The Ultimate Guide To Your First Six Months In New York City

Moving to New York City is an exciting task. But what if you know absolutely no one in this city of over 8 million people? Meeting new people and settling into a new city can be a daunting task. This might be more of a challenge if you’re more of an introvert. Of course, if that’s your choice if you’re not a people person, we won’t blame you. But if you’re someone who wants to make friends and connections in a city that is go-go-go, you’ve come to the right place. Meeting new people will help you open new doors in New York City.

But it’s not about meeting people. It’s also about navigating your way through the city, knowing the neighborhoods and sites, and being able to get by in a city that can make or break you depending on the choices you make. This guide will help you navigate you through the first six months of living in New York City. In fact, let us take this time to suggest that you should bookmark this as you will probably come back and refer to this over and over again.

So let’s get right to it:

“Hello. My Name Is…”

The first person you’ll meet is the person who is renting out your apartment or room. Let’s say for this example, you’re renting a room in an apartment. At this point, you’ll probably have gotten to know each other quite a bit. They’ll even introduce you to your other roommates who are living with you. The longer your roommates have lived in New York City, the better familiar they will be of the city. They will serve as your point people in finding places that you probably never knew existed. Sometimes, a Google search just isn’t enough.

Just like that, you already have an established network in the big city. Over time it will grow as you will be able to meet other people (friends or family of your roommates, co-workers, etc.). If you happen to find yourself at a rooftop party somewhere in Brooklyn, why not introduce yourself to people there.

There is nothing that opens new doors of opportunity like having a meaningful conversation with someone. Who knows…they may end up being your best friends, future roommates, or even the love of your life.

Where To Meet New People

  • Classes: Have you been dying to learn a new skill? Sign up for a class. Lots of people sign up for classes all the time because they want to learn a new skill. Love food? Take a cooking course. Want to speak a foreign language? Take a language course. Exercise? Find a health club that offers a class you might like.
  • Your Job: Almost every time, you’ll be working a job that will require you to interact with other people. While some may not be the type to hang out with you after work, the least you can do is make an effort to get to know the people you work with. If you work in a fast-paced environment, do your best to meet new people during your downtime periods such as your lunch break.
  • Meetups: In New York City, there is bound to be a meetup that will happen somewhere. It is important to do a Google search or check out a website called…where else, but Meetup. You’ll come across a list of meetups happening in the city. Choose one that vibes with you best and go there at the designated date and time.

“How Do I Get There From Here?”

New York City is an easy city to navigate. That’s because you have a large number of public transportation options that will get you to and from almost any part of the city. New York City is home to hundreds of subway and bus stations. Not to mention, New York cannot simply be New York without its endless sea of yellow cabs. If hailing a taxi is not your thing, you can order a ride with just a couple touches of your smartphone. That’s because you have ride-sharing like Uber and Lyft at your disposal. Here are a few things to also keep in mind:

  • Transportation Doesn’t Sleep: The subway and buses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means you don’t have to leave the party early to catch the last train out. Also, the yellow taxis and Uber drivers will be also be out in full force, even at 4AM. Whether you are an early bird or a night owl, reliable transportation will always be available.
  • Have Your Apps Handy: Need a ride home? There’s an app for that. You can order a ride via Uber or Lyft and will be available in minutes. Keep in mind that surge pricing may be in effect, so you better pay attention before making arrangements. If you need to figure out the best route to get from your apartment to another place, Google Maps will be your best friend. They’ll give you directions including which subway stations to go to and where to hop off of.
  • Having A Car Is Almost Pointless: There are those in New York City who navigate by way of car. We might as well give them a medal for being a part of the crazy brave. The drivers here are quite unpredictable. You’re better off just not having one and be able to get around using public transportation or even better, using your own two feet.

“It’s All About The Benjamins, Baby!”

Well, not really. We just wanted to throw in a reference to a New York City native whose name…well, always changes. But the real point we’re trying to make is that living in New York City won’t be dirt cheap. Sure, there are various parts of New York City that will have rents that are slightly cheaper than another place. Not to mention, you’ll need to be able to figure out which places fit more into your budget and ones that are way out of your price range. Let’s give you some ideas on how to be fiscally smart in your first six months:

  • Above All Else, Your Rent Is Important: If you’re comfortable with renting a room, get an average figure of what the monthly rent will be. For whatever money you save up, a bulk of it should be for at least six months worth of rent. This will come in handy if you have yet to find a job in the city. Let’s talk about that right now…
  • Be Active In Your Job Search: At some point, the money you’ll save up with go. And you’ll still need money to pay the rent and spend it on food, entertainment, transportation fares, and so on. You need to accept the fact that finding a job in New York City will be tough. In fact, I highly suggest that you start your search process in advance. You’ll probably have some hits or misses. The sooner you land a job in New York City, the better. Even if you don’t land one by the time you get there, don’t lose hope. Keep the momentum going until you are able to land one.
  • Spend Within Your Means: No matter how much money you make, you should be able to take into account how much you spend a month. It’s important that you sit down and figure out a monthly budget for all the things you spend money on. Note that your priorities should include rent, food, and utilities. Your miscellaneous spending should be the least of your worries.


This is a guide that you will find yourself referring to as you get settled into New York City. So for the last time, we strongly suggest that you save this somewhere. Your first six month will be a life-changing experience. But knowing how to get around the city and planting your flag will make the experience a whole lot sweeter.

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