Goodbye small town of empty promises and hello big city of opportunities. You did it you finally managed to break free from the suburban bubble and enroll into a college at the heart of a metropolitan city! You may have had to take out some student loans to make this dream into a reality, but now you’ll finally get to experience the excitement of being apart of a culturally diverse city lifestyle. However, by leaving your thousands of miles away comfort zone behind, you’re now completely on your own. Turning the page to a new chapter of life can be exciting, but daunting when you don’t know a single person amidst the hustle and bustle of a big city. Nonetheless, push your fear to the side because chances are you aren’t the only out of state student entering new territory. Here are some helpful tips on adjusting to your newfound urban home from suburb to city.
I Phone Maps is your best friend
Big city equals big territory to cover. You could always Uber to your exact destination, but being on a college budget doesn’t allow room for daily Uber excursions. Thus, you’re left with the most popular and convenient form of transportation in the city being the train. The train can be overwhelming, with its various lines and hundreds of stops that go all over the city, but thats where your maps app comes in handy. All you have to do is type your destination into maps, hit the transit option, and maps will give you the exact line to get on and how many stops away you are from your destination. Even when you get off your stop maps will give you exact walking directions to ensure you reach your destination. Goodbye your poor sense of direction!
Join a college club or organization
Not only is the city huge, but so is your college population. Even if you are in a small university you’re countlessly seeing new faces of students you’ve never seen before throughout the entire year. College clubs minimize the feeling of feeling like a single fish in the ocean, and narrows down the same faces of people who have similar interests to you. The types of clubs available in college are endless ranging from almost every hobby imaginable. Joining a club correlative to your interests will help you make at least one friend who you won’t have to make painful small talk, and you’ll finally have a pal to explore the city with.
Take advantage of the fall weather
Typically you move into college around the end of summer towards the beginning of fall. Fall in the city is the perfect weather to walk around the city and explore your new territory. Relish and appreciate the comfortable 60 to 70 degrees weather because chances are once winter hits you will likely be stuck in your dorm avoiding the snow and the frigid wind tunnels that come from being surrounded by tall buildings from suburb to city.
Small states equals more cities to explore
Being in the northeast means small states are within your traveling convenience. You can easily take a direct Amtrak train to various cities like Providence, New York City, Salem, New Haven, and more. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to travel there are also various bus companies like Peter Pan, Greyhound, and Megabus that have direct routes and transfers to the city that you can book for around $20-$30 through Wanderu. Pro tip: the sooner in advance you book your ticket the cheaper the cost (months in advance can equate to a $10 bus ticket).
Facebook events will always give you something to do
Though we typically associate Facebook as the least favorable social media platform where your relatives check up on how you’re doing, the events section on Facebook can be extremely handy with finding free events happening in the city on a weekly basis. Being in a big city means activities are always happening, and some of these free events can include free food, live local music, movie screenings, holiday activities, and even animal activities like Corgi meet ups in the park. Essentially you can never be bored in the city, with the endless of events of opportunities constantly available.
Shop for a new city-esque wardrobe
New city means new weather to adjust to. Especially in the northeast it’s better to be over prepared for the approaching cold winter than underprepared and acquiring hypothermia. An essential to surviving the brutal 20 to negative degree weather is layering and having a thick winter coat. You can find inexpensive and good quality long sleeved shirts and sweaters for layering at various vintage and consignment stores in the city. As for the necessity parka coat your best bet can range in brands such as Northface, Canada Goose, Fjallraven, Patagonia, and more. Though parka coats are typically pricy the parka will last for the rest of your life and be an essential for your winter outfit on a daily basis from suburb to city.
Attend concerts and house shows
Not only is live music amazing to experience in general, but concerts are a hotspot for meeting new people all over the city. The alternative to spending $30 to $40 on concert tickets for big name artists is attending local house shows. House shows are very popular in the college scene and typically happen on a weekly basis at various college campuses. On average house shows are free or require a minimum $5 donation, but are worth it when it comes to making new friends from colleges outside of your own and discovering new music to add to your Spotify playlists from suburb to city.
Live your foodie dreams
On the rare occasion of splurging outside of your college budget visiting quirky cafes and restoring your taste buds from college dining hall food can be an exciting culinary experience. Major cities spur the competitiveness of having staple cafes that can contain some crazy creative desserts or drinks like the Unicorn trend or the mixing of 2 desserts in one. Yelp and Instagram are the best tools in finding creative cafes to explore and add onto your Instagram feed.
Facetime to cure your homesickness
The only major con of being in the city on your own is the obvious lack of having your family and friends from your hometown at your side. Create time in your daily routine to Facetime or Skype your family, perhaps in the evening when you finish dinner or your homework. Putting time aside to talk to your family or friends can help your mentality stability that is typically stressed or overwhelmed from the immense amount of work and short deadlines that college puts upon you. Pro Tip: Houseparty is a great free app that allows you to have up to 8 friends on video chat compared to just 1 on Facetime.
Put yourself out there
Lastly, the quote you hear a thousand times despite whatever college you go to, the most popular piece of advice for adjusting to your new college lifestyle is, “put yourself out there.” As cliche and simple as that sounds putting your unique persona out there by talking to new people and involving yourself with hobbies and school activities is the best way to make friends and make your new home more enjoyable. You didn’t obtain student loans to be miserable and friendless, take advantage of the thousands of new people around you and make new friends to make the city feel like your new comfort zone when going from suburb to city.