This is one in a series of posts, “The Intern Diaries” from Ed’s anonymous summer intern blogger.
Moving to a new city can be intimidating, especially when you’re doing it alone, but in a place like New York City, trying new experiences alone can help you become more independent and confident, and give you time to fully absorb the city.
Here’s how I plan to tackle NYC solo, and you should too.
1. Make a Bucket List
All of the sights worth seeing in NYC can be super-overwhelming. So to keep yourself from going into shock, create a bucket list of things you have to do before your internship ends. This ensures that you don’t miss anything you were dying to do, and motivates you to research places to go before you’re here. Search Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and, if you’re already here, check out this article for things to do in NYC every single day this summer!
As you complete your bucket list, plan a day to leave your phone at home and explore the city completely disconnected. This can be scary, I know, but you’ll feel more independent and free than you ever have.
I ditched my phone one Saturday and spent the day on the Upper West Side. I had brunch (alone!) at Sarabeth’s and was pleasantly surprised at how content I was. I had time to process my thoughts from the week and think about the week to come without feeling pressured to catch up on emails. It also totally eliminated my Instagram FOMO. Then I explored the Natural History Museum, and actually read all of the captions on the exhibits and watched the videos without any distractions. I talked to the guides and learned so much. On my way home, I stopped in a cool art gallery I may not have noticed had I been on my phone. Some of my faves are the Met (check out the Manus x Machina exhibit before it’s gone!), The Whitney (free if you’re under 18), and the aforementioned Natural History Museum (don’t miss the shows in the Planetarium). You can also spend your cell phone-free day wandering around the city without an agenda. You’d be amazed at the things you see when your eyes aren’t glued to the screen! I just recommend staying uptown—it’s easier to find your way around when the streets are numbered.
3. Get Your Sweat On
The boutique fitness studios in NYC are pretty much endless. Take a cycling class like SoulCycle and Cyc FItness or try boxing at Shadow Box. While those classes can be fun, and full of friendly sweaters, you can also take a long run around Central Park for free. My favorite route is around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reservoir at sunrise or sunset. The view is amazing there, but you can find more Central Park running trails here.
4. Date Yourself
You don’t need bae to enjoy the best food and nightlife the city has to offer. Check out Instagram accounts and food blogs such as @new_fork_city or this blog from Picky Palate and try something ‘grammable. Some of my faves include, sushiritto from Uma Temakeria and the rainbow bagel at The Bagel Basket or The Bagel Store on Bedford Avenue.
You can also check out an outdoor movie screening in Bryant Park every Monday. Bring a blanket and some extra snacks. If you’re into theater, use the app TodayTix to score a cheap last minute ticket to a Broadway show, see Shakespeare in the Park, or a late-night comedy show. When you are alone you have the freedom to do exactly what you want, whenever you want, so get out there and do it!