For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
Display screen shot 2016 02 26 at 9.49.10 am
Feb 26 2016
by Michaela Williams

50 Things I Learned My First Year Being a New York City College Student

By Michaela Williams - Feb 26 2016

1. Not everyone will approve of your decisions--and that's okay.

2. Just because something is happening doesn't mean you have to be there: sometimes it's better to catch up on sleep and enjoy Netflix and Nutella in bed.

3. Opportunities come more than once in a lifetime.

4. Every person you meet has a story, and therefore, has something to teach you.

5. Times Square is a consumerist wasteland, far too reflective of American commercialism and anything but authentic New York City. Literally the only thing it has to offer is Broadway. Get out of Times Square, seriously. Leave.

6. How to walk two miles in twelve minutes.

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7. When it's cold outside and you're in Manhattan, most Duane Reade's are open 24 hours--so go inside and warm up. Same goes for rain.

8. No one wants to be the first to go, but many are willing to be the first to follow.

9. "Don't go to parks at night" means any park--not just Central Park. I repeat do not go to parks at night. When the moon is out, go elsewhere.

10. You can find a bargain anywhere if you look hard enough for it.

11. Little Italy is nonexistent in Manhattan: go to Arthur Ave in the Bronx if you want real Italian food. And don't you dare step foot in Olive Garden unless you want every New Yorker to consider you, "an uncultured swine."

12. There is much better coffee than Starbucks. Anywhere. You. Go. (I personally recommend Otha's in Williamsburg or Oren's on the Upper East Side).

13. Sometimes you need to take a second to look around and appreciate things.

14. Space is a luxury.

15. There are other boroughs besides Manhattan. And Brooklyn.

16. Staten Island is pretty irrelevant.

17. Starbucks is the most likely place to find a public bathroom without having to pay for anything.

18. There are at least five expressions for every concept and three pronunciations for every word. (But it is pronounced cray-on).

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19. Central Park and the library are great places for peace of mind.

20. How to survive when your heater is broken and it's 25 degrees out.

21. The subway and buses are not nearly as sketchy as everyone wants to make you assume. In fact, the majority of New Yorkers take the subway.

22. How quickly spending adds up.

23. That reading a textbook sometimes is the equivalent, if not getting more information, than taking a class.

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24. You can mix loads of laundry if you just select "color" (especially when it's $4 a load).

25. There is no original Ray's Pizza and there is far better pizza so don't waste your money on the grease. (Seriously 2 Bro's pizza is $1 a slice. And I hear Joanne's in Brooklyn is pretty rad).

26. Not sleeping can turn into a vicious cycle which will eventually lead to you getting so sick that you're forced to sleep for nearly three days. Your body can and will come back with a vengeance.

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27. How to not be a tourist, and, by consequence, how to get very easily annoyed by tourists.

28. Bill's Bar & Burger in Rockefeller is the place to eat out when you're not using dining dollars.

29. Williamsburg Bagels is an experience.

30. How to get away from persistent salespeople. (Decline then walk away).

31. Uniqueness is valued in the real world.

32. The importance of a liberal arts education: it's important to be a well-rounded human being.

33. Greenwich Village is the best neighborhood in Manhattan.

34. Don't waste energy on those who negate your values.

35. There will be some people who you will go to the ends of the earth for. Just make sure they're AT LEAST meeting you halfway.

36. Staying in touch with friends isn't that hard: it's called a text message, Snapchat, Facebook message, Instagram tagging, Twitter DM, Skype call--I mean seriously social media works wonders.

37. Don't spread yourself too thin--we all have a limit.

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38. Ignorant people exist everywhere and are a fact of life. However, it's okay to stand up and say something is wrong if you feel it is.

39. You don't have to be friends with everyone.

40. You don't have to hang out with the same group of people all of the time. Some people end up friends you go for coffee with, others you may go out dancing with, one may be your fellow yogi/soul cyclist and some are your Broadway buddies. It's okay! It allows you to experience what you want to anyways without feeling dependent on others!

41. The world is a lot bigger than you thought it was.

42. The life you want to lead is achievable if you believe you can do it. You just have to stop dreaming and start doing.

43. Washington Square Park is a fun place to study. Throw in some headphones and write away!

44. Friends drift apart due to differences in lifestyle and sometimes it's not even a conscious decision. It just happens.

45. Some people get into college who should not be in college. And the world may never know how they got in.

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46. How long you have to find yourself. Seriously, no pressure.

47. I have chosen the right major because I love my classes, don't mind the work and am willing to go the extra mile!

48. Political science is actually very interesting.

49. Moving somewhere new is a necessary experience.

50. There truly is no place like home or like New York City.

Lead Image Credit: Aurelian Guchrard

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Michaela Williams - Marymount Manhattan College

Michaela Williams is a 17-year-old freshman Theatre Arts and Psychology double major at Marymount Manhattan College. She is always in search of knowledge and the perfect plate of gnocchi. She is a progressive, spiritual being and pollo-pescetarian. Follow her on Twitter @michaelajcw or on Instagram @michaelawilliams!

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