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New York City Your Best Tool for Learning English

It’s a bit mind-boggling to consider everything we’ve experienced in the past year, as we approach the one-year mark of our lives being completely turned upside down by COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic and how it forced us to change our behaviors, interactions, and thought processes will likely stay with us for the rest of our lives.

There were moments during the pandemic that I had to tell myself to focus on reflection – it was really easy to grow frustrated with being home all the time, and there were days that I was more worried about my social life than the big picture. In those moments, I forced myself to reassess. I had to remind myself that this pandemic will impact our economy for a long time – entire industries were shut down and millions of people lost their jobs. I had to remind myself that people were losing their loved ones to this virus and that the healthcare industry will never be the same. Anytime I found myself thinking about ‘me,’ I had to remind myself to think about ‘we.’ Reflection has been a heavy practice for all of us this past year, and it may have been overwhelming at times. For me, I wanted to share how I’m choosing to reflect as we arrive at the one-year mark – these stories will be with us for the rest of our lives, so I want to be sure that I can process all of those thoughts while we’re still experiencing it.

1. Flexible work situation

I made it a point to express gratitude that not only was I able to keep my job during the pandemic, but I was able to do it from the safety of my own. I didn’t have to commute to go to work, and I didn’t have to expose myself of risk. I was fortunate enough that I could perform my work tasks successfully, and this change wasn’t a direct disruption to my daily life or the quality of my life. Anytime I found myself complaining about working from home, I again recentered my focus to gratitude that I had a job and could do it safely and productively from home.

2. Technology saved us

It was technology that allowed me to perform my work successfully from home. With easy internet connection, innovative devices, and products that helped our teams connect, I recognize that this is what allowed me to perform my work successfully. This very technology allowed me to stay in touch with my loved ones – I had Zoom parties with my friends that were in the city with me, which made me feel connected with them, even if I couldn’t see them in person. I used FaceTime to chat with my family in other states since seeing them over the holidays wasn’t a possibility. While it will never be the same as being in the same room as them, I recognize how this has been a huge game-changer for staying in touch and “seeing” everyone. Additionally, thanks to delivery services, I was able to order groceries, home necessities, and even meals straight to my door, which made my changes of contact even lower. I’m thankful that we have this kind of technology and innovation during this pandemic.

3. We all reassessed together

There is not one person in this world that has not been impacted by this pandemic in some way. There have been very few events or instances that have affected our world as a whole, and as terrible as this experience has been, it’s one that we can all experience together. It helped us reassess how we speak to one another, how we talk to one another, and how we consider others’ circumstances. I have friends and coworkers that have lost loved ones, others that have had to homeschool their kids while still working, and others that have slipped into depressions because of the intensity of living solo in combination with social distancing. As a result, we’ve all become hyper-aware of human impact – we’re giving back and supporting each other. We’re asking our friends and coworkers how they’re holding up. We’re expressing human gratitude a little more.

Any time I find myself slipping into negativity or complaints, I remind myself of the luck I have and my health. I check in with my loved ones, and I ask what I can do that can help. It’ll be some time before we reach recovery, so I suggest that we continue to come together as one, and reflect as often as we can.

Category : Stay in New York

We’re certainly living in unusual times. It seems that every week, there’s a new challenge for us to navigate, a new concern for us to worry about. With all of this constant change, it might be difficult to think about how you can keep practicing your English effectively and also safely. Living in New York City presents additional difficulties since our city is still seeing so much tragedy, and our previous activities have been halted due to so many businesses being shut down due to the realities of the pandemic. As we approach the one-year mark of us living with COVID-19, you might have grown accustomed to certain elements of the change in lifestyle, but you might also be thinking about new and creative ways to keep your English skills sharp in a weird and difficult time. There are a ton of creative ways to keep these juices flowing. Here are few innovative ideas that you can try to make sure your English skills stay strong in a challenging time.

1. Take advantage of YouTube and other video platforms

We’re lucky that we live in a time that is so virtual – it allows us to connect in ways that we’ve never been able to before. Our technology gives us ways to stay in touch with one another, and we have so many amazing platforms that gives us ways to learn as well. If you want to take advantage of these platforms while we’re spending so much more time at home, we’re lucky that we have so many options available. YouTube is one of those platforms that has proven to be a valuable resource for learning. There are tons of helpful videos that can help you practice in practical ways – instructors will give you various tactics to use and direction that is applicable for the real world. There are also TONS of apps that you can use from your phone that will help you interact with others, learn different tactics, and generally just keep your English skills sharp. Might as well take all this extra time at home and put it to good use!

