It can be easy to become lonely in New York City. In my first semester of college at NYU, one of the most frequent, yet seemingly nonchalant comments to me by friends who have not yet adjusted to the busy, bustling, self-centered city life is how simple it is to become lost. Lost academically, lost socially, lost mentally, lost literally, you name it.
I am going to be blunt. New York University is not for everybody. It feels like a cold bucket of ice thrown upon your head telling you to wake up. Wake up from that post-high school daze and grow up. Some of us may already have experience taking care of ourselves, but some of us do not.
But longing for easier days won't make your days feel any better. So here's three steps in helping you have a better day or feel just a teensy bit more accomplished with yourself. The good thing about living in New York is that you will never be bored unless you let yourself be. There's always something happening as soon as you step out of your apartment. So here's three things you can do to make your day maybe a little bit better. They may sound obvious, but it's the things we think are common sense that we miss the most.
1. Understand your priorities.
A lot of people busy themselves up. In college, there's school, extracurricular and social activities. It is essentially an endless amount of happenings one could indulge and become active in. But the danger is putting too much on our plate. Like NYU's delicious Sunday brunch, I've learned the hard way that the best way to navigate that system is to take what you can eat. Not two plates (oops) and not a mountain of food balanced on one. It will topple, or there will be too much and you'll have to clear up or toss away uneaten goodies.
2. Find a comfort spot.
There are so many places in New York you can call your own. Sure, other people may come and go but that spot, wherever it may be, is one that you can call your own. The place could be a small café, that one bench or outlook in the park, a window seat, or basically anywhere you feel comfortable sitting for hours at a time to think.
3. Do something for yourself.
Seriously. When was the last time you thought about doing something for yourself? It could be that movie you've been meaning to watch for the longest time. The walk you've been meaning to take but you just haven't had time. Or even that extra nap. Come on. There is only a certain level of stress and productivity we can take before the crash. And doing something for yourself prevents the crash and may even heighten your productivity. Go somewhere you know that will inspire you. If you are at a loss, observing at a local coffee shop will always bring something new to your life.
New York can be daunting, but I am here to say that it is easy to get through your feelings if you take a step back, look at what you are doing, and plan accordingly. Have breaks and relaxation periods to balance life. You are the important one.