Tips for College Students Moving to New York City

Prepare yourself for the “city that never sleeps”

girls in a group eating pretzels

Transitioning to the bustling energy of New York City can be a daunting, yet exhilarating, experience. For college students, the city represents a kaleidoscope of opportunities in a myriad of fields, from art and fashion to finance and technology. Whether you’re drawn to crunching numbers on Wall Street or are looking to make your mark in the world of haute couture, New York City is a global hub that is bursting with potential.

Here's some essential advice for those about to make the leap to the “Big Apple.” With these top five tips, you can ease your transition, optimize your NYC experience, and ensure that your time in New York is both productive and unforgettable.

Tip 1: Network, Network, Network

In New York the business of fashion’s wealth of talent and resources is densely woven within a web of connections and collaborations. For students moving to New York City to attend LIM College, networking is not just an extracurricular activity; it's part of your unique educational experience.

The Art of Networking

Attend industry panels, join professional organizations, and don’t underestimate the power of being proactive. Just exchanging contact information can sometimes lead to meaningful career opportunities. For fashion students, the city’s numerous fashion weeks and networking events can be an important stop on your climb up the industry ladder. And if you come to LIM College, make sure to attend our virtual Career Fairs every semester, as well as career events throughout the year.

Leveraging Alumni

Take any opportunities you can to connect with the LIM College’s Alumni Association. Past graduates who have walked in your shoes as a new student are frequently willing to offer valuable advice. You can tap into a wealth of experience, knowledge, and potential job and internship openings through the alumni network.

Get info about LIM College.

Tip 2: Housing Hustle

The real estate adage “location, location, location” is especially critical in New York City, where proximity to work or school often determines quality of life. Understanding the city’s neighborhoods is the first step.

Making the Most of Your Options

Students are typically on a tight budget, which may limit your housing choices. If you’ll be coming to LIM, consider living in our residence hall at FOUND Study, which not only provides the convenience of student-centered living that’s a quick walk from where your classes will be, but also allows you to have the quintessential college experience of living with peers.

Renting and Roommates

Sharing an apartment with another student, or multiple students, can significantly cut costs. Websites and apps dedicated to apartment hunting can make the process more manageable but be prepared to act quickly. Prime apartments, especially those in sought-after neighborhoods, get snatched up in a “New York minute.”

Tip 3: Mastering Public Transit

New York City has an expansive public transit system. After a few months here, you may end up feeling like you’ve been riding the subway your whole life, but it can be overwhelming at first. The MTA has a useful planning and schedule app, and you should take some time to familiarize yourself with the subway map. Buses are also a great option if the subway isn’t your thing. They run frequently and offer free transfers.

Alternative Modes of Transport

For late nights out, ride share services like Lyft and Uber can be invaluable. You can also hail a traditional yellow taxi right on the street or arrange for one directly using the Curb app.

During the day, biking is a cost-effective option, especially with an annual Citibike membership, but it requires navigating NYC drivers and pedestrians, so be sure to prioritize safety.

Tip 4: The Learning Never Stops

Your education doesn’t end when you leave class. In New York City, the streets are alive with the curriculum of life, offering lessons in resilience, adaptability, and cultural intelligence.

Cultural Immersion

Engage with the myriad cultural offerings of the city. Sample foods from around the world in the city’s various ethnic enclaves, visit world-class museums using your student ID discount, or immerse yourself in off-off-Broadway theater and live music shows. These experiences will not only enrich your personal development, but also inform and inspire your academic and professional pursuits.

Internships and Work-Study

The city is a treasure trove of internship opportunities. For fashion students, New York is a global epicenter in their field, providing a front-row seat to the latest trends and a chance to work with established brands. Remember that your professors and career counselors are valuable resources when it comes to finding relevant internships or part-time jobs.

Tip 5: Budgeting and Survival Tactics

Living in New York City can be expensive, but prudent planning can make it more manageable.

Creating a Realistic Budget

Sit down and crunch the numbers. Determine your fixed expenses (housing, tuition, transportation) and allocate a realistic portion of your budget towards them. Resisting the pull of designer boutiques and expensive restaurants may be challenging but is often necessary. Look for student discounts and thrift-store finds and consider cooking in the residence hall or at home to save money.

Part-Time Jobs and Side Hustles

Part-time work can help pay the bills and it also provides valuable experience. Platforms like TaskRabbit or Fiverr allow you to market your skills on your terms, while traditional student jobs on campus offer convenience and flexibility.

Navigating New York City as a college student is a course in itself, yet the rewards are immeasurable. By being intentional and proactive, you can ensure that your adventure in the “city that never sleeps” is an enriching one, setting the stage for future success in whatever your chosen field may be.

Preparation is key to making the most of your New York experience. Arm yourself with these tips, and you’ll find the city to be not just a place you live in, but a living, breathing extension of your college education. Welcome to New York—your future awaits.