2. Practice your writing skills

One of the best ways to stay fresh is to practice your writing. This could be either just free-writing, like in a journal to keep your thoughts in one place, or it could be creative writing. Write a poem, a short story, or even just coming up with random scenarios. This will help you exercise multiple scenarios and tactics, like dialogue, explaining a setting, or even just getting into the practice of writing in longform English. If you want to take it up a notch, read it aloud to others to get feedback on how you did with your English writing – this will help you better understand what you’re good at and what you need to work on more.

3. Host a Zoom party

They say that the best way to stay fresh with your English skills is to speak it. Schedule a half hour with friends each week over Zoom to just practice speaking English with each other. You’ll hear from your friends how we’ll they’re doing with their practice, and you’ll be able to help each other out if someone’s stuck on a certain word or pronunciation. Your friends will coach you, congratulate you, and help you. Plus, this is a great way to stay in touch with your friends, especially since seeing each other in person isn’t much of a possibility these days!

4. Keep up with music and movies

If you’re like me, you’re spending a lot more time with your TV catching up on shows and movies that you never got around to watching. Come up with a list of movies or TV shows that you’ve always wanted to see, and watch them in English. This is a great method since the actors use language that represents how most people speak English, so it’s a good practice to learn from those shows and movies. And listening to all kinds of music has never been easier, thanks to streaming platforms like Spotify. And now that podcasts are also more available than ever, you’ll be able to tune into any kind of podcast to get used to different accents and word choices in English – plus, you’ll be learning something while you’re listening, so it’s a win-win situation! You won’t run out of any options thanks to our technology these days!

Category : Stay in New York

You’ve probably heard over and over again about how challenging the year 2020 was for the world. It was a year that certainly presented hardships for people all over the world due to all of the events that took place. It’s tough to reflect back on all of those moments and not get emotional. I’m lucky enough that I didn’t lose anyone to COVID, I’m grateful that I’m able to do my job safely from home, and I’m appreciative that I live in a safe and tolerant city. As we move deeper into 2021, it seems as though we’re still in for quite a few challenges. The pandemic is hanging on as we continue to navigate the vaccine process, our political environment is divided and tense, and our social change has presented a lot of pushback from other areas of the country that may not be as ready for change.

As we get closer to our one-year anniversary of living in this pandemic, I’ve made a point to make sure that I’m taking care of myself in multiple ways. Being far from family has made this year difficult for me, as I haven’t been able to see them beyond Zoom. So I’ve learned to practice behaviors that make sure I’m mentally and emotionally okay. Some days are better than others, but for the most part, I’m carving out enough time and attention to making sure I’m taking care of myself. Some of what I’m sharing might make sense for you, and you might have found ways that work for you that I haven’t tried, so it’s all trial and error.

1. Pay attention to your sleep habits

I’ve never really been a “good” sleeper – following a schedule was always hard for me to do, and as a night owl, it’s so easy for me to stay up late and sleep in. Now that I’m working from home and no longer spending 2+ hours a day commuting to my office, I’ve found that I have more time to sleep. It could be really easy to stay up later because of this, but I’ve found that if I’m disciplined in when I go to bed, it’s easier to wake up in the morning. I also take natural aids that help push me to sleep if my anxiety about current events keep me awake. This helps me reach that sleepy “sweet spot.”

2. Keep tabs on your thoughts

Speaking of that anxiety, it’s really easy to let your wandering thoughts take you to worry about everything that’s going on in the world. So much of what’s happening is out of your control, but it can still keep you up at night. I’ve found that when I’m having those moments of extreme anxiety or worry, I’ll pull out a notebook and just jot them down. Sometimes it’s just a list, while other times, I’m writing pages and pages of how I’m feeling about everything. While writing these things out may not solve any of these problems, I find that by placing them in a different place gives my brain a rest and let’s me relax for a bit.

3. Getting outside

Living in New York City while all of this is happening has felt strange – there are some days that I almost forget that I live in this great city because I barely leave my apartment anymore. There are some days where I don’t even want to get out of bed – “what’s the point,” right? On those days, when I’m feeling particularly down, I force myself to get outside and just take a walk. The fresh air and the reminder that I’m still here, living in the greatest city in the world, gives me the pick-me-up that I needed. Often I find that it almost even gives me a second wind – I’ll come back home and feel rejuvenated, ready to dive back into whatever project I was working on.

