I’ve become used to the fast paced nature of New York – the ever moving stream of people walking briskly down fifth, food in one hand, coffee in the other.
On the first day of my internship I couldn’t keep up. I felt like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada; my duties at the magazine explained in one breath to me as I attempted to take my fastest steps to keep up with my supervisor.
Now, I’m slowly getting the hang of it. As long as you listen, make mental notes, and keep up the pace, you won’t piss anyone off. But hey, it is NYC so that’s not a guarantee.
At first the fast paced nature of the city was an intense culture shock for me. I’m used to long brunches at expensive cafes in Melbourne, and leisurely weekend bike rides.
In New York, people grab fast food on their way to their next task. But why? I always saw Melbourne as a fast moving, industrious city before moving here.
After researching the difference between Melbourne and NYC, I discovered that they have many similarities – clothes, lifestyle, opportunity. However, New York, I suppose, is an upgraded version of Melbourne. Melbourne’s population is approximately 4.1million, whilst New York 8.5 million. More people choose to live in NYC, despite the expensive lifestyle, simply due to the opportunity available. There are more universities, more career opportunities for young professionals, and the city moves with your lifestyle.
I don’t think there’s a surefire way of reducing culture shock – if you’re used to a particular place, any new place will provide a shock to your system. But I found that I managed by simply watching and learning, and embracing the lifestyle of this new culture. Like they say, fake it till you make it.