We actually got these in class, but I…edited them, shall we say?

Be concise.  Hemingway was right.  As was Webern.

Be clever.  You know quantum mechanics?  You have a great vocabulary, chiefly due to the fact that you never leave your house and read all day?  You know everything about ancient Japanese culture?  You’re a calculus master?  Please write about it!  Be my friend, too, if you’re clever and esoteric.

Be honest. Don’t lie about your position, don’t be an obnoxious braggart - even if you’re typically one, don’t be one here.  I know they tell you to be yourself, but maybe if you aren’t such a wonderful person, you’ll want to fix that.
     Did I just contradict myself?  Yes.  So does every college book I’ve ever seen.  They’ll write “Be yourself!” then, oh, half a paragraph later it’s “Okay, so you want to look good, sell yourself!!!!11"  And yes, they do invariably say sell yourself.  It’s a little uncomfortable.

Be coherent.    One subject at a time.  We KNOW Ulysses is well-regarded, but you aren’t James Joyce.  He was an Irish pirate.  They can do thinks you can’t, like make incoherency work.  (I’m including Beckett here.)

James Joyce, in case you didn't believe me.

Be unique.  How are you different from the thousands of other students applying to the school?  You may be a sheep person, but this is neither the time nor place.

Be accurate.  Don’t say Shakespeare is your favourite Victorian author since he wrote in Old English and that’s cool, and don’t misspell the name of the German philosopher you found on Wikipedia three seconds before writing your essay so you’d look intellectual.  This marks you as stupid, and you’d ideally hide your stupidity here.  The aim here is to get higher education, which is for people who have some intelligence.

Be vivid. Use names, setting, details, colours.  Make it human, even if you are secretly an evil, emotionless cyborg with a severe case of megalomania.  They probably shouldn’t be privy to that. 

Be likeable. Don’t be a horrible person.  Please, you’re trying to get people to accept you.  Just focus on kittens when you’re writing, that should make you happy and of good humour.  Or write about a fandom obsession so nerdily that they’ll think you’re cute, which is what I did.

It says be cautious with humour, but I don’t really buy that.  Listen: you’re writing to people cooped up in an office all day, reading essays constantly, which all are probably about the same.  Of course, quite a few, being written by those in the throes of their first existential crises, are probably extremely depressing.  Self-deprecating humour is probably safest, but if you can work in humour, do it.

Be controversial. (!) Take a stand, even if you’re a spineless loser.  What do you believe in?  Unless it’s something that makes you look like you’re mentally unstable, don’t hide it. 

Be yourself, in summary!  They are looking foryou, not just stats.  Even I’m being myself, and I’m a crazed, maladjusted, hyper and inhuman little child.  You’re almost certainly less eccentric than I am.  I’ve already gotten into a college, so you can, too.

Good luck with college!


This post is a guest article by Brynne Fritjofson! She’s a senior over at Hope College and is a dance and theatre major! Check out her website here :) 

If you are interested in writing for acollegegirl.com please reach out to me through social media or in the comments of this post! Enjoy!

College is a rollercoaster full of highs, lows, and plenty of loops. Navigating your first year is incredibly exciting and chaotic so here five tips from a senior who’s been through it all!

1. Friends Change

The friend group I had in the beginning of my freshman year is vastly different from the friends I have now. I started off my freshman year hanging out with the people that lived in my hall, and while I still have a couple of close friends from my hall, I’m not as close with most of them anymore. Friend groups change as people dive into their major/minor courses and start to find groups of people they mesh well with. Not to say that halls and general education classes aren’t ways to find amazing friends. Some of my best friends I met this way. But don’t feel like the first people you meet in college are the people you have to stick with. And if you don’t feel like you’ve met your people yet, don’t fret! I’ve met some of my greatest friends in the past six months to this past year. 

2. Keep a planner/write down EVERYTHING

This is coming from a girl who is slightly all over the place…I tried sliding through freshman year not keeping an agenda and giving myself mental reminders about homework assignments and meetings. Let me tell you, this did not work out well for me. I found myself missing work shifts, meetings with professors, and not turning things in on time. If you write down events, homework, work shifts, and even time for leisure, it really helps you see how your day will plan out and you’re less likely to forget about something important. It takes a bit of discipline, but as my roommate showed me who is veryyyy organized, it can be done!

3. Don’t over-commit

The first year of college is so exciting with tons of clubs to try, different events, and campus jobs to try out. And while trying everything is a great way to learn and meet new people, having some leisure time is extremely important. If you find yourself anxious or stressed about the day because of all the activities you’ve committed yourself to, it’s time to take a step back and leave an hour or two in your day for homework time, friend dates, or even time alone to recharge!

