Fun for One in the City

See all there is to see!

Since arriving in New York, I have had a blast going to Broadway plays, eating at amazing restaurants, seeing the Statue of Liberty, visiting the Museum of Modern Art, and of course seeing the final installment of Harry Potter and company. However, all of those activities were fun because I did them with my roommates.

We experienced some of the touristy attractions together. We bonded by standing in line for two hours to purchase Broadway tickets together. We went out for drinks to celebrate the beginning of our New York adventures together. Basically, we did the majority of our sightseeing as a small group. And, of course that was great because my roommates became my good friends. In a new environment, it was great to travel the streets of New York with familiar faces. However, now that the NYU publishing program has concluded, one of my roommates moved to New Jersey and the other one secured a job. So, that leaves me to tackle the Big Apple solo. Although I’ve had job interviews, I still have a good chunk of time left to explore the city independently. But, after doing so many activities in as a small group, I’ll admit it has been a little difficult to get comfortable going places by myself. Even eating at restaurants alone is a new experience to me. But, I’ve actually come to enjoy some of my alone time in the big city for several different reasons.

1. I can set my own agenda: Although it was great to explore my new surroundings with my roommates, sometimes it was hard to decide what exactly to do, where to shop at, and how long to stay at one activity before moving on to something else. However, when I shop independently I can spend as long as I feel is necessary browsing at designer clothes or even going to the grocery store. Setting my own agenda these past couple of days has been very rewarding and I feel like my time is being well spent because I am doing things I want to do and seeing things I want to see.

2. I can manage my own money: It only took me a hot minute to figure out that New York is one very expensive city. Everything from the entertainment to food is very costly. And, while going out to eat was fun with my friends, paying on one bill did get a bit complicated. Back home I never had any problem when I requested that the bill be split between multiple parties, but in the big city, I haven’t found one restaurant willing to accommodate this request. Thus, paying for multiple meals on one ticket turned into a mess, because sometimes people ordered more expensive dishes, or ordered drinks, etc. Therefore, eating alone, while it may be slightly awkward, makes paying for my meal a hassle-free experience.

3. I get my “me” time: Even though I love my roommates and other friends I met through the NYU program, I felt like my “me” time was always lacking a bit during the publishing program. There were always people to talk to and group projects to work on, and the only time I had alone was in the evening during my online career hunt. Now, I like being social, but even the most social butterflies need some solo time.

Since I’ve had the last few days completely alone, I have been able to watch television reruns, catch up on summer reading, go window-shopping, and even getting a much-needed pedicure. Even though I could have just as easily done those activities with my roommates, I didn’t feel weird getting my toenails done alone or walking into a store by myself. Besides — if I decide to make a permanent move out to New York, I better get used to fending for myself! Even doing these little things like going shopping alone helped me realize that I can be independent in a big city and make my own decisions. After all, isn’t that what the “real world” is all about?
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