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.
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.
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