5 Things NYC Has Taught Me
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5 Things NYC Has Taught Me

Who knew the Big Apple doubled as a teacher?

5 Things NYC Has Taught Me
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Ah, the big city. The teacher of all teachers. Or 'professors' if you want to sound more legit. Learning how to operate New York City is definitely a learning curve. It takes some time but once you figure it out the city bestows a few lessons as a gift for your suffering. How sweet and generous. Here are the ones I have learned so far:

1. Walk with a purpose

Whoa, learning to walk in New York City is a trip. You think, YOU THINK it wouldn't be that hard to pick up, but boy is it. It took me a solid few weeks I'd say (AT LEAST) to figure it out and walk with ease. The secret is to walk with purpose. You must walk with total confidence as you dart through the crowd.

At the beginning, there were so many people walking around me that I would just awkwardly pause if I thought someone needed to cross or wait for people to yield to me for me to cross. No, that is not what you do. You just go and walk the way you need to go and you don't let people stop you. Honestly, it's a little magical because when you do this, people just automatically get out of the way.

In a larger sense, it's a lesson about life. You must walk with purpose in life, you must go towards whatever you are trying to achieve with confidence and drive. Don't wait for the obstacles to clear, just keep pressing forward and the path will clear itself eventually.

2. Stand up for yourself

Yes, I do believe that you need to be tougher to live in NYC. The stereotypes are true, people can be quick to anger and rude. While I believe you need to be able to always stand up for yourself, you ESPECIALLY need to be able to stand up for yourself in New York City. If you don't, people WILL walk all over you or tear you up. I've had a few run-in's with uber drivers, angry customers, people on the street that will all of sudden yell at you, and you must respond quick to not let them degrade you.

3. Speak with a purpose

In New York, time is money, and there's always a frantic vibe in the air that is like 'faster, faster, NOT FAST ENOUGH.' So when communicating, you must speak with that rule in mind. There's no time to talk slowly, or explain things very carefully and in detail- you say what you mean and you say it quick. It's a good lesson- brevity is always important.

4. Be Kind

The most important lesson of all, and yet while it sounds so obvious, it's clearly not to a good chunk of the population- be kind. While the constant rude atmosphere can make it easy to get a little grumpy in NYC, it's also the biggest reminder to always try and be kind to others. When I lived in Colorado, a 'thank you' felt like a guarantee, whereas in the city it's a little more of a rarity. The other day a customer told me 'thank you so much' and honestly I was shook and didn't fully process what she said at first.

5. Smile

Yes, yes, yes, we've all heard about the power of a smile before. But, wow just giving a simple sweet smile to the cashier as you thank them can really make a difference. It's proven to make you feel better and the cashier is probably so used to annoyed, angry people coming in that seeing a smile can be a relief. Always make the effort to smile, it's worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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