Written by Veena Murali
Ask any NYU student why they chose NYU and you’ll probably hear a universal theme- they wanted to live in New York City. The big apple holds an undeniable appeal to young adults trying to figure out life; attending NYU offers the perfect opportunity to spend four years immersed in one of the most happening cities in the world.
But, when the first semester excitement of living in NYC wears away, later semesters are characterized by stress over papers, midterms, extracurriculars, and recruiting. Stern students, more often than not, find themselves cooped up in the third floor lounge, complaining about their workload and forgetting to appreciate the city lifestyle they once looked forward to.
While I’m not asking you to take weekly excursions to Times Square or the Empire State Building, a few small lifestyle changes can help you take advantage of all NYC has to offer while staying on top of school.
- Study in cafes
While Bobst, Tisch third floor, and KMEC are all easy options for students to seek out when cramming for midterms, NYC is known for its thousands of unique coffeeshops and bakeries. Cafes offer the perfect quiet but alive atmosphere, and being in a new environment can take you out of your studying slump. Some student favorites include Think Coffee, La Colombe, and Bluestone Lane. With coffee by your side and the option of buying a pastry to treat yourself, there’s no task you cannot conquer. Best of all, when you get overwhelmed and need a break, you can just take a walk outside, get some fresh air, and choose the next cafe you want to hop to!
- Shop in farmer’s markets
When you need to escape the winding lines at Trader Joes, farmers markets are a great way to contribute to local businesses and get a taste of fresh products. Believe it or not, even the prices can beat Trader Joes on most days. The Union Square Greenmarket is located super close to campus and open 8am-6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It’s a convenient option for NYU students to pick up fresh produce and fun snacks like flavored popcorn and vegan baked goods!
- Take advantage of student discounts
For most people living in the city, museums are more of a do-once and then never again type of attraction. However, as NYU students, we get discounts to world famous museums like the Whitney and Met–how many other college students can say that? These museums have rotating exhibits, meaning you can find something new any time you visit, so use the discounts at your disposal for four years to your advantage!
- Go to a park
Most of us like to watch Netflix, chat with friends, or read a book when we need to wind down. Before the NYC winter hits, going to a park for one of these activities instead of your dorm allows you to get some much-needed fresh air after a long day of classes or studying. Parks are also the best places to people-watch or overhear conversations, which can usually make for a funny story as well. When you need to avoid the bustle of Washington Square Park, check out the small park behind Bobst for a safe haven from college tours and tourists.
Sub-zero temperatures, crowded sidewalks, and tight schedules can all make us more inclined to take the subway, even though we live in one of the most walkable cities in the world. Taking a different route to class each time is a great way to discover a new cafe, bookstore, or boutique. And while it’s not as strenuous as going to the gym, walking is still a form of exercise that can help relieve stress from schoolwork and exams.
All in all, I challenge you to take a second and remember why you chose NYU. While many of us complain about the competitive recruiting process, difficult classes, and the many other pains of simply being a college student, we are still extremely lucky to call New York City our home away from home for four years.