Expectation vs Reality of living abroad – Part 2
This is the second part, if you haven’t read that you can read it here
Coming to the city, I assumed I would have infinite opportunities to meet a lot of celebrities. Somewhere in my naive little mind I sincerely thought that celebrities would just pop up out of nowhere, selfie-ready. Two years in and not one has appeared in front of me yet. Where are you Priyanka Chopra?
A different cuisine every night… How could I possibly continue on a diet of pizza and toaster pastries when I’m practically living in the culinary capital of the WORLD?
Reality: $20 plus tip for one pasta? I can do my whole week grocery for this price.
Expectation: Wow, so many new people to meet! I can’t wait to casually walk into a bar by myself and walk out with five new best friends for life!
Yeah, actually, you’re actually going to wind up third-wheeling with friends-of-friends for your first few months, until everyone inevitably pairs off and leaves you back at square one. Maybe I will just watch Netflix.
NYC is a crash course in life
That being said, this city is one of (if not the) greatest cities in the world and has taught me some of the most important, valuable and beautiful things this world has to offer.
The struggle is real – but it builds character.
Whenever I feel like I’m failing, I remind myself that I’m not the only one doing it. I’m not the first to struggle to make it in NYC, I won’t be the last, and plenty of people are currently in the same boat as me. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in that sense, and when I look back, I can appreciate how much tougher I am now than I was before moving here.
With all of that being said, living in a big city is something I think every twenty-something should experience. You learn how to stand on your own two feet, how to make a name for yourself, how to gain the confidence of being on your own, and the sense of pride from learning things on your own. You will make-new friends and explore uncharted territory.
I’ve seen this girl shamelessly taking selfies her whole train ride. I’ve seen a dude pull out a pair of socks from his pocket, sit on the train platform, take off his shoes, and put on the socks over the ones he had. Whenever I’m embarrassed about slipping on the stairs or losing my balance on the train, I think of these people and remember, nobody really gives a shit.
So New York isn’t always Sex In the City glamour. It’s full of parking tickets, asshole drivers, people asking for money, and crammed subway rides. At the end of the day, it’s what you make it. But let me tell you, you won’t find better dollar pizza slices anywhere.