New York is a vibrant, dynamic, beautiful, crazy place. It's one of the few cities in the world that is distinct from every other kind of urban environment; that isn't just a throng of skyscrapers but a living, vivacious ecosystem of bright lights and breathtaking skylines. Because it is so unmistakably unique, many commonplace activities here do not exist elsewhere, so during the first month in New York, you learn a lot.
1. How to properly jaywalk
Believe it or not, there’s an art to this. Knowing when the light is going to change, which streets are one-way and which direction traffic flows, and when to follow the crowd versus when to hang back are valuable skills that will help you get where you’re going intact and as quickly as possible. If you come from a state or city where jaywalking is both strictly illegal and extremely dangerous, this can be a huge adjustment. Always be aware of your surroundings, and you’ll be fine.
2. How to navigate the subway system
Uptown versus downtown, express versus local. There’s more to the city than the neighborhood you live in, and if you don’t make an effort to learn the subway, it’s going to be really hard to get around (unless, of course, you hire a valet, but who has money for that?). There are so many trains in New York. Some have numbers, some have letters, but they have the power to transport you anywhere in the city you wish. Get a good app or a subway map, and take it one step at a time.
3. Weekends are for going out
It can be hard during the week to find time to leave the house/apartment/campus. Under the suffocating weight of homework, a job, or both, the weekends often seem like golden days just around the corner but at the same time far out of reach. Take advantage of them. Museums, operas, ballets, Broadway shows and more are all part of the cultural education the city has to offer.
4. The best food in the world is here
I say this not because other places don’t have delicious food, but because New York has places that make all the delicious kinds of food in the world. You can find any type of food you want here, and you can find ten places relatively near you that serve it.
5. How to stick out your arm
This may sound weird, but there comes a day when you need to stop an elevator or subway door lest you have to wait for the next one. Passively standing back means wasting time, so don’t be afraid to fearlessly stick your arm out and stop the doors from closing. Then squeeze in.
6. Personal space does not exist
If there’s any possible way for one more person to fit in the subway car or in the elevator, they’re going to get in. Enough said.