4. Keep in touch with loved ones

Whether it be your mom, dad, best friend, or grandparent, keeping in touch with that person that keeps you steady at the end of the day can turn your day around. Check in with people and don’t feel like reaching out to someone special in your life will burden them. If anything, you’ll make their day better as well and calling or sending a text to them helps them know you’re thinking of them. 

5. Save your money

I’ve learned the hard way that the poor college student cliche is absolutely true. I once spent my entire paycheck in a couple days on clothes or buying coffee and found $12 left in my bank account! As difficult as it may be, it’s reassuring to start saving even a couple dollars from every paycheck to use at another time. Then you’ll always feel that you have a back up in case of an emergency and you’ll be financially responsible after college as well.

is the best breakfast I’ve ever had.

My roommate and I get breakfast every morning, and sometimes our friends will meet us there. I have an 8 am class every day, so we meet at 9 for breakfast. It is so amazing.

At my school, there are so many breakfast choices. I get a scramble made for me every morning - you just fill out a little order form and they make it right there in front of you! I also get some sort of carb-y food, either pancakes (chocolate chip, blueberry, and regular is what they offer, different days of the week!) or french toast. They have sausage, bacon, turkey sausage patties, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, waffles, fruit, yogurt, cereal, breakfast muffins/cookies/donuts, potatoes, hash browns, and some other stuff that I can’t think of!

Waking up every morning knowing I’ll be full until 2 pm is a great feeling.


Last night I had a dream that I received a text telling me I had been accepted into my dream school. I woke up really sad, and disappointed. I remembered how sad I was when I came home to this thin, tiny, sad envelope and cried for two whole days because my envelope wasn’t gold. I didn’t go to class the next day; I just laid in bed and felt sorry for myself.

That was something no one told me: it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry and not go to school the next day. It’s okay to feel hurt and embarrassed. Those feelings are okay. After awhile, you don’t feel as sad anymore. You don’t want to cry as much, and there will be a day that you won’t cry at all.

It’s been 7 months since I received my rejection letter, and I still cry sometimes. Sometimes it’s really easy to be sad, like when you’re alone in your dorm room and Facebook is full of pictures of your friends who go to that school and it’s 1 am on a Friday night. I’m still sad, still disappointed, but there will be a time that I don’t feel this way anymore.

A lot of dorm rooms (or apartments, for that matter) have the same universal rules: quiet hours, no pets, and no holes in the walls. Unfortunately, that means no pinning up frames for pictures! Thankfully, washi tape has saved all of us college students (and apartment renters).

Using washi tape to frame photos is not only cute and fun, but easy! All you need are your photos (in this case, I used motivational quotes), scissors, and washi tape!

My washi tape is actually “paper tape” that I bought from Target on clearance for less than $2 each (each pack comes with 4 rolls).

All you need to do is cut the washi (or paper) tape to your liking, and tape up! It comes off easy and doesn’t tear off any paint. Perfect!


For the past two years I have been pretty sure about what I want to do. I plan on being a sexual health educator for teens and young adults, teaching comprehensive sexual health. I’m really passionate about sexual health (strange, I know) and find it so incredibly important yet not talked about quite enough.

This is my current plan:

My major right now, though undeclared considering classes haven’t started for my freshmen year of university, is Biology/Anthropology. At my university, this is a combined major, meaning I will take classes for both majors and they will count towards one degree. I’m not double-majoring, just to clarify.

Biology/Anthropology will lead me to the healthcare field, without being pre-health. I signed up to be in the pre-health orientation info groups, but realized that it was more for pre-med students, who plan on being doctors, physical therapists, pharmacists, and so on. With this major I’ll be able to still go to grad school with the qualifications to specialize in Maternal and Child Healthcare, which fits perfection with reproductive health (also known as sexual health).

I’m taking three classes, 14 credits, this fall.

Intro to Cultural Anthropology

Psychology of Gender

Family in Society

I’m pretty excited for these classes. They’re all social sciences, and I’m expecting them to be pretty interesting. A big part of me is very feminist so I’m really looking forward to Psychology of Gender.

Next quarter I want to take Human Sexuality, Math 114, and Intro to Public Health. Unfortunately, Intro to Public Health was full fall quarter and Human Sexuality is only offered winter quarter.