4. Pay attention to your needs

No one knows your mental health needs better than yourself. You know what this means. For me, I still see my therapist (virtually) once a week. I find this is a really good exercise, as it gives me the opportunity to check in with my doctor to make sure I’m doing okay. This looks different for every person – for some, mental health maintenance means exercising or reading or meditating or creating art. Whatever your mental health practices are, I urge you to keep them and do them as often as you can.

Category : Stay in New York

The beginning of January typically inspires us to look ahead and think about how we want to improve ourselves. Maybe we want to eat better, exercise more, pick up more hobbies, or just spend more time with loved ones. In January 2020, I made a list of things that I wanted to achieve during the year – some were tactical, like reading 20 books, while some were more aspirational, like being kinder to myself. Given how quickly everything changed in 2020, I completely forgot about that list until a few weeks ago when I found it. I couldn’t help but laugh, as the circumstances didn’t really allow me to achieve a lot on my list (like taking more vacations), but it has me thinking about how I want to go into 2021. I know that our world will continue to be uncertain, so I’m going into my list with a bit more flexibility in mind.

One of the other things I discovered in 2020 was a greater appreciation for finding silver linings amidst so much hardship and challenges. As time went on in 2020, it was hard to not feel completely defeated. Instead of narrowing in on the elements that were stressful or made me sad, I would try and find the silver linings. It wasn’t an easy task, but the one that had the biggest impact was how I was saving money. I know that this looks differently for each person, as I recognize that I was able to keep my job, didn’t have to move, or didn’t have to tap into my savings or look into getting loans. More than that, however, I realized just how much I was saving – this is also something that I’m hoping to integrate into my 2021 financial plan and strategy, so I wanted to share what those ideas were so that you can take those into consideration as well.

1. Spend more time DIY

I’m not the most artistically driven person of all-time, so I’m still a bit surprised that I’m writing this, but after the first few months of quarantine, I started to get creative. Instead of spending money at the salon for some “me-time,” I created a spa-like experience at home with essentials I found at the drugstore. It’s the same effect but massively cheaper. It also forced me to gain more independence in the kitchen – I’ve never been much of a cook, but since dining out wasn’t an option, I had to start getting experimental with the foods I’m used to, which was a huge money-saver as well.

2. Socialize differently

I didn’t realize how much money I was spending on a weekly and monthly basis until I couldn’t go out to socialize anymore. Between the pricey meals and cocktails and even the Ubers home if it was too late for public transportation, $30 here and $50 there definitely added up. Now, I enjoy making my own cocktails at home and having virtual happy hour with my friends. Not only is this great because I can experiment with my mixology skills and still see my pals, but I’m also super comfy at home and saving tons of money in the long run.

3. Reorganize your long-term finances

This is completely unique to your position, so what worked for me here might need to be tweaked to satisfy what makes sense for you. In March, interest on my federal student loans was paused, which meant that every payment I made towards my balance went to my principle amount, which meant that I was getting closer to a $0 balance faster. I’ve been able to make payments as the months went on, saving me hundreds of dollars in the long run. Interest is set to kick back in in the new year, but because I was able to whittle my balance down so much without the interest, payments will be much easier. If you have student loans or tuition payments, be sure to reach out to your lender or your institution to find out what your options are depending on your circumstances.

You have likely found your own financial silver linings in 2020, so it’s a great idea to take those learnings and find a way to implement them into your 2021 habits. No matter what the world looks like and how back to “normal” we’ll be, I plan on emulating a lot of these practices so I can get a better handle on my spending and overall financial well-being.

Category : Stay in New York

Each one of us has different circumstances regarding how we’re handling the pandemic. Parents have unique needs, while young professionals require various elements to keep them afloat. Some have been able to keep their jobs and work remotely, while others have to lean on their savings and unemployment benefits. One thing is certain: the pandemic changed everything.

If you’re a student at New York English Academy and are looking for ways to not only satisfy your needs as a human but for options that will allow you to practice your English skills, there are quite a few ways to stay active in your learning processes. With anything these days, all it takes is an open mind, a little bit of creativity, and an endless amount of resilience. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we can handle anything. So here are a few ways you can keep your English skills sharp despite our circumstances.

