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6 Tips to Surviving College in New York 

Posted: August 3, 2022
How to Survive College in New York

Written by a college student for college students

Deciding where to go to college can be a tough decision. Doing research on where the college is located can be beneficial in the decision-making process. If New York is the state of choice, here are six things students should know before making the move to the Big Apple.  

Decide Whether or Not On-Campus Living is Right for You 

Decide if you want to live on campus or not

If you’re a freshman, most colleges require you to live on campus for the first year or semester. After that first year, students have many college housing options including the opportunity to move off campus as well. Websites like apartments.com make the search a bit easier. Some schools even have apartment-type residences for students living off-campus.

Active students may want a park or open area nearby where they can safely run or work out in. More laid-back, quieter students may want a place further away from the middle of the big city that isn’t as busy. For example, Eastern Long Island compared to the center of Manhattan. You’re going to be there for the next 4+ years of your life, might as well make sure it makes you happy.

Be Prepared to Work 

Part-time job in college

If students have an opportunity to work and can still manage school, the opportunity should be taken. Moving away to college cost money, going out cost money, and with New York being so expensive, you’re going to need a good amount. Many campuses will offer jobs on-campus through programs such as work study. Jobs differ by school but can consist of being a teacher’s assistant, working in their financial offices, etc. Some employers, like U-Haul, offer jobs/internships for students outside of campus and will work with your class schedule.  

Create A Budget and Stick to it 

Create a college student budget

Students budgeting their money early is crucial to ensure financial success. Most freshman or first-year students take some time away from work to figure out the new college scene. That means saving up as much money prior to the start of the year and making sure it will last until there is a source of income.

Even then, it may not be a steady income as classes, assignments and other activities will likely come first. With New York being a more expensive state (especially if you’re living in the city), plan everything. If staying on campus, maximize your college meal plan or school benefits before reaching into your own pockets.

Be Prepared to Learn Public Transit 

New York City Subway

New York is a very busy state with traffic everywhere you go. Even if students bring their own cars, they must worry about finding a good parking spot that does not cost a million bucks and they will not want to drive through traffic every time they get in the car. Many people who live in New York do not own cars for this specific reason. Public transit will get you just about anywhere you need to go without the traffic and is cheaper than an Uber.

Apps like “MTA eTix” allow people to buy tickets ahead of time and keep track of their trains. Trains are more popular for longer-distance trips such as going from Queens to Time Square. In the bigger cities is where subway stations are a big hit. If public transit is best for you, invest in a metro card – they are lifesavers. 

If most of the places you will go are near or on-campus, consider bringing a bike to college.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Out There! 

College Student in New York City

If you are going to move to the “Big Apple,” you might as well go out and enjoy it! The state of New York has so much unique scenery and opportunities for all sorts of people. Its location and history make for many college student must-sees in New York. These range from beach days out on Long Island in the summer to the Rockefeller center and the giant Christmas tree in the winter.

Not everyone gets the chance to move to New York in their lifetime. Especially on those days when classes get rough and a break is needed, there’s nothing like seeing Time Square at night with all the lights and people all going their own ways. Whether you like open areas or big cities, NY has it all. Go see it. 

Have a College Moving Plan 

College moving plan with Collegeboxes

This is where moving to college can get a bit tricky. Moving plans will depend on how far the student is coming from to get to school. It can also get expensive, especially for out-of-state students that choose to fly with all their belongings. There are multiple different ways students from all over can get their things from home to campus.

Programs, such as Collegeboxes, make the process five times easier. With options from Ship-to-School, Direct Shipping, and Storage, all students have to worry about is how to get themselves to school. For students who want to travel with their stuff, moving companies like U-Haul rent trucks, trailers, and more to help students move to school.