I can’t take biology until I finish (and pass) my math class, so hopefully I can take that spring quarter. I’m hoping that this plan goes the way I want it to. I still need to take English 101 like all freshmen do, but that can be taken winter or spring quarter. Maybe summer, if I’m allowed.

So, those are my plans. Fingers crossed it all works out.


One thing that I’m beginning to really learn and realize is that it is 100% okay to not be totally excited to go to college. Well, the college that you’re attending. It’s been rough for me, but I’m realizing that it might be better than I’m going to a university that I don’t have high expectations for, that I don’t know everything about.

I’m going into my freshmen year this fall with a new view of things (literally). I won’t know very many people, I won’t know the best restaurants in town, I won’t know where people go to party or meet people. I think that’s what makes university great, being able to learn about all these new places and people. I won’t be disappointed (at least, not as much as I would going in with high expectations), and I’ll get to make my own discoveries. Of course, I’ll eat out at places that have been recommended, but it’s different than already having experienced every restaurant on the university avenue.

I’ll be able to find my own spaces, build my own opinions, and make cool discoveries. This is something I wouldn’t have if I were attending my dream school.

So yeah, there is a plus to not attending my dream school. It may be an odd one, but at least there’s something.


There are a lot of days where I talk about college and I feel really excited and ready. I can’t contain my excited and I’m all smiley and want to move into my dorm already and meet new people. Then there are days like today where I wake up, feeling sad and lonely that I’m not going to my dream school, but settling with this university.

For me, community college wasn’t really an option. I know I want to transfer to my dream school, but I didn’t want to miss out on the freshmen year experience at university. I knew that if I had gone to community, I wouldn’t have been motivated in the same way. Community is good for a lot of people, I’m just not one of them.

I’m going to work really hard this year and try to transfer to my dream school, and hopefully I’ll be moving into my housing in that city next fall. A girl can dream, right?


Laying in bed, wishing I were up and awake at my dream school’s rush week, meeting all these people and seeing all these beautiful homes and trying to find the perfect place for me.

But, instead, I’m not, and in bed, wishing I could attend this dream school for their amazing public health programs, and rush a sorority.


Clorox Wipes


Dust Pan


Dish Soap

Hand Vaccumm

Home Lice Control Spray

Dryer Sheets

Tide To Go Pens

Paper Towels

Lint Roller

All Purpose Cleaner

Trash Bags

If I left anything out, please let me know! I don’t want a messy, dusty, sticky dorm room!


  • The food

You will most likely get sick if you are not used to the food that the university cafeteria serves. Not in a “oh god I’m dying and throwing up everywhere” sick, but more in a subtle way: slight stomachache, maybe some constipation, gas, or diarrhea, it all depends of how your body reacts to it, how the food is being prepared, and what you are eating.

Talking about what you are eating. You will have the option to get a burger and fries for every meal, or pizza, or cake. Don’t do it. For your health’s sake, don’t. I know it sounds tempting, and I know fries for every meal is delicious (fry lover here!), but I am telling you from experience, you will regret eating the same greasy food so often and your body will show it for you. 

For about a week in college I started to not care about myself (e.g. neglected skin care, ate crappy food, did not exercise, was barely doing my school work), and it was starting to show. I gained about five pounds in just those days (more about it later), my skin was greasy and I was getting pimples like crazy, I was having stomachaches everyday, and I felt as if I was getting lazier as days went by. I decided to change my eating habits. I chose fruit and salads instead of a burger and fries/pizza. And it helped me get my life together a little bit. I felt healthier and my skin cleared up.

  • Freshman 15 

Yes. You will gain weight. It is normal, and you should not freak out.

There will be lots of food available to you and no one to stop your from eating what ever you want. You will have more than too many snacks sometimes, or a second dinner because you decided to go eat again with your friends. It’s okay. Try to stay active so the weight changes are not extreme; go for a walk, or go out running, hit the gym often, practice your sport, etc. Just keep moving.

If you think you might be dealing with an eating disorder, contact your clinic and they will put you in touch with psychological help available on campus. Remember, nothing wrong in admitting that you are having problems, help is always there.

  • Condoms and Sexuality

When it comes to sexuality, I am open to discuss the subject as if we were simply talking about groceries, you can just ask my friends. I consider that I’m a very sex positive person, because it should not be a taboo subject (unless it is making someone uncomfortable). We need more sex education available (luckily, Planned Parenthood had some workshops at my school, and being who I am, I dragged my friends with me to one), many people do not know how to even put on a condom, or what sex might lead to (pregnancies and STIs/STDs).