1. Take advantage of your phone’s abilities

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been spending a lot more time with your screens these days thanks to all the extra time at home. One of the first things I did when I realized that COVID-19 was not going to be a temporary presence in our lives is I deleted all the games from my phone that required no skill – these are the games that I used to play on the subway during my commute to shut my brain off and disengage from work. Now, I play games that require thinking, like Scrabble, which is a great option if you’re trying to stay on top of your English vocabulary. Be sure to also keep up with you English learning apps, like Duolingo, while you’re still staying home. There are tons of options available now, so be sure to do some research on what’s out there and collaborate with your friends. Don’t forget to also use your social media apps so that you can stay connected with your friends but also use the English settings so you can adapt organically to how you engage with your friends and family

2. Reading and journaling

This is something that I’ve also forced myself to pick up again. I used to be an avid reader and writer, but between balancing a job, a social life, and exercise, these habits always got pushed to the bottom of my list. So to make sure that I was using my time effectively while at home, I started to read again. Some nights I don’t want to or feel too tired, but even if I read just a chapter, I feel better. I’ve also begun journaling again, which is another practice that’s a bit tricky to break into in the beginning, but just with any habit, it became easier and easier to adapt to each night. Reading keeps my mind sharp, and it’s nice to escape into a different world outside of my apartment, and journaling helps me process any stress or anxiety I may be feeling during this time. I highly recommend both of these practices, as they’ll help you find a distraction and a processing method, and they will exercise your English skills in real time, too.

3. Staying connected

This might feel like an obvious one, but it’s also just super important given the time that we’re in. I live alone, and my family is spread out all over the country, so there are times I feel the physical separation from my loved ones heavier on some days. So that’s when I’ll have video calls or just spend time on the phone catching up. Not only does this make me feel closer to my loved ones, but I also find a way to use my time wisely instead of just sitting in front of the TV. For those of you that are looking for ways to keep your conversational skills in English sharp, this is a good way of practicing those skills. Organize a group video chat and promise one another that you’ll only speak English – help each other out if you get stumped or use the incorrect word. There are also a lot of fun games available that you can play during the call so that you’ll have fun while learning and practicing simultaneously.

We’re in tough times right now, but don’t let yourself get defeated. There are so many ways to keep your English practices sharp so you don’t get rusty – when things settle, you’ll be ready, better than ever before!

Category : Stay in New York

We’re approaching the time of the year when most of us reunite with our loved ones close and far away. We’re being told that this year will look much differently than that, and a lot of us are trying to get used to the idea that we’ll be spending the holidays with our loved ones remotely. For me, this bums me out because I won’t get to see the magic of Christmas morning through the eyes of my little nephews and nieces, and it means that I won’t meet up with old friends when I’m home for the holidays.

When I think about this, even though I get sad about it, I have to go through little practices to remind myself that I’m actually quite fortunate. I’m lucky enough to have not lost anyone due to the virus, and I’m lucky enough that I and my loved ones have access to the technology that will allow me to be as present in those important moments as possible. So many of us are far away from loved ones here in New York City, but another reminder that I pull out regularly is that isolation is the very thing that bonds all of us together – we’re all experiencing this at once, and this is a moment in time when we can all come together (virtually and remotely) and make the best of a challenging situation.

Here’s how I plan to approach this time of year with positivity, warmth, and hope (to the best of my ability) as I face a holiday season away from my loved ones.

  • Comfort food is key

For my family, the holidays are so reliant on the elaborate meals and the amazing food. I’m not the biggest cook in the world, and my kitchen in my New York City apartment is pretty small, but I plan on doing as much as I can to make it feel as special as possible. My hope is that during the formal meals, my family can Zoom me in, and we can all “go around the room” and share how much we’re thankful for one another and appreciate that we can still be “together” as much as we can. Plus, there’s nothing better than leftovers, especially on those days and nights when you’re just too lazy!

  • Decorations aren’t just for the kiddos

Ever since I’ve been living alone as an adult, I haven’t really invested much time or effort into decorating my home for the holidays. I always kind of figured that it was pointless to go through all of that when I was going to be away for the holidays anyway, but this year, I’m doing things a little bit differently. While I don’t have much extra space in my apartment, that won’t stop me from finding great deals on holiday decorations to make my home feel as cozy and welcoming as possible – I can’t help but feel as though it’ll make me feel that much closer to my family, even if they’re states and time zones away.

