Oh, the beauty of college! Between the endless parties, yummy food, and those amazing online sales you just can’t miss (not to mention the student loans and other academic related expenses that I won’t get into because it’s too depressing), it seems our wallets and bank accounts can’t yell at us loud enough. We all know the struggle of eating Ramen noodles and staying in on a Friday night because we can’t afford anything else. But not to worry, here are some of the many things to do around St. John’s University when you’re broke AF… and lets be honest, aren’t we all?
1. Go to the gym
Not only does St. John’s University have a fully equipped gym that is free to all students with a valid Storm Card but they also offer complimentary -and fun!- fitness classes. You can go all out and take some Cardio Zumba, or de-stress in a relaxing Yoga class. What the heck, why don’t you take a Spinning class while you’re at it? The best part is that for every fitness class you attend you receive MVP points that you can redeem later on in the year for cool SJU gear like t-shirts or beach towels! You can also get your own personal trainer for a small price per session.
2. Join a club, organization, or team
Truth be told, some organizations (I’m looking at you sororities/fraternities) are not free but joining a club or organization is a great opportunity to make friends and always have something to do for fairly cheap or free. You can also join intramural or club sports, if that’s what you’re into. With over 180 organizations on campus, there is bound to be something for everyone!
3. Take advantage of events around campus
One of the wonderful things about St. John’s University is that there’s always something to do around campus. Take advantage of events like Java Johnnies on Fridays, where you can perform or hear others perform in the DAC Living Room, DAC After Dark every Thursday, where they usually have free food or SJU gear, and (if you dorm) Residence Hall sponsored events that RA’s host on a weekly basis.
As a Vincentian university, St. John’s prides itself in doing service and getting involved with the community. Pick up a few volunteer shifts at a nearby retirement home or sign up for a Midnight Run. There are endless service opportunities on campus that are a great way to keep busy while giving back to the community around you.
5. Go to sporting events
At St John’s all sporting events (except men’s and women’s basketball games) are free to students who present a valid Storm Card. Take advantage of these games and cheer on our Red Storm! Also, attend Tip-Off and watch an artists perform for free (past performers include French Montana, Mac Miller and Desiigner).
1. Two words: Umi Sushi
If you want a good and inexpensive meal (granted you like sushi and other Japanese delicacies) head down Union Turnpike and visit Umi Sushi. Don’t be scared by the 20% off sushi sign up front (a little sus, I know) this place is incredible, I promise you, and has become a known “spot” for St. John’s students. The complimentary sweet potato roll and the best green tea ice cream known to man might have something to do with that.
2. TJ Maxx
Another SJU favorite, TJ Maxx is right across from Umi Sushi on Union Turnpike. TJ Maxx offers great deals on brand name products and houses some of the most adorable, and gift-worthy things (that you might end up keeping yourself because “cuuute”). Be careful though, because you might want to buy 99% of whatever is in stock.
3. Explore Queens
Make your way down to Forest Hills, where you can find good, but inexpensive restaurants, stores and the occasional farmers market; or to Astoria, an up and coming area of Queens home to the Museum of the Moving Image ($11 with student ID) and amazing restaurants.
4. Go thrift shopping in Bushwick, Brooklyn
There is nothing better, if you ask me, than finding the perfect brand name sweater and only paying $10 for it when you know it’s hard to find it under $90. Pure bliss. This is a common find in Bushwick, Brooklyn, an area that is home to many vintage and thrift stores. You can also find very inexpensive brunch here, and ethnic foods too! And don’t even get me started on the Instagram worthy scenery and art.
5. Hop on an E or F train to Manhattan
Manhattan is hands down the most expensive borough in New York City, but it is also plagued by things you can do for free or cheap, if you only have the patience to look for them. First and foremost (and most obviously), you can visit Central Park. Whether you walk or rent a bike, there is nothing like the breath of fresh air you get the moment you step in to the park. You can also enjoy a show on or off Broadway (and thanks to our campus concierge at SJU, you can do this for as little as $35 a ticket) or an exhibit at the Whitney after walking the Highline or even at the MoMa (which both offer reduced prices for students and are free or “what you care to donate” on specific days).
Looking for more things to do around St. John’s University when you’re broke AF? Comment below and share this article!
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Ana is a Sophomore Communications student at St. John’s University. Originally from Puerto Rico, she decided to leave her island and go to school in the big city: New York. She is passionate about taking pictures, perfectly curating her social media, binge watching shows on Netflix, and hugging puppies. Other likes include food, the city, music, and fashion.