Anyway, I’ll keep it simple: carry your own condoms even if you yourself are not sexually active (check that they are not expired, ripped, and keep them in a safe place); if you decide to be sexually active, in any way (one night stands or something more stable), get tested (there are many resources on campus, if you do not want to use them, look for the nearest clinic and get it done there); if you think that sex is just not your thing (i.e. asexuality, saving yourself for marriage, etc.) that is perfectly fine and you should not let anyone shame you for your decision or pressure you into having sex.

  • Snacks and Water

Carry snacks with you at all times, especially if you are planning on being out most of the day. You will get hungry, and therefore grumpy or weak. Also, carry a reusable water bottle so you can keep yourself hydrated.

It can be fruit, bars, trail mix, anything that can be considered a snack. Now if you want to carry a lunch with you, I am not stopping you.

  • Peer Pressure

This is not something that happens only in HS. It happens everywhere, and if you feel like you are being pressured into doing something (alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, anything) stand your ground and be firm with your decision. I don’t care if you think you might lose friends or look like a weakling, if you do not want to do something, NO ONE should force you to do it. In the case that you are feeling uncomfortable in any given situation where peer pressure is taking place, get out of there; forget about “looking good for your friends” or “being cool with them”.

  • Extra Chargers

Carry your chargers with you at all times. Your laptop charger and also your phone’s, you might not know what might come up that will force you to be out working for long periods of time ahem,group projects that require you to meet until late at night or that take almost six hours.

  • Laundry

For goodness’ sake, DO YOUR LAUNDRY once a week. (I usually do it on Thursdays because i have noticed is the day with the least people. Try not to do it on Sundays, everyone does it on Sundays)

Story time because, why not?

I once went about three weeks without doing laundry. It started with me just being lazy and saying that I would do it in a few days, then next thing I know it’s midterm season and those days turned into weeks. By the time I decided to do my laundry, I already had both of my laundry bags completely full (I had to take my spare laundry bag from my storage thing lol). The trips to the laundromat were easy, except for having to carry those heavy laundry bags. Once I got there I had to wait for washing machines to be empty…. 

What I am trying to say is: don’t put yourself in the position that I was in. Be responsible and do your laundry often. I’m also saying this because dirty laundry might get smelly such as gym clothes, and you don’t want to stink up your dorm.

  • Exercise

Try to stay active. I know we all think that walking from class to class is enough physical activity, but no. Go for a walk, try to go for a run, ride your bike around, go to the gym, and try to do these things at least 3 times a week. If you do not stay active, you will store extra fat, your joints will hurt, you’re prone to suffer stress more. If you struggle with doing physical activity, get together with a friend or a groups of friends and simply go for a walk; it takes away the stress and you are moving at the same time. 

Just stay active.

  • Majors

No shame in changing your major. So you thought you were going to college to study something but along the way you realize that you prefer something else, good, change it. Don’t stay doing something that makes you unhappy only because you started with it. Changing your mind is part of any process, and in college it will happen a lot of times.

  • Time management

Get your shit together. I’m saying it like that because that is how I realized that I needed to manage my time better. 

Get a planner, some apps to help you manage your time, study in time lapses and take good breaks, have a plan for the day, prioritize your school work over social events or parties or whatever it is that has been taking your time and distracting you from doing your work, get some to-do lists and cross items out as you complete them, have a goal for each day (”today I want to finish this essay and proofread it”). 

Finish what needs to get done first so you can go and do any other things that you want. Create a balance.

  • Money Management

We’re broke college students I’m just stating the facts here.

Try to have a spending plan, or a budget, and  stick to it. Save some money from the money you get (when I get $10, I save $3). And I know I am always advocating to the whole Treat-Yo-Self thing, but don’t abuse it. Treat yourself but think, ‘do I really need this? how many times will I actually use it? can I get it for cheaper?’ Think before you buy, so you won’t end up just wasting money that you WILL need later.

You can get a piggy bank if that is what works for you, but just try to not waste money on useless things. Remember that money does not grow on trees, and it is something that is earned with hard work, so value it.

Also, don’t go out every day or try to spend money the way your friends spend money. Allow yourself to say “I cannot afford that right now”, no shame on that. Don’t feel bad for having to turn down plans because you have more important spending to do. It’s okay, really, your friends will understand. 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of my points, message me and I will gladly talk to you. And let’s remember that as Studyblrs, we are here to help each other and build each other up.

If you still have questions about something and I did not include it in a post, let me know and I can write about it.

Apps & Websites Every Student Should Have!

