I moved to NY shortly before my program began (1 day before orientation and 4 before classes). I was excited but also very nervous about my decision. I'd say I was about 75% sure that this was the right move for me. I hadn't been this nervous in what felt like forever, and I knew there was a decent chance that I was being overly optimistic and I would actually end up struggling and not make it past level one. But really, there was no time to worry about school or how I'd fare because I needed to get everything in order for my last-minute move (housing, bank account, etc). So I flew to NY and when I landed I needed to find somewhere to live.
Lucky for me, one of my fabulous friends lives in the city and she let me crash on her couch for a couple nights until I secured an apartment. The timing was less than stellar - she was in the middle of her toughest season at work, gone for 12+ hours each day. She graciously let me sleep on her couch - which, happens to be the most delightful piece of Pottery Barn furniture ever made. It makes you feel like a really chic couch surfer which is quite a nice feeling, as far as having no where to live goes. I've made it a goal in my life to at some point acquire the same bed so that I can give back that same feeling to my friends and family.
The tricky part of this move was not just finding an apartment - I could do that any day of the week. In fact, often I did (I love looking up apartments on various NY housing websites and tend to click through them over my breakfast). The tricky part was finding a furnished, short term rental in NYC. Because I had already done the conventional university thing (and stayed in a dorm) I was really adamant that I would be able to find something better than the student housing option. Searching for this 6 month lease, in a neighbourhood that would allow me a decent commute to work proved to be a real struggle. I documented all of my options on an excel sheet, updating it constantly. And lucky for me, one of my other close friends had already vetted a couple apartments prior to my arrival. I had it narrowed down to 2 options, both completely lovely and ultimately ended up with one across the street from my favourite NYC neighbourhood, Nolita. This isn't to say that the apartment was perfect; it was so small that when you stepped inside you were practically at the end of the apartment. But it was cozy, close to school, a block from the subway and surrounded by unlimited stores, businesses, bars etc (not to mention 3 designer consignment stores within a 3 minute walk). A true dose of the NY life I always imagined. I was one step closer to achieving my ultimate goal (I set it when I was 14) which is to grow up and pretend I am a character in "Friends".