Hypothetical situation: a girl decides to move across the country from sunny Orange County to chilly New York. Let’s also say she’s never been to New York and knows absolutely no one and nothing about the city that never sleeps. She doesn’t have much in terms of savings, but let’s just say she doesn’t need to worry about paying for college–which is the main reason for moving there. There are two main things she needs to worry about: cost of living and culture shock.
For all intents and purposes, we’ll say this girl gets a job as a bookkeeper or accounting clerk which plays a not-too-shabby $25 and hour. She works five hours every day, six days a week. She’s getting around $3,000 a month, which is fantastic because it just so happens she found a nice 700 sq. foot apartment less than a mile away from her college of choice in Brooklyn. Running at $1,745 a month, this 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment includes heating and water and comes with a fridge and an oven. It’s perfect.
Let’s say the electric bill is around $100 a month and food is roughly $300, life insurance is $50. Let’s also throw in a cable/internet/phone bundle that’s about $85 a month. Now we know she’s going to have places to go – she is a working girl. In this city, not having a car isn’t much of an issue since the traffic is horrendous. So let’s factor in that she’ll need a Metrocard, which is a monthly paid pass for buses and the subway which comes to around $120 a month.
After all of these expenses, this rings up to $2400 a month, which leaves her $600 for anything else. It’s doable, as long as she has a high paying job and can juggle school and work while living in a city nicknamed the “City That Never Sleeps.”
Speaking of the “City That Never Sleeps,” the New York lifestyle is wayyy different than that of Southern California. Californians are “chill” and laid back. They live a slow-paced life. New York is the opposite – it’s fast-paced, busy, and always buzzing with activity. Everyone has a place to go. California has In-N-Out, New York has various dollar pizza joints.
SoCal weather seems to be an endless summer and sometimes spring. New York has every single season. It’s a different atmosphere. It has relaxed people with nowhere to go versus busy people with places to be and people to see. The culture shock is inevitable.
Our hypothetical girl grew up in a place where people are mostly calm and not busy, so going somewhere that is the exact opposite is life changing in the best possible way. Hopefully this inspires her to work and never stop working. Seeing people always going places and doing something might drive her in a way SoCal never could.