  • Pull out those family traditions

Every family’s got them. No matter how big or small, goofy or serious, this is the year to honor them just like any other year. A tradition that my family follows, which I think is fairly common, is to wear matching pajamas the night before Christmas Eve. My mom will get us all kids (and grandkids) matching outfits to wear that night so that everyone wakes up in the morning matching – even though I find myself rolling my eyes about it in my mid-30s, I also realize that it wouldn’t be the holidays without that tradition. I’m going to be doing my best to bring in as much feeling of joy as possible into the time around the holidays to avoid the feeling of loneliness or sadness – this means watching the Christmas movies that brought me joy when I was a kid, playing Christmas songs that I’d sing to in the car on the way to my Grandma’s house, and checking the window on Christmas morning to see if it snowed. On paper, they might seem silly to us, but we all have that little kid in us that comes alive around the holidays, so my goal this year is to pay as much attention to that kid as possible. I think this year, doing that is going to make the difference from a sad holiday from one where we all made the best out of a challenging time.

Category : Stay in New York

Here we are, another month into this pandemic with not so much of an end in sight. The warmer months seemed to give us a burst of energy and hope, as we were able to slowly and carefully introduce things back into our lives that we had to suddenly sacrifice without much notice. Even though we were consistently warned that we were facing a second round of the virus in the colder months, it still feels like a shock that we’re slowly going back to the beginning.

Like so many New Yorkers, my family is far away in different states and even time zones. Since March, I’ve cancelled visits and trips to see them, and it’s been difficult watching my nieces and nephews grow up over Zoom calls. It’s tough when I’m having a bad day and all I want to do is talk to my parents. But I have to also remind myself that I’m not the only one trying to manage this strange moment in time – I’m lucky that I have the means to work in the safety of my own home and that I have the ability to use all the capabilities of my devices to stay connected.

I do these little tricks throughout the day and throughout the week to keep me going. That’s not to say that I don’t have my hard days or that I don’t struggle with my anxiety or worry levels. But I recognize that I also have to pay attention to my needs, now more than ever before. Because I’m not seeing my family or my coworkers in person, I do what I can to stay as connected as I can – within reason, of course. These little tricks have helped me get through the monotony, where some days it feels like it’s exactly the same as the one before it. While every person’s situations and circumstances are different, you’ll be able to find out what works best for you and your needs.

  • Rearrange your furniture

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I’d be working from home full-time for this long. When we realized that we weren’t going back to the office anytime soon, I bought a desk, rearranged the layout of my apartment, and created a spot for inspiration. About four months in, I did it all over again and moved things around. It wasn’t easy, as I don’t have a lot of space and I live alone, but doing this made me feel like I had a fresh take on the days. It brought about a sense of change during a time when change might be something we’re all craving.

  • Give in to your temptations for a cozy home

We’re getting into the brutal days of winter, which means that we’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors, especially when we’re still in a pandemic. I’ve always been a firm believer of making your home as comfortable as possible, but there’s never been a more important time to do that than now. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. Layer on the blankets, splurge on those cozy-smelling candles, and make your home as zen-like as possible. If we’re going to be spending so much time indoors in the coming months, you might as well make it as inviting and comforting as possible.

  • Make time for some you-time

This was probably the hardest trick for me to implement, as it’s difficult for me to turn my brain off and shut down. Especially since my apartment is now my workspace, I find that it’s been more challenging to make that distinction between my professional life and my personal life. So on the days I’m not working or in the hours after my workday, I try to do something that truly allows me to focus on my own time. Some nights, it’s watching mindless TV, and other nights, I curl up with a book and tuck away my devices. A new thing I’ve introduced is taking advantage of the extra time in my days without a commute, which means that I’ve actually been taking bubble baths one night a week. This has been really helpful, as I’ve been able to lose myself in the separation (mentally, since I’m relaxing, and physically, since I’m in a different room!), and I also find that this helps me sleep better at night, which is something I think we could all benefit from.

Category : Stay in New York

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living with COVID-19 for as long as we have – on one hand, it feels like we’re all still adjusting to this new way of life, but on the other hand, it’s hard to imagine what life was like before COVID-19 became a part of our daily reality.

I’ve said this a few times over the past couple of months, but I’ve never been more proud to be a New Yorker than now – watching our city’s response to the seriousness of this pandemic and witness it go from the worst place in the country to one of the best has solidified my pride to be here. It’s rare that I take public transportation these days just so I can keep myself and those around me safe, but when I do, I’m continue to be impressed to see that every person is wearing a mask, is consciously maintaining physical distance from one another, and is simply doing their best to stay safe and keep those around them safe.

