If you moved to New York City right after graduating from college, chances are good that you started out living in a shitty apartment. It’s a rite of passage of sorts — if you can make it here, through cockroaches and mice and schlepping Trader Joe’s home on the subway, you really can make it anywhere.

For me, that first apartment was in Bay Ridge in southwest Brooklyn, almost an hour and a half by subway from two of the three jobs I was working at the time. Luckily, we didn’t have any issues with mice, but it was still, by the standards of most non-New Yorkers, a completely terrible apartment. We had some cockroaches. My roommate also had a large dog, which, while cute, didn’t make the already-crowded space feel any less small.

Several out-of-state friends visited that year and asked to stay with me. At the time, I was mortified to have people see the tiny, dirty, isolated place I called home. But two (markedly better) apartments later, I don’t regret living there. (Though I do wonder what my guests would have thought if they knew the monthly rent at that first place was a whopping $1,500 — which, of course, is low by NYC standards.)

Read full article on Refinery29.com : What No One Says About Living In NYC