BY EMANI COLLINS
Are you a recent graduate trying to figure out your life? Have you ever considered moving away from your hometown to start over new? Do you just want to get away and find yourself? Well, I have a treat for you! Meet Maggie Dillard! Maggie is 22 years old and a recent graduate of the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. She has made herself comfortable in the busy city of NY! Yes, she now has an “Empire State of Mind.” No more trips to The Varsity and visits to Centennial Park. Would you make the move?
We all know that life after college is oftentimes tough. Many find themselves questioning their future possibilities with their degree, while others are mainly focused on getting out of mom and dad’s humble abode! Some may go on to complete their Master’s degree, or maybe take over the family business. Before walking across the stage and moving her tassel to the left, Maggie knew exactly what she wanted to do. She simply wanted to chase her dreams, and she did just that! Now a resident of New York City, learn more about Maggie and why she decided to move from Atlanta to the Big Apple!
What made you leave ATL to move to the Big Apple?
I love the big city atmosphere, and when I visited during Spring Break two years ago, I just knew I wanted to live here someday. After that visit, I began making decisions and pursuing internship opportunities that I knew would give me the experience I needed to find a career in NYC after graduation. Now, I’m here!
What exactly do your aspirations entail?
I was an English major and mass communications minor with a concentration in journalism. My dream is to magazine journalism – maybe for Seventeen, Cosmo, or Vogue.com. I’m very into fashion, celebs, and inspiring the younger generation of girls to believe in themselves and their dreams. So, writing for a magazine that is popular among that age to give fashion, beauty, and life advice is really my dream career. Also, to have a job where I get to attend New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala is also a pretty big aspiration. Anything can happen in NYC, so we’ll just see!
What do you enjoy most about the city life that New York brings?
I love everything about this place! Even just simply walking down the street in Manhattan brings me so much joy. The hustle and bustle of everyone around me on the weekdays motivates me and keeps me focused on why I’m here and how necessary it is to put in hard work to turn my dreams into reality.
What are your favorite dining spots for others who are not familiar with NYC?
Hill Country Chicken near Madison Square Park: the best pimento cheese mac & cheese that I’ve ever had in my life. Their southern cookin’ reminds me of something made by my grandma, and the mini pies and pie shakes are to die for. Junior’s in Times Square: amazing food, the. best. cheesecake. in. the. world., and open until 1 a.m. on weekends for all of your late night snack needs. Bareburger: There are several all over NYC, and absolutely delicious and super healthy. My fav is the Falafel Wraptor – a bunch of super yummy things (like falafel, feta, and pickled red onions) stuffed in a collard green wrap. So good!
Do you plan on staying in New York City for the rest of your life?
Probably not. Only because I don’t believe that it is the best place to raise a family, and I eventually would like to settle down and possibly have kids. But in the future, I definitely still see myself in Atlanta or another big city like that – still working hard on that grind. I do want to stay in NYC for as long as possible and not let anything get in the way of my purpose in life.
Personally, are you happy with your choice to move from ATL to NY?
Absolutely! I’m truly still in shock that I’m here because it is such a huge dream of mine that I knew was not possible without God. I know He gave me this desire to be here, and I’m thankful that He helped me get here. I’m thrilled and so excited to see what all is in store for me here!
What advice would you give to other young women who plan on making the big move to NY?
Just do it! A few people tried to encourage me to wait a year or two before making this big of a move, but I knew that if I didn’t go right out of college, I probably wouldn’t ever go. So even though I was a little scared of being in this huge city without anyone I really knew that well, I’m so happy I did it. Don’t be afraid of anything – if you’re supposed to be here, everything will work itself out. All of the things I was scared of at first turned out to not even be that big of a deal (i.e. navigating the bus/subway system, getting used to all the walking, going places by myself, etc.) Now, I love everything about it and I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and it is such an amazing feeling.
Hopefully Maggie’s leap of faith has inspired you to pursue your dreams! You can keep up with Maggie’s success by following her on her social media accounts!