I wear my mask everywhere I go – it’s become a part of my external batch of necessities: wallet, keys, phone, mask. I also bring hand sanitizer with me at all times – if I’m in a grocery store, I try to be mindful about everything I touch. Even if I go outside to take out my trash, I try to think about how many other people in my building that have touched those door handles in the same day. You’ve heard it a million times – always be washing your hands, and pay attention to how often you’re touching your surfaces and your face. It’s so simple, but SO IMPORTANT. We live in New York City, which means that we all share so many things throughout the course of one day. It’s so important to be as safe as possible.

I’ll spare you the obvious, like wearing a mask and washing your hands and carrying hand sanitizer. So instead, here are a few other rules of thumb to consider while living here in New York City so you can stay safe and keep those around you safe as well.

  • Socialize in small groups

I know every person’s circumstances are different when it comes to living space – maybe you live with roommates or live in a different borough than your friends – but this is the time to get creative when it comes to hanging with your friends. If a member in your group has an outdoor space, declare that person the host! Bring snacks, drinks, and games and have a night in instead of congregating at outdoor bars. Not only will this keep you safe, but you’ll save so much money, too. Be sure to dress warm and travel with layers, as November is the unofficial start of winter weather!

  • Order takeout

By now, you’re likely aware that the restaurant industry is struggling due to the dining restrictions that the CDC has set in place. So this is the time to give those delivery apps some attention! Not only will you be able to support local businesses that value every dollar they get, but you’ll get fresh and amazing meals delivered right to your door! Be sure to tip well, too, as people are battling the outdoor elements to get your food to you quickly and safely – especially now that the weather is getting chillier!

  • Set guidelines and rules for yourself

Over the past couple of months as we’ve adjusted to all the phases of reopening, it’s been very tempting to do ALL the things that I’ve wanted to do since the city shut down. But again, I have to be very thoughtful and mindful of my safety and that of others. Because I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home for my job, it’s easier for me to stay in during the week. So that I not only continue practicing safety but also satisfy my urgency to socialize and visit with friends, I reserve one day during the weekend to hop over to a different neighborhood to visit and catch-up with those I haven’t been able to see. This one-day-a-week has proven to be a successful practice, as I get to look forward to that one night a week that I go out, and I also feel that I’m staying safe and staying home as much as I can. Bonus: because I’m not going out as much as I used to before COVID-19, I’m saving so much more money, too!

Category : Stay in New York

I’ve realized that I’ve reached a point where I’m completely used to physical distancing and wearing a mask – it certainly felt bizarre and uncomfortable for the first couple of weeks and maybe even months, but you’re probably like me now, where it’s just customary. In fact, when I’m watching TV or a movie and I see people together in large crowds without masks, I cringe – of course I know that scene was filmed pre-COVID, but it’s strange to think of a time when that’s how we all congregated.

There are certain events or activities that have changed due to the pandemic and the safety measures we have to take to avoid large crowds. I miss catching a movie at the theater or traveling to see my favorite band at a huge venue. I miss amusement parks and comedy shows. While the true experience of those events have shifted, many of these industries have pivoted their platforms to virtual experiences so that they can continue bringing in revenue and you can continue to enjoy the event – it’ll just have to be from your home!

I’ve pulled together a collection of virtual New York City experiences happening in the month of November, but keep in mind that one of the huge benefits of so many events going virtual is that you’re not geographically bound to just the city! So do some research and see what other events are being held that you can “attend” without even leaving your couch!

  • Cocktail Making Class, November 1, 2020

I’ll be the first to admit to you that I’ve been sipping on a little bit more wine since we’ve been spending so much more time at home. And I’ve found myself missing the days of ordering unusual drinks at bars and experimenting with something I’ve never had while out on the town for dinner. If this sounds like you too, you might be interested in this event, hosted by Eventbrite. In this virtual event, you’ll learn a variety of classic and original recipes that you can easily make at home and wow your guests the next time you have a low-key get together. This is a great way to test out your own cocktail-making skills while also adding a few more tricks up your sleeve!

  • Virtual Job Fair, November 10, 2020

No matter where you are in your career, whether you’re still in school or thinking about a career change, this event is one that you shouldn’t miss! The organizer, JobFairX, has pulled together a wide variety of industries that are looking for talented people to join their teams, and this virtual event will provide you the opportunity to network and engage, share experiences, and broaden your search capabilities. Since the pandemic has rocked our economy so drastically in just a matter of months, the job market has shifted just as much – so this is one you should be sure to attend!

