New to NY (been here a few months) and still having a really hard time adjusting/feeling at home. Pretty much can’t get through a day without thinking about wanting to leave. Any advice?

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The culture shock is normal. It will pass. I recommend finding a bar close to your apartment (within walking distance). After work, instead of going straight home, go to the bar. Don’t sit with your phone, put it away. Just sit and say hi to the bartender. If you don’t want booze/beer, get a club soda. If they serve food, even better, order something small. Don’t stay late, just stay an hour or two, tops. Do this at least 2-3 times a week. Eventually the bartender will recognize you as a regular, and say hi. Make small talk, “So how’s it going? I’m new to the neighborhood.” The bartender will likely tell you good things about the area. Chat every time you go. One day, as you’re chatting, you’ll meet another regular. This sense of routine and familiarity will help ground you to your neighborhood and you’ll feel more at home. Again, resist the urge to nervously pull out your phone. Force yourself to take in your surroundings. Also, the bar should be by your place, not by your work. This is so you can walk home, which mentally grounds you more effectively than commuting home.

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Give yourself a year, at least. Make sure you keep busy, too. There’s a ton of stuff to do in NYC! Do you have any people you like at work? Grab a drink/lunch with them. Do you have any things that you like to do? Hike? Run? Bike? Sketch? No doubt there are groups to be found that like it, too. A friend who just arrived here became a guide for the High Line—he met a ton a people and put himself out there every weekend. Step out of your comfort zone and get out every weekend. Just look for events for the weekend (look today!) There’s so much to do here and in the summer the city is in full swing!

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Give it time, speak to everyone

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There’s something for everyone. Aside from a couple recommendations above for borderline alcoholics (like me) and fitness junkies (not like me), find your niche and your neighborhood. Don’t have to live there, just visit fun ones. Look into Fever and TimeOut and other small event platforms etc. find your community, it’s out there. Like partying? there’s a group for that, theatre kid, there’s a group for that, rock climbing, there’s a group for that- both sports and drinking? Play zog sports- underground music, graffiti art, cycling, trapeze, axe throwing, swingers, furry conventions, Motorheads, fish husbandry, cat friendly coffee shops, skeeball leagues, E-sports, amateur stand up, cultural arts, scuba certification, tattoos, Mensa, lego enthusiasm, cooking classes, crocheting, introverts anonymous, meditation circles, matcha? There’s a community for it. I know you’re a junior AD, so probably not only a transplant but broke AF too. Make personal relationships with the junior creative team (almost always a fun diverse group) and say yes to everything (as long as you can afford it). Need change of pace? Try other burrows, Brooklyn filled with cool trendy spots and beaches and dog parks. Queens has gardens and some suburban areas. Google you’re favorite things then just put “NYC” at the end. TimeOut has a “free things to do this weekend” section. There are more museums than you can fathom, hiding under every flower pot around every corner for every possible topic. Look up “people from my hometown of des moine Iowa “ or wherever TF you’re from. Just do yourself a favor and leave your apartment and go for walks and explore. It’s a treasure trove. Been living here all my life and still find new fun weird interesting stuff all the time. Explore new neighborhoods. Take advantage of Groupon. Whatever. There is more to do here than anywhere in the world and more languages spoken than anywhere in the world. While I get that can be potentially overwhelming, you have the power to make YOUR city smaller. Choose what you like about it and ignore what you don’t. My GF moved here from western, PA, had a hard time when she first got here and now is woven into the fabric and has vowed never to move back. NYC truly can be anything you want or need it too be. It’s a ball of clay, and as a creative, use that swirling creative mind to brainstorm, concept, and execute your version of NY.

Want some specific advice, feel free to DM me.

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I like to say that NYC tries to break up with you periodically while living here (I’ve had a few pretty tough times). Especially at the beginning... you have to prove your commitment in a way. Once your through it you’ll love it & get it. Stick it out a little longer ... it’ll be worth it (9 years in & even love the good, bad & ugly)

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When I first came here I was scared of the city. Growing up my dad would always refer to NYC as a dirty, dangerous, rude place. Unfortunately that set me up to see everything as potentially dangerous, the people as terribly rude and the streets ... well they are dirty. It took about a year for me to get over this bias and start to open up to the city and the people. With that mind shift came a much better experience. People are busy but not necessarily mean. And there’s a lot of potential for danger but less so if you use common sense to keep yourself safe. In the end, though, it’s a huge adjustment. I’d recommend escaping the city whenever you can and day-tripping it to the Hudson valley or something. Get away, reset, then dive back in. Good luck!

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I was intimidated as hell of NYC. Then I fell in love with it and go thru withdrawal when I’m not freelancing there.

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Why big question as A native New Yorker, is why do you want to leave? Is there something happening that you’re not liking or you’re just not adjusting to life in New York? At a lot of other people mentioned give it some time there’s a lot to do in the city, just find out where your tribe is, and good luck.

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THIS. EXACTLY

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What neighborhood do you live in?

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If I were you I would walk down from Flatiron to the East or West Village and explore every street. People are super friendly and open to talk to you and even though you won't make friends for life, this might give you the confidence you need.
You can also go to Brooklyn and just get lost there, it's super nice. Don't take the subway. Just walk or buy a bicycle. There are many cheap but good ones online. This way you will get to know the city and feel that different areas are very familiar the next time you walk/ride past them.
Whatever you do, try to relax while doing it and don't reject what the city has to offer to you. It's loud, it's crazy, it's diverse and chaotic (I wouldn't necessarily call it dirty unless you spend your life on the subway) but that is part of its charm and it will eventually grow on you.
You're a creative so you have to have some passions. Try doing something every weekend or so. NY is the best place for this.
Good luck!

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NY is a pain in the ass, but she’s worth it. I’m from here, can dm you some cool things u can’t find anywhere else. Hang in there for at least a bit, because when u find your groove here, it’s unlike anywhere else on earth.

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Congratulations! You jumped right into tenured New Yorker!

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Thank you everyone for your truly thoughtful and helpful responses. I will try out a bunch of these suggestions! Either way you made my week- thank you!

It took about 6mo to a year to feel like I fit in and had friends and a real life here. But so worth the wait.

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