Life Lessons I Learned From Living Parent-Less In NYC For A Month

Image: Conde Nest Traveler

Image: Conde Nest Traveler

Because my older sister recently graduated college and moved to Brooklyn, New York, I stayed with her for over a month this summer while commuting to and from my New York Film Academy summer camp in Manhattan each day. Save for a few days, we were on our own - it was her first time trying adult life, and my first time away from my parents for so long. It forced me to grow up quickly, to expand my comfort zone and become more mature. 

Below are three other things I learned from the experience, in no particular order. Although I learned them by living in NYC, they’re basically applicable anywhere, in a more general sense. 

You usually have more energy than you predict. 

Standing in the brutally hot subway station for what seems like eternity, boarding 4 different trains, walking everywhere - because who drives? New York City can get very exhausting, very fast. For the first few days, by the time I got home at 6:15 p.m., the thought of exercising or going out to explore the city seemed ridiculous. I was obviously too tired. 

But once you actually get up and wash your face, you’re already a little less tired. When you put on your shoes, even less tired. And after you step outside, the city’s energy seeps into you, making you realize you can keep going. 

No matter what you do, no one will think you’re weird. Especially on the subway. So stop caring what people think. 

During my last week of camp, I slipped in the subway station, and my leg fell through the gap between the train and the platform. I managed to pull myself up before it got chopped off, but lost my shoe in the process. And I was worried people would think I was weird for walking around with one shoe. 

But of all things, I should not have worried about that. No one batted an eye; they were all immersed in their own worlds.

You can’t afford to be gullible/naive in life 

As soon as I got out of my camp building everyday, I - along with most of my camp friends - was always ambushed by numerous men claiming to sell Statue of Liberty ferry passes for good deals. Turns out they were scammers. And I ran into that sort of thing 24/7 in NYC - something I barely faced in the suburbs.

Pramika KadariComment