Moving to a new place is always an overwhelming process, but is exciting at the same time. As an International student who made her way from India to New York City, I can vouch for that. The move was particularly difficult because I was finally “on my own” and in the “real world.” But as they say, life begins when you leave your comfort zone, and to push yourself to grow a little more each day. This city can turn every individual’s experience into a magical one if the following key factors are kept in mind:
- Live one day at a time: Your journey in this magnificent city does not have to be nerve-racking if you take everything that it has to offer one day at a time. Savor every moment slowly and steadily. Take time to settle down, and don’t try to do everything at once. My friend and
colleague at LIM, Japneet Vij recounts her own shift from India to NYC as “the best decision she’d ever made...Initially I faced issues due to cultural shock. However, walking on the streets of NYC just made me happy. Don’t lose sense of yourself and strive to emerge successful”, she says describing her experience here as “amazing”.
- Enjoy the little things: It is not always about taking big steps. Try to enjoy the trivial bits that can bring joy to your everyday life. Sometimes the destination is not what you’re looking for, but the way to it (and a long aimless walk in this city) is what makes your day.
- Make time for yourself: As one would notice at first glance, this place is full of people living their dream. Don’t feel lost in the crowd; take time to appreciate your own company. For me, that’s taking my backpack and strolling lazily at Central Park, or trying different cuisines at a new restaurant every weekend. Self-care is real, and it is also very important.
- Seize Opportunities: I’m writing from a student’s perspective here. At LIM, you will get infinite opportunities to identify and test your talents (besides school projects, of course). Seize each one that comes your way, and don’t underestimate yourself. Volunteering for fashion shows, advising new students before admissions, performing internships in diverse roles are some of the many experiences that enabled me to explore my own abilities and opened new doors.
- Expand your circle: Yes, you have grown up in a different place and culture. Yes, it is difficult to get accustomed to a different lifestyle. But the key to overcome your apprehensions? Talk to people who have come from diverse societies and I promise each one will have their own unique story to share. Find a comfort zone, make great friends and dig up old hobbies. If you’re an extrovert, meet friends of friends. Before you know it, you’d already have called this city your home.
At first, you will behave like a baby would. You feel tired, emotionally unstable, and the urge to sleep, eat and lie down. After that phase passes, you will feel a sense of adventure and a wanting to explore your surroundings. Embrace this feeling, it will take you far (both literally and figuratively).