Adjusting to College Life in a Big City

New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are some of the largest cities in the United States and home to some of the country’s top universities. Attending college in a bustling, busy city is an exciting opportunity to learn and grow while immersing yourself in a new culture, but there will be unique challenges that may take some time to get used to. However, college in a big city is a great chance to get to know your likes and dislikes before you decide where your life will take you. These tips will help you make the most of out of spending your college years in a large city.

Live Like a Local

No matter what city your university is in, there will be many opportunities to live like a local. Skip the Starbucks and find a local coffee shop that makes you feel at home. Research local eateries and other locations where you can get a feel for the city. Volunteering with local non-profits is a great way to get more comfortable and make new connections in your new home. Spending your spare time in the vibrant communities that surround city universities can open your eyes to a new side of your city.

Be a Tourist

If you are living in a large American city, you live where other people vacation. Whether it’s visiting the Empire State Building in New York City or taking a tour of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., acting like a tourist in the city can be a fun way to see your home in a new way. Viator is an excellent resource for finding tours and activities in large cities. Take the time to learn about the history of your city and the United States by taking tours, such as a Revolutionary War Tour if you are attending school in Boston. Understanding the past and present of your new home can help you decide if you want to be part of its future after graduation.

Learn to Navigate

Living in a large city means you will be sharing space will millions of other people, so you’ll need to learn your way around quickly. Learning to navigate local public transportation can save you time and money. Some cities offer free bus lines, but you may also want to buy a metro or subway pass to get from one side of your city to the other efficiently. When class is over, grab a friend and take the time to explore different areas of the city that you aren’t as familiar with. This is a great way to get acclimated, and you may stumble upon your new favorite spot in the city.

Make a Budget that Works for You

Living in a big city can often be more expensive than attending school in a small town, which can be difficult on a college budget. The cost of living in some American cities can seem overwhelming at first, but creating a budget that works for you can help avoid financial stress. It is helpful to slow down and space out expensive outings to fit within your budget. Also, avoiding large purchases can help save money for exciting adventures or nights out with friends. If your apartment is unfurnished, furniture rental allows you to save money, move with ease and change your style as you go.

Getting comfortable in a new place can take time, but these tips can help make attending a university in a large city feel like the perfect fit.

by Yu Wu and CORT.

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