There are few places in the world where you can be taking 18 credits of school, working 30 hours a week, managing a blossoming social life and still feel like you aren't keeping up with the Joneses. Life in this alien world is filled with agonizingly long walks between avenues, endless texts, e-mails and social media interactions that send your emotions on the wildest roller coaster ride this side of the Mason-Dixon. New York presents a unique challenge to anyone who lives here, but what most college students fail to realize is just how lucky we are.
Going to school in New York lays a foundation that is four years stronger than even the most ambitious college grad could hope for. Chances are (unless you're one of the lucky trust-fund babies, and there seem to be an ample supply of them... ) you know the subways like the back of your hand, have fetched countless cups of coffee during your unpaid internships, and managed to sneak into the Boom Boom Room (excuse me, Le Baron) a couple of times. You aren't going to be shocked when someone is so in their own world they walk right in front of you in line at your local Duane Reade, just like you won't be shocked when drugs flow like water at a random warehouse party in Brooklyn. The blasé-ness begins from the moment you step out into the nicotine-scented air.
Like it or not, most of us college students are thrown into the Manhattan mix at the tender age of 18. We hide behind our growing wardrobe of designer clothes, probably bought at a consignment shop, cigarette smoke and shitty two-bedroom apartment we spend way too much of our parent's money on. We learn the ropes that generations before us had to learn in order to eventually become our bosses. Students who get here might have a nice relocation bonus and impressive title, but we have something they can only get with time.
"Getting it" is what makes native New Yorkers cool and what makes newcomers to the city want to be like them. They don't want to jump with excitement when Anderson Cooper walks by them, and can honestly say that they hate Times Square. This kind of mentality is something that only comes with time, and as New York college students, we have a head start. Not only that, but we have more than what the average New Yorker has. They were born into the system and don't know anything else. The rest of us who come from Denver, Dallas or Kansas City must learn to balance the life these natives already know, on top of trying to climb the academic, business and social ladders already laid before them. We are playing their game and catching up at the same time.
The saying is more than redundant, but still holds true: "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." Granted I have only lived here for three years, but in that time, I have come to the realization that if you can balance two phones, school, work, a social life, and still manage to make it to your overpriced yet trendy spin class three times a week, you can really handle anything. New York is an animal that is not made for everyone; you either like it or you hate it. If you like it, though, and are smart enough to go to school here, you will have an upper hand on the competition and will be well on your way to one day "getting it."