience. Slowly, I can feel myself getting used to life in the city and acquiring some of the habits of the people here. After all, we live and we learn, right?