I have always had the advantage of having New York City in my backyard without living in the Big Apple itself. Growing up in Bergen County, New Jersey, which is the North-most part of the state, has provided me with the best of both worlds.
I have been exposed to the suburbs of my hometown while also living in close proximity of the George Washington Bridge, and as a result, being able to accessibly cross over to New York City. As I prepare to enter my first year as a graduate student at Columbia University, I understand that this is the first time in my life that I will not be attending a school or institution in my native state of New Jersey.
While I have traveled to the city a number of times, going for the purpose of learning and studying will be a world of difference. I have never truly navigated New York on my own, but I have independently used GPS and bus systems.
I will now find out how to take different subways and what the corresponding letters painted on each subway cart means, and as I am slowly discovering how all the kinks work, I can't help but wish that I challenged myself by getting the hang of city traveling sooner.
I am fortunate to have had the help of my parents and friends who are more familiar with New York City's large backyard in the past. However, I am glad that I am adjusting to this city lifestyle without being a resident.
My commute seems intense and intimidating at the moment, but I know that once I learn the ropes, this will become second nature.
In spite of being in the city many times, I feel as if I am going to a completely new place due to my school environment currently feeling foreign. I am confident that as I acclimate, I will feel comfortable to call this one of my many homes.
Graduate school is difficult enough, and adapting to a new routine is also tricky. However, this suburban girl knows that she can be transformed into a city student in no time!