Hi Again! How did everyone hold up with Midterms/Exams in 2017? I know college/university can be stressful, so I made a list of all of the amazing applications I have on my phone or computer that I couldn’t go without while studying + staying oranized.

Apps for Studying/Tasks/Organization

Wunderlist- App that helps you organize your tasks and sets deadline as notifications. Definitely helps settle your mind when you have a million things to do.

Brainscape - Ever since a friend introduced me to quiz/flashcard making, I haven’t found a more efficient way of studying. This is a great alternative to Quizlet. If you type your already type your notes, try it out! I guarantee it will make studying a breeze.

Spotify- Whether it’s motivation on your way to class, or blocking out the world while studying/reading, Spotify has one of the largest collection of streaming music today and there is a STUDENT discount, so might as well!

Google Drive- Not sure it there is a space limitation to google drive, but I have been using it for everything lately. You can create folders and make google docs, slides and excel sheets, while easily collaborating with others by a simple link. 

Lynda-I know the feeling where you teacher isn’t great at learning and you need help self-learning something asap! Most schools actually give you free access to learning site such as Lynda with you school login! Something to consider…

Apps for Saving Money

Flipp-Who says only aunties collect coupons and flyers. Flipp is such as easy and innovative way that we can clip and save flyer deals for many stores we use as students. Whether it is for grocery shopping electronics or dorm/apartment decor.

Groupon - Find the latest deals before making that purchase with the group on app. You do not need to purchase in bulk or for a group to get great deals!

ShopTagr - Have you ever browsed on an online store and say the PERFECT item, but it was way out of your price range. I think that happens to everyone. Shoptagr lets you tag a clothing item and puts it on a wishlist. When that item goes on sale or the price gets lower, it notifies you right away! This is an application that can be installed both on your phone and on your internet browser for you desktop/laptop. This app is so useful for saving money on those must have items.

Apps for Networking

There are so many apps for meeting new people both in person and online. LinkedIn is a great example of how you can directly reach out to hiring managers or people in your field of interest for advice. Check out my complete list HERE!

Are there any other apps that you use that has saved your butt in College? Let me know!


Arienne, the fashionable introvert


Some of the most important aspects of college is having a circle of peers that can help you through college or university. Networking can give you quality new references for jobs/leadership positions, and it can create connections with people of similar mindset that can give you advice or diverse opinions you could not discover on your own. I have learned so many things from conversations of professionals and peers that I have became friends with through networking. 

In the tech world that we live in today, a lot of discovery of careers (and people in those careers) are done online. Here are some websites and apps that can boost your business network!

LinkedIn-It’s a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many of my peers only now got into LinkedIn. This is where modern day networking is happening. You will find jobs and positions here that would not be posted anywhere else online, and you can see the exactly who the hiring manager is, or others who work in that company. It is such a great tool, especially if you are in the tech or communication industry.

Eventbrite - Great way to check out what is going on in your city. There are a lot of free or cheap meetups that are posted on Eventbrite. Not into meetups? A great natural way to meet people is through classes as well, whether it is an Intro to HTML course or a Paint n’ Sip night, where you can make friends and possible new colleagues as well. 

MeetUp.com - This site, which is also an App for iOS and Android phones, is meant for discovering networking events and meetups based on categories of profession or interest. Personally I have not gone to any MeetUp events however I have heard some great testimonials about it.

Groupon - Great way to discover coupon tickets to events or activities to places in the city for cheap! It is a great incentive to leave your dorm room/apartment and go out to expand your friend group, or invite a potential network to a fun yet inexpensive activity.

Facebook - Many college students are going back to Facebook simply because so many people and companies have it, and it is great tool of communication (especially for group projects, clubs, academic program specific groups, societies, etc), so maybe this is the time to re download that app. You can use Facebook as a portfolio to demonstrate how you work or volunteer and a regular basis. There are also a lot of groups that are meant for networking with like-minded people trying to learn from each other. An awesome group I am apart of is Damon and Jo’s Shut Up & Go FB Group, which is all about people who love to learn languages and travel!

If you can think of an app or website that is great for meeting new people online and expanding your network, send me a message!


Arienne, the fashionable introvert

Y’all, I know I keep saying sorry for being MIA and that I’m back now, and then going MIA for like a year again. 

BUT I’M BACK NOW, haha. Don’t know if anybody cares but here’s a little update:

I’ve been working at NYU in the Leadership Initiative office (HMU if you’re interested in learning about the application processes for global fellowships and scholarships like the Fulbright and Rhodes!). It’s been a temp. job (but a great and fun one) for the summer. When the school year starts back up I’ll be teaching ELA full-time in the Upper West Side.

