Going to college is one of the most important and exciting things that can happen to you. Many young people fantasize about going to college and imagine how it would look like. They wonder about living in the big city and yearn without the patience to get old enough to apply. However, when the time comes, it can be a bit overwhelming. When you first step into the city as big as New York, you will slowly start to feel confused and anxious. You will be too confident to admit it to yourself at first. But then, the sudden rush of fear of the unknown will hit you as straight as the reality. Welcome, you are among many college students in New York, and it’s time to start winning your first real battles.

Freshman among college students in New York

Being a freshman in college is difficult enough by itself. On top of that, being the first time in NY, and all by yourself, is like a double dose of uneasiness no one likes to sense. You have to think about your safety, calculate your budget, and fight countless battles that are ahead of you. However, it’s not all that intimidating, at least not after a while. You will soon get used to daily routines and schedules, and you will get to know the city very well. Just keep your focus sharp, keep your mind open, and leave “the naive yourself” behind you. Be cautious, be kind, and prepare to be an adult.

Two college students in New York sitting in front of a lake in the park.

You are not the only freshman in your college, try to make some friends.

College students in New York can live on Campus

For some people, living on campus is a way to fully embrace the college experience. Being at the center of everything will allow you to meet many new people and participate in various activities. Carefully choose your campus housing options since they can differ between colleges. In general, you should do your research and ask around about any useful info. Even rumors can provide significant info about happenings and trends. Particularly important will be residency restrictions that may apply to freshmen. At last, be smart about how you are using the space in your room. You don’t have to bring anything with yourself since it will occupy precious space. Rent a storage unit from a company like usantini.com and get rid of anything you don’t absolutely need. You will be sharing your room with another student so consider that as well.

You can choose to live in the neighborhood

If living on campus is not your cup of tea, you have many housing options in the nearby neighborhood. In fact, certain areas are popular among students so ask around. Try to find some recommendation so you don’t risk any unnecessary surprises. And there are many, among which hidden costs and false advertisements are the most often. Consider your budget and the proximity of the college. Some further housing options may look cheaper but it can happen that you will end up paying too much for transportation. Even if you find the appropriate accommodation, don’t rush signing a long lease. For example, you can always have hassle-free Brooklyn relocation later on, if you find something better. Also, consider the “off-time” activities. If you like running then search for something close to one of the parks.

Always think about your budget

It may sound dumb at first, but everything in New York is about the money. Embrace it and get used to it after moving. It is one of the most expensive cities in the world so you will have to adjust. Don’t fool yourself, everybody is thinking about the budget and so will you. There is no shame in it, there is nothing to fear, just keep your monthly expenses under control. Studying is expensive enough, but you also need to eat, pay for various expenses, so consider finding a job.

Make your furniture practical

Unfortunately, everything in New York is tiny. Your apartment will be small, your cash will be minimal, so start thinking about small furniture. If you made a mistake of bringing something big, find help with heavy furniture in Brooklyn, for example, and store it for better times. Furthermore, take advantage of furniture with double purpose and you will be able to save enough room.

Be ready to live with roommates

The most common and budget-friendly option for students might be to share their apartment with a roommate or roommates. Fortunately, this includes sharing all the expenses which, in the long run, can save you a significant amount of money. However, be careful when choosing your roommate. Either ask for a recommendation from your colleagues or have a pre-set of questions ready for interviewing the potential roommate. Don’t hesitate to ask anything that may be of importance to you. In fact, it’s better to ask a couple of awkward questions at the start than be sorry later. Also, don’t forget to be a good roommate yourself. It will sound like a “cliché”, but this is really a situation when you don’t want to do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. Remember that some of the strongest friendships bare roots from college.

Students “hanging out” around the table.

Some of the strongest friendships are made in college.


Optimize your commuting

Learning about the NYC subway is a must if you plan to stay on budget. Memorize your lanes and before you realize you will be able to move most efficiently around the town. Accessible and efficient transportation is one of the most important things you will need in your everyday college life. Commuting may not always be appealing but it’s remarkably safe these days. You will be able to get about everywhere, any time of the day or night.

Free Wi-Fi is easy to find for college students in New York

If you can’t live without the internet you should know that you can find it everywhere. Furthermore, it is usually free. In case of emergency, you can always visit the local library, coffee shop, or bars for free Wi-Fi. Even in some parts of the parks, you will be able to catch a signal.

Local library with many people inside.

In case of emergency, even the library can provide you with Wi-Fi.


College students in New York need to learn to turn at times

Living a life in a rush, specifically for college students in New York, can be overburdening at times. You will have to learn how to take a break or it will consume you. There is no point in over burning yourself because your mind will resist and it will affect your learning. In fact, it can affect your emotional state as well. So, turn off all your devices and take a long walk in Central Park. If nothing else, just sit there and try to enjoy the calming nature in the middle of New York.