  • NYC Trivia Night, November 10, 2020

Whether you’re new to New York City or have been around for a few years, this event is a great way to test your knowledge of the great Big Apple – against people from all over the world, nonetheless! Since this event is strictly virtual, you’ll be able to participate without even leaving your home! Order in takeout, crack open a beer, and see how much you know! You can either play independently or with a team, so be sure you have all those details ironed out before you register so you can get ready to test your knowledge as soon as the day arrives.

  • Acting 101: Beginning Technique and Scene Study, November 10, 2020

If acting is something you’re serious about or if it’s a passion that you’re trying to hone in on while living in this strange time, this might be the virtual event for you. While this particular experience is a bit pricier than other virtual events discussed so far, you’ll know that you’ll be getting the experience of a lifetime. Check out all the other opportunities this group has if you’re interested in other virtual events!

  • Zoom Comedy Show, November 28, 2020

If we’ve all needed a laugh together, it’s now. If you need something to entertain yourself following your Thanksgiving festivities, this is the place to “be”! With comedians from some of the most well-known shows and networks, you’ll be set to laugh your socks off! Be sure to register soon, because this event is filling up quickly.

Category : Stay in New York

It’s almost hard to think about what our world was like before COVID-19 became a part of it. I find myself referring to the time before the pandemic as “pre-COVID” when I’m telling a story, which is a strong indication to just how big of an impact this experience has been on all of us. In an odd way, this pandemic is the one that that we’re all experiencing on a universal level. Each personal experience is unique from the next, and it’s certain that this is something that none of us will forget for the rest of our lives.

Beyond the physical aspect of the pandemic, the virus itself, this moment in time has impacted and affected so many factors of our lives. One of the biggest ways that it’s taken a toll on is our mental and emotional health. Whether we’ve lost our jobs or had to take pay cuts, or if we’re far from family and live alone, or even if we’re already living with a chronic condition and are having trouble accessing our primary health specialist or our treatment – this experience is unique for each and every one of us, and it’s more important than ever to make sure that we’re all taking care of our mental health.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home full-time without my pay being affected. While I still get to “see” my coworkers via Zoom, I’m certainly missing the in-person interaction that came with the office, especially with those that I don’t work that intimately with. Because I live alone, I relied on those day-to-day in-person interaction to fill the need of human intimacy – now that I don’t have that, there’s a level of daily loneliness that has increased.

I’m also the only one in my family that lives here in New York City. My family members are spread out over the states, so visiting them hasn’t been a realistic option for me. Again, I’m thankful for our technology these days to keep us in touch, and with FaceTime and Zoom, I can be sure to “see” them on a regular basis, but to the same idea above, it’s certainly not the same. 

Something else that I’m grieving that I wasn’t expecting is the city itself. Sure, the past couple of months I’ve been writing about how there’s still plenty to do and see here while we’re in the middle of this pandemic, but I also won’t lie to you: it’s not the same. Because I’m spending so much more time inside my studio apartment, there are many days when I practically forget that I live in the best city in the world. When I was commuting to work, taking the subway, transferring at Times Square, and passing thousands of other New Yorkers a day, I truly felt like I was making the most of my experience of living in this great city. Without that, there’s a level of removal that I’m feeling – I feel like I miss the city, even though I’m still here.

Paying attention to all of these new feelings and emotions is crucial as we continue to move forward into the next couple of months. I still maintain my weekly therapy sessions (virtually, of course), and every week, my therapist starts off the conversation with, “How was this week for you?” I come to those sessions every week prepared and take a deep breath as I recount yet another week of living in quarantine. Sometimes, my emotions are monotonous, just like my days. Often I’m feeling suffocated, defeated, scared, lonely, and worried. There’s so much uncertainty in our world these days that I feel comforted when she tells me that I’m not alone, that these emotions are felt city-wide, state-wide, and worldwide. She urges me to keep reaching out to my friends to talk, video chat, and connect. She urges me to continue to count what I consider lucky while still thinking of others that are struggling in different ways. She urges me to listen to my instincts and write things out if I’m having a tough day. She’s also mentioned that if I ever feel that I need additional help beyond what she’s providing me that I need to tell her so that she can refer me to that additional expertise.

I urge you to do the same, as there’s not a more important time to do this than right now.  

Category : Stay in New York