Why I Moved Out of New York City

Photo Credit: Andrea Cau on Unsplash

Ever since I came to the United States in September 2015, I’ve lived in New York City. All of my friends were in New York, and I was planning to go to college here. I believed I would have good opportunities as a college student in New York City. A lot of companies are here and looking for college students to intern at their companies. Since there are many colleges in NYC, it’s easy for students to connect even if they are in different schools. Those were the reasons I chose NYC when I moved here.

I enjoyed living in New York City. Since it isn’t rural at all I didn’t feel out of it. Because I always lived in big cities back in Turkey. The traffic, crowd, pollution didn’t bother me in the beginning. I was busy trying to get used to the new system and studying for the TOEFL exam. The first year, I was still learning my way around the city. After two years, I got a car for the first time in my life, and that changed my perspective on living in NYC. I was in Staten Island so I needed a car to get around. But once I started driving to Brooklyn, I realized the city, in general, is not great for car owners. The traffic, parking, and drivers made it difficult for me to enjoy living there. It’s a lot different than other states in the US.

Besides owning a car in NYC, living on top of each other can be harsh. I don’t think it’s healthy to live in overpopulated places. I believe it’s against our nature. We need sunlight, we need to be in nature. In NYC however, it’s really hard to find such a place, and it’s almost always very crowded. That causes traffic, pollution, and most importantly stress. If you’ve ever been to NYC, you must have realized that people here are always in a rush, and they look stressed all the time for some reason. When you go to let’s say Pennsylvania from NYC, you immediately see the difference. Not a single person honks at you, people are nice and polite, and it’s in touch with nature. I understand that every place has its positive and negative aspects, and I’m not going to get into those. I believe the most important aspect for a person is mental health, and I’m comparing the two from that perspective. 

I lived in Brooklyn most of my time in the city, better than Manhattan in my opinion, it was still difficult not to be stressed. I had to drive around to find a parking spot for a solid hour some nights. Most of my friends paid hundreds of dollars for parking tickets. Those might not sound problematic to you, because in NYC unless you are in Staten Island you don’t really need a car to get around. But when it comes to shopping, going to another state, you need a car to make your life easier. The traffic, overpopulation and parking problem in NYC prevents people from getting a car, if they do, they would have to deal with the stress. 

I drove back to New York City for some paperwork yesterday. I was wondering if I actually missed the streets of New York. I felt weird in the beginning, because I still feel like the city is my home. After 15 minutes of driving in the streets I told myself moving out of the city was a good decision. Even though streets are nowhere near as crowded as before because of the pandemic, it was still bad. You feel tired and stressed as you drive in the streets of New York. I’ve been living in New Jersey for about a year, it’s not that far from NYC, and believe it or not driving in the streets makes me relaxed. There is almost no traffic, wherever you look at you see green as you drive. I would have never thought I would enjoy driving this much. Even though I don’t hate New York City, I’m glad I decided to move out, and I’m not planning to live in an overpopulated city again. 

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