1. Explore new places and try new things
New York City is filled with so many unique experiences and fun activities. Slowly,
the city is reopening, and it may take a while before everything goes back to how it used to be. As I write this, we have outside activities and outdoor dining!
There are so many restaurants to try. I recommend trying foods outside of your comfort zone. I always wanted to try Indian food, and I tried it with my best friend at an Indian restaurant called Panna.
Even if you cannot go to some restaurants, you can order for pickup. There is also UberEATS, or other food delivery services. Local businesses need all the support they can get right now, and it is a convenient way to try new foods.
New York City is filled with culture, and even if you are just walking around, you are bound to be entertained or find something to do. I recommend visiting typical NYC places like the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and Times Square.
Besides the touristy activities, there are many places that are not so crowded. Walking around SoHo, visiting the Highline, and visiting the Strand Bookstore. My favorite activity is relaxing at Roosevelt Island. Click here to read about Roosevelt Island
2. Learn how to budget
NYC can be expensive. Especially for college students, learning how to budget is very essential. Creating a budget will help you to save money, not overspend, and have extra money to spend elsewhere.
Everyone's budget looks different, depending on needs and how much one can afford. Working two jobs is something common in the city where everyone is hustling. I worked as a student worker for LIM, and I worked at Steve Madden as a Sales Associate. Having two jobs ensured that I had money to spend on groceries, tuition, metro card, going out to eat with friends, visiting home, and other expenditures.
Groceries can be expensive in the city compared to what you are used to at home. Creating a grocery list and sticking to it helps with budgeting. Shopping around and comparing prices is also important. Sometimes I would even buy some dry food groceries on Amazon.
I recommend creating a budget of how much to spend weekly or monthly on clothes, food, transportation, going out, etc.
3. Become a "subway surfer"
Learning the subway is very intimidating, and I was terrified at first, but after using it a few times, it is not so bad. After using the subway for about a week, you will get the hang of it and be a subway surfer.
I recommend downloading the app CityMapper. This app shows you what subway train to take to get to your destination. It also shows you delays and what time the trains are coming.
I recommend looking at the app to check for delays 30 minutes before you need to leave and always give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes for any issues with the subway. Sometimes trains stop randomly while you are on them or will stay in the station for an extra few minutes.
Always pay attention and stay alert to make sure you do not miss your stop.
4. Buy comfortable shoes for walking
Comfortable shoes in the city are a must. You will be walking a lot, and wearing uncomfortable shoes will give you blisters, and your feet will hurt. You will walk a lot even if you are taking the subway. The stop you get off at might not drop you off at the corner of your location. I recommend buying walking shoes or having a pair worn in to use for days out and about.
5. Learn how to de-stress
The city can be overwhelming. Learning ways to de-stress after long days is essential.
I recommend finding relaxing habits and calming ways to relax. I would normally end my days with music or reading to calm down from the busy city. I would also spend time in Greeley Square or Central Park to relax outside. It is also very important to schedule time for yourself and take time for self-care because it is easy to get burnt out and overwhelmed.