You may know that I moved to the East Coast almost a year ago (will be a year in July!) from my Moving Across Country post. If not, feel free to click that link and read my thoughts about moving across country and how I did it.

5 things I learned from moving to the East Coast.

1. New York is soooo dirty

I’m used to placing trash in trash bins and/or those large dumpsters, but when you walk around New York you’ll notice that people and restaurants will leave their trash on the sidewalk. You’ll walk past pounds/large bags of trash while you’re shopping or looking for a place to eat.

In addition, pests are a huge population of the city. You’ll see rats, different small animals running around, or even hear horror stories about bed bugs. I would definitely say that my OCD to have a clean apartment has gone through the roof because of the city’s habits.

2. It can be a little difficult to make friends

Being from California, it is usual to talk to casually talk to strangers at bars, restaurants, or a store. Because of this, it is usually easier to make friends outside of your classes. Since I’ve moved, I’ve become friends with coworkers and former roommates, but I still have yet to find friends who have no direct relationship outside my work or housing situation.

I’ve gone to bars and talked to random strangers, but usually people find it quite odd and think I want something from them. I’ve actually received free shots at bars because bartenders thought it was sad that I was sitting alone drinking.

3. Finding an entry-level job can be hard when you don’t have corporate experience

When I started searching for a job, many recruiters were forcing me to take a job that with a wage lower than the minimum. Almost all recruiters felt that I could only achieve that kind of wage because I lacked corporate experience.

In California, computer science is usually heavily emphasized as a study to take due to the booming industry in Silicon Valley. Because we value our tech industry, many schools really encourage their students to take a major or class related to the tech industry.

If you want corporate experience, then the East Coast is definitely the place to be.

4. Everything is significantly more expensive

Everything in the East Coast is so much more expensive than California. This makes some sense since New York is a huge tourist attraction. However, I will tell you that alcoholic drinks are like $15 a drink! WHAT THE HECK?! Just for one drink I have to drop $15? Also sometimes bars will require you to have a minimum if you want to pay by card. One time I needed to buy 2 drinks in order to be able to use a card to pay for my drinks – it was a total of $30 just for 2 drinks! I was pretty upset.

5. It is a great learning experience

Even though it has been a crazy ride, I think that this place has been able to teach me a lot. I have been able to stand up for myself and continue to prove to recruiters that with my background in education and background, I deserve to have at least a minimum wage job. Even then, I felt that I deserved to get paid more – I was able to find recruiters who believed that my background and work habits prove that I’m worth more than less the minimum wage.

In addition, growing up I was very extroverted and I did not feel comfortable being alone or having alone time. Now that I’m independent and living in the city by myself, I’ve really started to appreciate and learn to accept my alone time and learn more about myself.

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