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Why You Should Give NYC a Chance

By: Kaileigh Woodruff, ADV and Sociology senior

Whether you’re from the greater NYC area, a small town, or a completely different country, you should plan for a semester with Newhouse NYC, and here’s why:

When I told my family and friends that I was spending the semester in New York City, they told me to be careful and warned me of all the mean people they thought inhabited the city. People also said “good luck” when it comes to the subway and getting around the city in general. My dad and close family friends handed me some money and said it was for food because everything was going to be so expensive. And only a few tried to talk me out of it my plans of going to the city all together.

If you’ve had a similar experience like the one I just explained then please continue reading as a breakdown what it’s really like to spend a semester working, going to school, exploring and living in NYC.

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 Get Out of Time Square:
I had never been outside of Time Square until this August and let me say that Time Square is no reflection of what the city is as a whole. Time Square is an advertiser’s paradise with huge billboards and massive stores. When you step out of midtown there are unique neighborhoods with real people that live in them. When you get the chance to walk around each neighborhood you quickly understand why people choose to live in the city. My tip is spend some time walking around and getting lost so you can stumble upon a cute coffee shop, your new favorite store and a cool restaurant. My favorite areas of the city are spending a day exploring Brooklyn, hanging out in Washington Square Park, or staying on the Upper East side for a morning brunch or late afternoon walk around the Central Park Reservoir.

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The Central Park Reservoir

Don’t Fear the Subway:
For someone who had never been on the subway, it was a challenge at first, I’ll be completely honest. I didn’t know one had to change sides of the street depending on what direction you want to travel, uptown vs. downtown. While the subway system is getting better, you may not find a map in the station, so don’t be afraid to ask someone if you are going in the right direction. I can’t thank all the kind strangers enough that have helped me get where I needed to be. My suggestion is download a subway map on your phone just in case a station doesn’t have service, or Google Map your route a head of time.

The City is Expensive, But It Doesn’t Have To Be:
Yes, NYC is expensive, there is really no way of getting around it, but with a little planning you can save some cash here and there. One of the biggest tips people shared with me was to look at the weekly issue of Time Out (which is given out free on Wednesdays at most subway stops!) to plan for the week ahead. Museums have nights that are free, and you can always wander around the city for free. And every meal doesn’t need to be takeout or a night to a 5 star restaurant.

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Raindrop Cake at the Smorgasburg food market

 New Yorkers Aren’t Mean. They are Just in a Rush:
I was so scared that everyone was going to be mean when I got to NYC. I guess I really did believe the stereotype that’s out there. In my opinion New Yorkers aren’t any meaner or nicer than any other people who live in any other place. The only time I experienced people being rude, or in a rush was during morning rush hour. Which if you’ve ever experienced morning rush hour, it’s not the most pleasant thing, but it’s also understandable when people are in a hurry and trying to get somewhere. My mentality is be nice whenever you can so that stressful times are a little less stressful for everyone.

I promise you a semester in NYC will not only help your career but will also help you grow as a person. Take all of this from a small town raised girl (Saranac Lake, NY!) that’s telling you to give NYC a chance because if I could manage it, so can you.

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