Things I Learned During My First Semester as a College Student in NYC

When I made the decision to come study in NYC, I knew I would be forgoing a so-called “typical college experience.” That didn’t deter me, though-mostly because weekly football games and frat parties never really sparked my interest.

Taking the risk and coming here has proved to be the best decision of my life thus far. That being said, I’ve definitely had some interesting experiences getting accustomed to life in the city. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from my first semester of living in the big apple.

1.There’s a difference between uptown and downtown on the subway

I can’t emphasize the amount of times I just didn’t even look to see whether a subway was uptown or downtown bound and ended up having to turn around… the signs are there for a reason. Also, If i didn’t have apple maps, I would most definitely be lost on the subways a lot more.

2. If you’re going out clubbing, you probably shouldn’t wear stilettos

Unless you like walking 5 blocks in the rain without shoes at 2:00 am. But you probably don’t, so take it from me and just find some cute block heels for dancing.

3. Thrift shopping is a godsend

Living in New York is expensive as it is, and being a fashion student, I’m always staying on top of the trends and buying new clothes. It does take a certain eye and time to sort through clothing at a thrift store, but you’re guaranteed to find some really unique pieces at a good price.

4. It takes a lot longer to get places than you think

With the crazy traffic and unreliable subways, it’s almost guaranteed that getting somewhere here is going to take more time than you’d originally planned for. As a girl who is often (fashionably) late, I’m still getting used to this one.

5. Confidence gets you everywhere (well, pretty much)

The key to living in the city is to just have confidence. Whether you’re ordering at a bar underage (sorry mom) or you’re just walking around, people respond to you much better when you look confident. As cliche as it sounds, “fake it till you make it” couldn’t be truer here.

6. It rains more than it snows

I’m used to an extremely dry climate and pretty snowfall from living in Colorado the majority of my life. I’ve quickly learned that snow in New York is more like slush and will most likely turn into freezing rain. Not quite as ideal for snow angels and sledding.

7. Coffee is a (helpful) drug

This one isn’t directly related to NYC but more so to just college. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, and I still don’t drink it every day. But I’ve found it’s a gift from heaven when I need to get a lot of things done in a day and also don’t plan on sleeping for 24 hours.

8. Being overdressed is better than being underdressed

I’ve always loved getting dressed up just for fun, but when I lived in Colorado, I was always scared of being judged for wearing something other than leggings and Birkenstocks. Now, though, watching students walk across campus is something akin to watching a runway show. And nobody blinks an eye if I decide to wear a faux fur coat and thigh highs to my 9:00 am Excel class. After all, the recently deceased Karl Lagerfeld said that “sweatpants are a sign of defeat.” (I’m still guilty of wearing leggings every once in a while though)


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