Some blog-related announcements:

  • free college essay editing will be back in November like always, but let me know if you want me to do a quick end-of-summer bonus session, like I sometimes do, in late August
  • I’m thinking about starting an NYU ‘22 ask series to accept questions from freshmen or new students coming into NYU who are curious about certain topics like I did last year, so let me know if you’re interested!

Okay, that’s it for now! x

P.S. I’m planning on heading to the Whitney Museum this Saturday, so look out for one of my photosets of my visit coming next week!

This post is part of a series, available here.

Saving money/budgeting is a really good question to ask as someone who’s new to NYC (aka expensive) living, and especially if it’s your first time being relatively financially independent and needing to get a handle your spending.

Yet, I’m not exactly a life coach and definitely not a finance coach, so the only thing I can really say is the best way to keep track of your spending is to keep track of it! Literally. I’m a planner (as in, agendas and calendars), so I do the whole shebang of lists and marking bill dues and so on. You don’t necessary have to go that far, but at the very least have a very clear and set budget in some way. Essentially, keep in mind what are the necessities you need to be able to afford, how much you have, and how much you want to allot to savings and to leisure.

It really depends on what sorts of activities you enjoy, but there are definitely a multitude of ways to save money if you’re diligent about it. If you’re doing your grocery shopping, Trader Joe’s is a pretty affordable option around NYU, and Chinatown will have super cheap produce at street booths. If you want to go to museums, being an NYU student affords you free admission to a good bunch of them–check the list for that here. Other museums that may not be on this list also have their independent events where occasionally they could be free (including Museum Mile every summer). Check Time Out New York orDoNYC for a satisfying variety of various events, as well as your Facebook Events feed for nearby events that are often free and fun (like free ballroom dancing classes in Bryant Park)!

If you’re interested in the theatre scene, download the TKTS app and look into the discounted Broadway tickets, or participate in trying to grab rush or student rush tickets. Additionally, tickets to live tapings of popular shows, like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (a particularly easy one to see), are all free to grab as long as you keep an eye on the openings listed on their websites and snatch them up. Some are more popular than others, but others are pretty easy to grab.

Lastly, NYU has Ticket Central, with special deals on Broadway shows and other various events, so make sure to check that out too!

Ask a follow-up question here.

This post is part of a series, available here.

Campus jobs at NYU span a pretty wide range. I’ve had friends who worked with the ARC (Academic Resource Center), CMEP (Center for Multicultural Education and Programs), in the various resource centers in the dorms, and all the various other nooks and crannies of community at NYU. What type of job is best depends on the person, and I also have worked only one on-campus part-time job continuously through all my years at NYU (barring my RA position), so I can’t really go too much into that and have it be truly relevant or useful to you. I will say that you should really try to get a feel for the environment when you’re in for your interview. At the very least you should work in a place that’s going to be comfortable for you, rather than ending up hating your job and it making you miserable daily, even if it’s only a part-time position. I found my on-campus job freshman year at NYU, and ended up working there through my undergraduate and graduate years, because it was such a good fit for me and an actual joy to be there (though still hard work, of course).

How to find an on-campus job is actually pretty simple. NYU has its own job search database called CareerNet. You can use it to search all job openings that have posted, which extends past just on-campus NYU jobs, but with the filter you’ll be able to narrow the field down. If part of your financial aid package was some money allotted for something called “Work Study,” then that may help you be more easily hired, as departments get a pool of money to draw from specifically to pay Work Study students with. In the job postings it will mention whether or not this is the case. Some departments will only hire Work Study students, but others don’t care either way. The CareerNet system is very similar to LinkedIn, if you’ve ever used that. You upload your documents (e.g. resume, cover letter) to your profile, fill out your education and experience information, and then can go ahead and go through the postings and press the buttons needed to submit that information to the positions you are applying for. As with any type of job search, you do need to put in your fair share of effort and apply to as many openings as possible with a respectable resume and cover letter (if they asked for one), attend interviews putting your best foot forward, etc. Just because you are a student doesn’t mean they have to hire you, so give yourself the tools for success by taking the process seriously–if you do so, it’s definitely not impossible to find a job pretty quickly (but also don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away, because really sometimes there’s some luck involved with the timing).

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Living alone in NYC may seem daunting at first, especially to those who comes from growing up in places that are very different, but it’s quite exhilarating if you’re the right personality type (and by this I mean eager to explore). I absolutely love New York, and I cannot stress that enough (though it’s probably very clear by the fact I have this blog). It fits me perfectly, as I’m very independent, and like the freedom that everything being so accessible gives me. You can easily walk or subway to go wherever and do whatever you want, generally whenever you want.

