Dear Bwog: Out Of Love With New York

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Gloomy pic to match the gloomy day
Gloomy pic to match the gloomy day

Gloomy pic to match the gloomy day

Last week, Bwog received this disheartening email with the subject line reading “help bwog :(.”  In the spirit of kindness and we’ve-all-been-there-ness, Aspiring Advisor Kyra Bloom tried her hand at some sage words. Chip in (nicely, please!) in the comments with your own thoughts.

The plea:

Help, Bwog. I’m a sophomore, and last year I loved everything about New York–the food, the nightlife, the proximity, and feeling cool when I told my friends I lived in the City. But once this year began, everything about it began to annoy me. Sirens during classes so I can’t hear the teacher, the realization that taking the subway is no longer fun and it actually sucks to be stuck in a metal tube with 200 people breathing in your face, slow walkers, aggressive walkers, expensive prices, and generally unfriendly people. Does New York just suck? How can I fall back in love with it? Does everyone else feel like this too? :(((( help needed desperately as midterms and this are making me so fucking depressed.

The response:

Dear Out of Love with New York,

You are not alone.  Most of the people I know have become frustrated with living in the city at some point throughout their college career, if they’re not frustrated with Columbia in particular.  My advice is to try your best to find a positive side to everything that has been annoying you.  I am easily claustrophobic and used to dread taking the subway, but I started creating a new playlist every few weeks that I could get excited about listening to on the way to work and appointments.  Look around that “metal tube” at the faces of the city’s inhabitants–thinking about the people and their varied lives all connected by this city and its transportation always helps to make me feel like I’m part of something bigger.  It forces me to remember that I am living a life so many desire but can’t experience.  And even if the people around me look exhausted and world-weary, I can somehow find companionship even in that.

Take advantage of the nature we have access to.  Hudson River Park is gorgeous, especially at this time of year, and is easily accessible via the 1.  Treat yourself to your favorite restaurant or dessert bar–the one you were so excited to tell your friends about when you first fell in love with the city.  Yes, New York is expensive, but you’re here for a limited time for a very specific purpose, so if you want to, spend money on the things that are worth it.  No one is forcing you to stay here after graduation; life in the city isn’t for everyone.  But if you were drawn to it in the first place, there still have to be some aspects that will ease your stress after a long afternoon in the library.

Another angle to pursue, if it really is the actual city you’re tired of, is to spend more time on campus.  Our campus is beautiful in all types of weather, and if you can’t bask in the sun on the steps, take your computer and just watch a movie in your favorite library.  Looking at the ceiling of Avery feels majestic and is even better when you’re doing something you enjoy.  Take a break and appreciate the architecture while listening to some music.  Try your hardest to remember what you originally loved, or to find something new that makes you happy.  Of course, if you do find yourself becoming truly depressed, don’t hesitate to ask anyone, friends, CPS/Furman, whomever, for help.  Never feel embarrassed or silly for being upset about something that may not seem like a “big deal.”  Your happiness is what’s most important, and everyone understands how the big city can sometimes get you down.

Happiest place on earth via Wikimedia

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  1. Anonymous

    this is actually great advice for everyone living in the city, not just for those disillusioned with it. it's also beautifully written. thank you bwog!

  2. Fuck That

    Best cure for city blues is LCD Soundsystem x Kermit the Frog on repeat until Thanksgiving Break, at which point you go home (to what I can only assume is the same suburban/midwestern mediocrity from which I spring). Sate your desires for driving, quiet nights, and ridiculous portions for cheap and come back to the city rejuvenated. Consume an obscene amount of caffeine and walk through the village or midtown and all will be right.

  3. take solace

    While its still within nyc, go to the middle of central park as far from anyone or anything as possible. It will be a peaceful spot in the hectic city that has you down. Personally, when i need a break, i go to the southern tip of manhattan and watch the hudson river in battery park. There are ways to escape the city even within the city. And as the post said, our campus is an oasis in a concrete jungle. Take advantage of our little six-block rectangle. Its a very relaxing place to be sometimes.

    • Anonymous  

      Being from Nebraska, I love nothing more than the north woods in central park, doing my very best to get lost/turned around and find a place where I can't hear anything but birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. It exists, and it's beautiful.

  4. puppies>>>>>  

    dog park by the intrepid works like a charm

  5. Anonymous

    Some salient advice in these comments.

  6. Anonymous  

    No city can suck as long as it contains Aspiring Advisor Kyra Bloom!

  7. Anonymous

    Really great advice! This time of year can be so gloomy; I'll definitely keep this in mind when I'm having a rough day.

  8. AW YEAH  



    Questionable park security policies BUT STILL SO PRETTY

  9. Anonymous

    the Cloisters is absolutely gorgeous. even when it's cold and yucky outside, it you sometimes forget that you're in NYC because it is so peaceful and pretty there.

  10. O the Cloisters..

    We once went to the Cloisters at the beginning of summer. It had started to rain as soon as we got in, and we took refuge under this little bridge where another couple and a small group of friends were waiting for the rain to stop. Coincidentally, one of them had a guitar. He serenaded us for a bit, played some beautiful music while we huddled with our partners and waited for the downpour to stop. It was actually pretty romantic..

  11. Anonymous

    Go jog in Van Cortlandt Park. It's a bucket list experience.

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