Living in NYC has not been easy. Income is limited, commuting is hell, the street smells like trash, the air tastes like tires, and your sanctuary is a 10 x 8 box without a window. Somehow through all of it, you made it and are better off for the…uncomfortable…experiences.

1. You have become more patient.

You wanted to assault the person walking at a “mosey” speed in Herald Square, but you didn’t. The same goes for the bro giving his crotch breathing room on the crowded 6 train. You held it together, and that takes patience.

2. Perseverance has become your way of life.

Remember when expired coupons were not a big deal for you? Not any more, friends. Not anymore. We fight for those discounts and we do not back down! SPARTAAAAAAA.

3. You make honesty a priority.

“I am so sorry, I can’t make it to brunch. Why? Oh, because I don’t want to.”

4. Open-Mindedness is no longer an option, it is required.

Due to time and monetary restraints, you now have to choose your battles wisely. It is just not worth it anymore to distribute petitions to put a stop to the annual Brony convention. 

5. You have learned the true meaning of loyalty.

All dollar pizza is not created equal. For the biggest bang for your literal buck, you know where to go and you are not embarrassed to brag about it. Brand Loyalty = Loyalty.

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6. Cleanliness is now a necessity.

Real fear never existed before turning on the kitchen light and finding a family of roaches having a siesta on your kitchen counter. Step one to spotless living: buy a can of Raid. Step two: live by the laws of the Raid. You can out-clean a persistent roach, but you will have to make sacrifices.

7. You made it a point to become well-spoken.

You learned how to say at least one dirty word in at least four languages in your wild youth, but with the birth of social media you had to up your game. The first rule in winning an argument is to know why you’re arguing. The second rule to winning an argument is having flawless spelling and grammar.

8. You are now attracted to originality. 

You’re not fooling anyone, before you moved to NYC you had at least one Linkin Park or Coldplay album in the depths of your 400 CD Holder. Not anymore. New York City has taught us all a thing or two about conforming to the masses. Gone are the days of Nickelback. Today is the day of Ms Mr.

9. You have learned how to be courageous.

It is Friday night. Your parents are in town but you totally spaced and forgot to make a reservation. You take them to Little Italy in hopes that not every place that offers authentic Italian cuisine will have an hour wait. You immediately realize your naivete and quickly duck your folks into the surprisingly empty corner bistro. As you push them into the entrance you see the “C” rating. Today, “C” is for courage.

10. Optimism is now a survival tool.

You have interviewed, auditioned for, and networked the heck out of every opportunity that has come your way, and still nothing. It is okay. Your optimism was born from the fact that nothing could be worse than moving home. Nothing.

11. You can now define and practice humility.

In the middle of your mid-month breakdown over drowning in bills, your boyfriend makes you close your eyes and tells you that when you open them again there will be $250 in your wallet and that he has no idea how it is going to get there. You just have to suck it up and accept the magic money.

12. Self-Confidence is not something you fake anymore.

Sometimes walking down the street is a contact sport, but that doesn’t scare you anymore. Shoulders back, chin up, chest out, and CCCHHHAAARRRGGGEEE!!!

13. You are now genuinely inquisitive.

Never before have you Googled “how to read Tarot” this many times in one month.

14. NYC made you strong-minded, and can’t imagine being anything else.

No means no! No, I will not limit myself to two McGriddles per day. No, I will not regulate myself to a healthy sleep schedule. No, I will not do laundry more than once per month. Just let me live my life!

15. You remain careful.

You know the streets to avoid and you know when to avoid them. Example: You NEVER walk up Fifth Avenue the day after payday.

16. “Daring” is no longer a word that describes just Disney characters.

As many times that you wanted to run home, you didn’t. Every day here is a risk that you take because you know that, while things will likely get worse (again), there is at least a 32% chance that all of your dreams will come true. Keep on keepin’ on, soldier.