The biggest rule to follow, however, is to take care of yourself! It can be easy to be overwhelmed and/or retreat within yourself in a place like NYC, especially if you’re like me and very introverted. So, like I said, go out and be curious and explore–but also, take care of yourself, such that you are always being safe. Don’t do things in the middle of the night (or even in daytime sometimes) if you don’t trust the area or aren’t familiar with it, and especially if it’s not very public/populated. Similarly, walk around with friends rather than alone at those times of night. It’s all the usual, make-smart-decisions kind of things that you just need to keep in mind when you’re hanging around NYC. There are quite some colorful types of people on the street and that hang around on subway platforms, so just don’t engage.

Taking care of yourself also extends to other aspects of life in NYC, especially as a new arrival and freshman making so many lifestyle adjustments. Schedule regular times to eat and don’t let your work overwhelm you to when you forget to do this. Trader Joe’s is really cheap for groceries (long lines during certain times of day though)! Find times to exercise (free NYU gyms!) and keep that up if possible (you’ll be doing a lot of walking everyday anyway, so that totally counts too, haha). Don’t let yourself get cooped up too much. Similarly, switch it up with how you work. Definitely find a comfort zone and routine that works for you, but don’t always let it be hiding in the corner of the library or at your dark desk at home. If it’s a nice day, try doing your class reading in the park, so it’s enjoyable for you. With the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s almost too easy to retreat, so don’t let that happen. It’s even so easy as making sure you do a club activity or something else fun on a regular basis. Also, don’t fall behind! Try your best to keep your schedule organized so you know what homework assignments you’re working on for which day–you will never regret something so much as it being finals week and you’re like five weeks behind on readings.

Oh, and quickly before I finish up: don’t get scammed! Handsome men or beautiful women that come up to you and try to sweet-talk you into buying Super! Great! Deal! packages for haircuts or spa treatments or whatnot are scammers. Don’t trust people on the street selling things (obviously this doesn’t include street markets; I’m talking about the single people just standing on the sidewalk in the middle of the day without a booth and accosting random people). There are also often men dressed somewhat like monks (they may actually be monks) that will try to hand you something gold (kind of like a small business card thing)–don’t take that unless you’re willing to pay for it or find yourself awkwardly trying to get them to take it back (depending on how assertive you are, that may or may not be successful). They have a really great guilt-trip thing going on.

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Dorm room essentials are things that I think will very much vary person to person. Freshman year, I brought basically anything and everything I could think of to satisfy the ‘just in case’ feeling that builds within me whenever I pack for any reason. I definitely don’t regret it, but year after year I definitely began to severely pare things down to the bare minimum (yay minimalism) just because it got to be such a hassle (and expensive) to move everything out at the end of the year and get it into storage or ship it somewhere.

Basically, bring what you personally will absolutely need slash can’t live without. For me, I could live without rugs and piles of fluffy pillows and pretty decorations on my walls, but for other people, I know that these things are necessities that build comfort.

The absolute bare minimum of what you will need will be the following, and then just think about what is useful or necessary for you personally to add on:

  • toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.) – toilet paper and trash bags are provided by the Resource Center in your residence hall for free
  • clothing hangers
  • laundry materials (detergent, dryer sheets if you use them, hamper for dirty clothes, etc.)
  • bedding (pillow/pillowcase, sheets, duvet/blanket)

Some basic add-on suggestions are:

  • an extra light source, depending on dorm (e.g. standing lamp)
  • an extra trash can – a minimum of one per person is already provided
  • mattress topper – the dorm mattresses are extremely firm/stiff, so if that’s not your preference, bring some kind of memory foam topper to make everything cushier
  • bed raisers, if you prefer to have your bed higher up off the ground (they’re pretty low)
  • extra storage solutions – drawers and a two-shelf bookshelf come with the desk, and you also get a tall dresser drawer, but you might want more places/ways to organize your things because sometimes space just runs out (e.g. collapsable hanging shelf/closet organizer, shoe rack, bins)
  • stationery accessories (e.g. bookends, pen cup, rack for folders)

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Making friends at NYU is something that I always say you likely have to be a bit more proactive about than when you’re at a school with a more traditional campus. You are less likely, generally speaking, to continually see the same people all the time serendipitously (although some friends and I have found that sometimes friendships defy the laws of physics and you run into each other all the time anyway) and make friends that way. That means that it’s really up to you to put in the effort to make friends in your classes, or in extracurricular activities like joining clubs. We have a massive (and I really do mean massive) club fair every year that allows you to preview all of the clubs at the school, so depending on what you personally enjoy and find interesting, you can sign up for as many clubs as you want (and there’s no shame in kind of testing them out with one or two meetings or just being on their email list, and seeing what fits you before quitting a few if necessary). The clubs span the whole range from volunteer organization to academic clubs, to special interests and athletics. There’s really something for everybody. The building that they used to do this at has just recently begun renovations, however, so they may change or move this event (but it should still take place in some form).

