So you probably don’t know this, but Thursday marked my two-year anniversary in NYC! Yup, Craig and I moved here two years ago and it has definitely been a bit of a whirlwind. So today I wanted to share my own personal journey to NYC, pretty much straight out of college. Quick preface: this is a long one guys. Grab a snack or a glass of wine and enjoy!
First off, it’s important to note that I fell in love with the city during my freshman year of high school (yeah, a pretty long time ago haha). I grew up in and around Philadelphia my entire life, and that year my best friend and I went to a Trey Songz concert in NYC. Her mom accompanied us of course (we were barely 15!), but we felt so cool taking the hour train ride up to the city for the night. I remember walking out of Penn Station, the anticipation mounting inside of me, and instantly feeling butterflies. I was in awe of the lights, and the skyscrapers, and the abundance of people! It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. The energy was intoxicating. Needless to say, that was the moment that I fell in love with New York City.
Fast-forward about 3 years and it’s time to apply to colleges. At this point I was done with Pennsylvania with a capital D and in desperate search of an adventure, so I only applied to out of state schools. I wasn’t entirely set on attending college in New York City (I’ve always been intrigued by the South & California for some reason so that’s where I concentrated my applications) but I did apply to NYU’s photography program as a sort of “hail mary” if you will. Unfortunately, and not entirely surprisingly, I didn’t get in. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I have to admit a small part of me was crushed. I knew that it meant putting off my dream of living in the city for another four years while I attended college elsewhere.
Now fast forward another 4 years to my senior year of college, attending school down in Miami, Florida. I’d read the Gossip Girl series back in high school (drama and scandal among NYC’s elite? yes, please!) and decided to re-watch the TV show on Netflix. I binged that thing in a matter of weeks (if you haven’t seen it somehow I highly recommend!) and completely reignited my NYC fire. One character specifically drew me in: Blair Waldorf. Queen B was everything that I wanted to be; she was confident, fierce, ambitious, and most importantly, relentless when it came to getting what she wanted. She didn’t accept no as an answer, and always found another way to reach her goals. I loved that. I wanted to be that.
Around the same time that this was happening, I stumbled upon what has become my mantra to this day: good things come to those who hustle. This simple saying, along with Blair as my inspiration, truly ignited a fire in me to push for my dreams and not to let fear or self-doubt stop me from going for it! That year I applied for a super competitive advertising program (and made it in!), got an awesome design internship, and began my post-grad planning.
I knew that this was my moment to make it to New York. Everything I’d worked for since high school was preparing me for this next step, and if I wanted to truly make it in my career, NYC was the place to do it. Luckily my boyfriend, Craig, felt the same way and we both started applying to dozens of jobs in the city. The summer after graduation we moved back up to Philly and stayed in my mom’s house, taking the bus to NYC for job interviews and apartment hunting on the weekends. I landed my first job at the end of August that year, and since I now had to be in the city Monday through Friday, we stayed in Airbnb’s during the week while we continued the search for our own place. By mid September, after a pretty intense search (stay tuned for my tips on apartment hunting in NYC!) we were approved for our first place in Brooklyn and I couldn’t have been more in love. The rest was history! We still live there today; two years later and honestly I don’t know where the time has gone!
Anyway, that’s my story! How a girl from Philly made her move to the Big Apple straight out of college. I definitely won’t say that it was easy, but seriously guys if you have a dream or a goal, just go for it. I know everyone says that but it’s so true and so worth it in the end. Even if it doesn’t go as you originally planned, or takes a little longer to get there, just stay the course. I’m a firm believer that you have to make things happen in this world; you can’t wait around and hope that they do on their own.
So what do you guys think? Do you like posts like this? Too long, didn’t read? These are my favorite kinds of posts to read (and write apparently, ha!) but I totally get that they aren’t for everyone. Let me know in the comments and have a fabulous Sunday!