How to survive in New York City– Guide for Chinese students

Spending two years living in New York is lovely. I have learned some typical skills to survive in New York. No matter in which big cities, those rules are the same.

Less is more. This sentence includes many things: opportunities, information, experience, relationships, and activities. When you are standing in the middle of time square, all senses are alert and overwhelmed – dozens of variously sized Neon advertisements, bright flashing lights, unorganized traffic with tourists bumping into you, smells of burnt peanuts and pretzels, the murmurs of thousands of layers of conversations.Yes, I love the vibe and creative side of the city. On the contrary, I was lost in the epicenter of American overstimulation. Every scene is informative; every speech is inspiring; every person is either talented or has an extraordinary background. How to function in the midst of overstimulation and not being paralyzed? Finding ways to disconnect or calm ourselves regularly are the only ways to maintain sanity is such an intense environment. We just need to focus on one thing that is most important to us and fight for it. Enough is enough.

Everyone’s gonna start from somewhere. New Yorkers are from all over the world. As a Chinese, we often undergo an identity crisis. Back in our country, everyone seems to have the similar background. But In New York, people tell completely different stories. I constantly challenge and question myself what I have been doing for the last 22 years? I once tried to compare myself to other people around me, but all the comparisons are meaningless. It just made me feel worse about myself. Then I started to realize that, one might have learned the doctrine earlier than the other, or might be a master in his unique field. I am just an ordinary girl. I need to accept my limitation and start from where I am. I have my gifts, talents, and values of success.   Everyone’s going to start from somewhere. Be patient and faithful.

Be professional. There is an inherent energy in New York City that it is famous for. It makes people want to get up and do a million things all day and stay up all night. There is a famous Lyrics in Jay Z’s “Empire State Building” Song. “If I could make it here/I could make it anywhere.” I was having four internships at the same time during my first year in New York. Practice is the sole criterion of truth. Although our primary goal coming to New York is going to graduate school, we should not neglect the importance of working hard to do internships during part-time. I have never learned so much in my life until I started to work in a company. At 2015 spring semester opening ceremony, I was selected to make a speech in front of the new students.I told them, “we can work hard and play hard at the same time. ”


Escape the city for a while and treat yourself well. New York rises with concrete. I didn’t learn to truly appreciate the soothing ambiance of the peak of a mountain until I was fully submerged in the metropolitan lifestyle. My friends always know where to get the nature fix. We went to uptown New York to pick apples, tried Michelin restaurant, ate the best green tea cake in Lady M and dim sum in Chinatown.



Go to big cities when you are young. You never try, you never know.

6 thoughts on “How to survive in New York City– Guide for Chinese students

  1. sophie5089 says:

    “We just need to focus on one thing that is most important to us and fight for it” I like what you said and I am so impressed by the big change and progress you made in both your life and work in New York.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sophie5089 says:

    Good and useful advice for Chinese students who will start their life in New York and hope they will benefit from your unique experience.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s