Heading off to St. John’s University for college was exciting – partially because I was the first person in my family to go to college out of state, but also because I was moving to NYC. Considering I am from Miami, learning how to navigate life in the Big Apple was quite the change of pace. After learning from my experiences over the past three years, I am excited to share my tips; I hope to help prepare you for this amazing time of your life.
1. Prepare for A LOT of walking.
The days of hopping in your car and going about your day are over. NYC is a walking friendly city, so it is imperative that you brace yourself for a lot of walking. Whether you’re walking to the grocery store, to the bus, or to the train station, you’re sure to be walking a lot. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.
2. Pack winter clothes.
Sometimes it can get to -10 degrees outside during the winter…dress warm!
3. Live on campus.
If you live on campus, you’re close to all the action happening. You’ll never be bored there, since there is always something to do! If you can’t live on campus, try to live near your friends, since that’s always super fun and convenient.
4. Download Map/Traveling apps ASAP.
Living in such a big city is great, but it’s so easy to get lost. You’re new to the city, so bus and train routes probably feel like a foreign language to you, right? Have no fear…today’s map and traveling apps are here to save you! If you have an iPhone, you’re in luck, because the maps app that comes with the phone automatically shows you how to reach your destination by foot and public transit. However, if you do not have an iPhone, definitely download apps like Citymapper, Transit App and Bus New York City to make your commutes as quick and seamless as possible.
5. Learn to love public transportation.
It’s dirty, expensive, and probably not as cozy and convenient as your car back home, but unfortunately, it’s all you’ve got. It’ll take some getting used to (snuggling up to strangers), but you’ll learn to embrace it. There are tons of bus and train stations throughout the city, so you can get wherever you want to go. Name any borough, and there is sure to be public transit to take you there. Just plug in your earphones and ride.
6. Invest in a portable phone charger.
Oftentimes, you will realize that you’ve been in the city for 10+ hours, your phone is on 1%, and you don’t have time to stop by an outlet to charge it. Portable phone chargers are literally the best invention since sliced bread. Charge it up at night and stick it in your bag during the day when you’re out. As much as we use our phones throughout the day, they are bound to die eventually, so a portable charger is an easy way to stay prepared.
7. The 24 hour corner deli is your best friend (and worst enemy).
No more late night snacks from the kitchen cabinet…you have the corner deli for that now! If you go to SJU, there’s a small place on the corner called “Double J’s.” It’s cheap, delicious, and conveniently open 24 hours – for all of your late night cravings. That’s why it’ll become your best friend. Now if you are anything like me as a freshman, fearful of gaining the infamous “Freshmen 15,” it’s your worst nightmare. Eating big sandwiches late at night is a quick and easy way to pack on pounds…so like all things, try to enjoy these in moderation.
8. Do “New Yorky” things every now and then.
One of the first things most people try to do when moving to New York is try to adjust to the New York culture, but remember, it’s okay to be a tourist every now and then. NYC is known for so many things, and it would be foolish to live there for four years and not take advantage of it. Use your student discount to see a Broadway play, visit the Statue of Liberty, or take cool pictures at the top of the Empire State Building. Save up the money and plan out the day alone or with friends, there is honestly too much to do in the city to ever think about staying in your dorm or apartment.
9. Meet new people.
New York is such a diverse place; you’re bound to meet different people from all walks of life. If you don’t believe me just visit the Humans of New York site and follow Brandon Stanton as he meets and documents his experiences with millions of interesting New Yorkers on a day to day basis. Sure, not everyone in New York is going to be the friendliest, but name a place where everyone is. New York is a melting pot of people from all over the world, especially when you go to SJU (one of the top multicultural universities in America). The world is literally your campus, so take advantage of it!
10. Enjoy yourself.
Have fun, explore, get lost, find your way back, and try new things. New York is the place to be young, wild and free. Meet in Central Park with friends for a picnic, dine at a really expensive restaurant to treat yourself from a rough semester, or go watch a free movie on a rooftop in the city. There is so much to do, so much to see, and so many people to meet. So go out and make all your friends and family back home jealous from all of your cool Snapchat videos and artsy Instagram pictures. Indulge!
Do you have any other tips for students moving to NYC? Comment below and be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!
Featured image: bighdwalls.com, nythroughthelens.com
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