I Finally Reached All My NYC Dreams — But The Struggle Was Real


Every milestone is worth celebrating, no matter how big or small. That’s why we partnered with Shane Co., purveyors of timeless handcrafted fine jewelry, to highlight the unique stories of those celebrating special life moments. Whether they found success in following their passions or are embarking on the next chapter of their journey, we’ll learn how these individuals are commemorating each milestone — and the role their jewelry can play in marking these significant events. Ahead, a social media producer shares how being goal-oriented and open to unexpected pivots — and sheer New Yorker tenacity — led to finally living in a place of her own.

“Is today an eating day or not an eating day?”

That was the question a coworker asked Jordan Bogigian every morning at her fashion internship four years ago. “I would read out all the things I could afford to eat throughout the week, so some days, I would just get four-piece chicken nuggets from McDonald’s, because it was only $1.50,” she recalls. “Money was tight…it was really tight.” 

Borgigian had just moved to New York City with no job, no apartment, and no savings. So she did what every New Yorker, transplant or not, has done ad infinitum: She hustled. It’s that gumption, that drive, that glorious, insatiable appetite to “make it” no matter what, that not only characterizes, but also unifies all New Yorkers. At one point she had up to six jobs: as an intern, as a retail associate, as a personal assistant to a photographer, as a marketing coordinator, and more. 

“I've had a job since I was 12 years old, so I know how to be scrappy and make ends meet. When I moved here, I did jobs I didn’t necessarily want to do, but it gave me a paycheck,” says the 27-year-old VICE branded social media producer. “Thinking back on it now, I’m glad I did it when I was younger…I was very determined to make it work, in whatever way that I could. I remember being like, This is really hard, but I was just so happy to be here.”

Bogigian can’t pinpoint exactly when she wanted to move to New York, except that she's wanted to all her life, with “no doubt in my mind.” She was born in Massachusetts, but was raised in Georgia — and having a “very northern background while growing up in a very southern place” struck a chord of angst, of resentment, of displacement. And yet, it wasn’t until she was 16 before Bogigian was able to visit New York City for the first time — a school choir trip during which she performed at Carnegie Hall. And for her, that trip validated what she knew all along: She belonged here.