I personally would really recommend getting involved with the NYU SRC, which stands for Student Resource Center. This is the office that puts on all of the big, official events at school, like Welcome Week! It isn’t a club, but generally the people who are involved with the SRC get to know each other really well and form really great bonds and friendships. This will be something that takes place after your freshman year, however, just because usually you get involved by being a Welcome Week leader (I made some really great friends this way), and of course you can’t work your own orientation week. After that, you can then apply to be a Welcome Week captain and train the next generation of Welcome Week leaders, or just stay a Welcome Week leader. It’s an incredibly rewarding and fun experience and one of my favorite things I was involved with as an undergraduate.

If you’re interested in student leadership, I’d also recommend either joining the SSC, Student Senators Council, or NYU IRHC, the Inter-Residence Hall Council. I don’t have personal experience with the SSC, but they’re an important presence on campus in the sense that they make decisions that govern happenings at the school (although if you’re not involved with them, you tend to not really notice them that much). That being said, I have some friends that were involved and they definitely seem to have made bonds through that experience. I personally was involved with the IRHC, which is the governing body of the dorms. You generally start out with your own dorm’s hall council (for example, I was a part of the Founders Hall Council when I was a freshman and that’s what got me all-in), and then work your way up through leadership to be a part of the IRHC. You can also just attend IRHC meetings as a hall council member (you don’t have to be IRHC leadership to go), and they manage the big hall-sponsored events such as Flurry (free ice skating at Central Park’s Wollman Rink for all NYU students). There’s also fun competitive games and the traditions that the dorm councils have with each other, like who can make the best hall video, has the best spirit cheers for spirit day, etc.

Lastly, I was an RA at NYU London and though I wouldn’t 100% recommend being an RA at that NYU campus unless they’ve changed their ways (long story), it definitely was a useful bonding experience that helped me make some of my best friends that I had at NYU. So, if being an RA is something you’re interested in, I’d say go for it! There’s the added benefit of free housing and meal swipes (note: no meal swipes outside of the main NYU campus).

Also, just quickly–there’s nothing wrong with also making friends within your classes. Some of the general ed. courses are huge and massive and will probably be harder to make friends in, but seminars and such are smaller and will give you that space to do that.

As for your question about being anxious/introverted, sorry if it seems like me sticking this part on at the end makes me seem like I’m writing it off, but I’m actually the same way, which is why all of this advice above are things I believe that other introverted people can also achieve (though I recognize everybody’s different). I know sometimes the internet makes people seem a little bit more outgoing or just like they have such a different and more perfect life than you, but I’m definitely very introverted and socially anxious in a lot of settings. I was worried about being able to make friends, and thought I might just end up never making any, but really when you find those comfort zones at NYU via clubs and such like what I’ve mentioned above… maybe you won’t be the most popular person ever, but you will achieve those quality-over-quantity friendships that are really meaningful and lasting. Basically, the sum-up is: find those places within NYU that fit you and that you feel comfortable in, and the friends will happen.

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eyebrowsraised replied to your post “eyebrowsraised replied to your post…”

Hey, so I’m not able to message you privately for some reason. Is it okay to ask my questions on here? I had a few broad categories: any tips for anxious/introverted people when it comes to making friends at NYU (any clubs or activities you recommend?), dorm room essentials for freshman year, living alone in NYC when you’ve just moved away from home (how to be safe on the streets, areas to avoid, tips for managing the work load?)
Also, what campus jobs are like, how to get them, and saving money/budgeting advice please! (so sorry I just realized I bombarded you :P)

Yepp, this is fine! You can also submit asks using this link, just because the questions are usually easier for me to read and find and answer that way instead of through replies. :)

As for your questions, I’m going to break it down into some manageable parts (because I want to be extremely thorough), so I’ll make a couple of separate posts on these topics and then link them below:

I don’t want to spam people though, so I’ll be posting one a day so there are breaks in between. Hope that’s alright! x