How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Today, a guest post. Introducing my fun-loving cousin Katie – a noob to the big city who has a lot to say about how to adjust to such a beast of a place. Katie is just a girl, in front of a city…asking it to love her. A history major at Columbia and revered speed-talker, enjoy her take and maybe even learn something from it! (PS – all pics are hers).

I come from the opposite of New York City: Southeastern Ohio— coal country—right on the border of West Virginia. It’s quiet there. We just got a Chipotle. Friday night football games and promising high school athletes are the headlines in the paper all year. Unlike most students in my town, and I can’t exactly pinpoint why, perhaps it was a product of previous vacations or perhaps just a product of my own eccentric brain, I had no desire to stay in or around Ohio for college. I viewed far-off universities as fantastic escapes from my quiet life. What I wanted was something different, drastic, lively. What I got—and what I still believe to be a complete stroke of luck—was Columbia University in New York City.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

When I first came to the city, I wasn’t bold enough to start exploring on my own. Yeah, I had wanted change, but yeah, I had come from essentially the middle of nowhere and knew nothing about NYC beyond Times Square. So, I started with Columbia’s campus.

Step one was making friends: during my first semester, I joined clubs, participated in on-campus events, and socialized with as many humans on campus possible. My talkative nature plus the fact that I was an eager freshman equaled intense friendliness.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Step two was becoming comfortable with “going out” on campus: i.e. entering a frat party. It took some time, confidence, and occasionally shame, but I eventually got through the door. Making it in meant a loud, sweaty dancing mob in a minimally-spacious brownstone—NYC college life at its finest.

My friends and I started venturing into the city more frequently towards the second semester of my freshman year. Consequently, I started to discover my favorite spots and once I became aware of where I liked to go and the increasingly fantastic things I could do, exploring sort of exploded. Now I was thrift shopping (attempting New York Fashion on a college kid’s budget takes one to some interesting haunts in various boroughs), going to galleries in SoHo, and watching guitar players shred solos at intimate concert venues. I’ve got to say, of all experiences in the city thus far, I have enjoyed nothing more than witnessing many of the random bands I follow on Spotify perform at hole-in-the-wall venues for a mere $12 (who says NYC can’t be budget-friendly?)

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Now I am two years deep. I’m twenty: a rising junior. During the school year, I spend approximately 30% of my time sleeping, 40% my time studying or in class, and the last 30% existing otherwise. I’ve created a family of friends, made Columbia my home, and begun to grasp exactly what kind of beast this city is. So, my advice to other college students coming to NYC for the first time:

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Growing up right outside of New York City, and then going to college in a small town in New Hampshire, has really taught me a lot. Most importantly, it has taught me how lucky I am to have grown up where I did.

Large cities can be overwhelming. With places like New York, you are in a city that literally never sleeps. You are surrounded by millions of people and a whole lot of excitement.

While this can be stressful for some people, I’m going to share with you the lessons I’ve learned and what you might learn from living in a big city.

1. Take advantage of everything you are surrounded by.

In a big city, you are surrounded by a variety of resources that you just don’t have in a small town. You have restaurants and stores on every corner, multiple options in terms of transportation and most importantly, a lot of places to get a job.

As a college student who is graduating in May, that last one is something I’ve just started to take advantage of. Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity you come across and utilize these resources well.

2. Don’t get lost in the crowd.

In a place with so many people, it can be hard to not get lost in the crowd. Unlike a small town, you aren’t going to run into people you know every day.

It’s important that you don’t let this get you down. Be sure to get to know people, make a name for yourself, and create new memories and exciting stories.

3. Not everyone is out to hurt you.

Growing up with old-fashioned Italian parents, I have always been told not to trust people because everyone in the world is out to get you.

What I’ve learned being in big cities, however, is that this is not always true. While they are right in some cases, most people are actually nice and if you give them the time of day, they may surprise you.

Just think twice before you make judgments about the homeless man on the corner, or turn down the boy that asked you to lunch.

4. You’re not alone.

In a big city, you may sometimes feel lonely because everyone is hustling and bustling. Something I’ve learned is that you actually aren’t alone at all.

Just simply look out your window and you’ll realize there are hundreds of people right in front of you. Go out and mingle!

5. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Like Frank Sinatra said when speaking about New York, if you can make it in a big city you can truly make it anywhere. Big cities are a crazy place!

You will see things you have never seen before and meet so many different kinds of people. You’ll have so many new experiences and have to navigate around what seems like the entire world!

But just remember, if you can make it in a big city you can make it anywhere else!

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Did you just move to a big city? This article was meant for you. Moving to a big city is exciting and scary, all at the same time. There is so much to see and experience and if you just moved from a small town it can seem overwhelming and new. It’s completely normal to start to resent the town, especially if you feel out of place. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure that you enjoy your time in a big city while adjusting smoothly to the new pace of life.

Here are 5 ways you can prepare to live in a big city:


Big cities are known for having great transportation systems, meaning you don’t have to drive a car everywhere. This may be a bus system or some kind of public transportation that can be extremely cost effective. Having a car can be nice if you are planning on going out of town a bit or if you are only staying in a big city for a couple of years. To cut down on expenses, you can get different insurance, especially if you aren’t driving around a lot. There is cheap car insurance Los Angeles California , a big city that is known for its famous people as well as its crazy traffic. Cutting down on car expenses can help you save money for other expenses and bills you may need to pay in the future.

With any big city there are a variety of foods that needs to be tried. Do some research and see what the city is known for. Is it located in the south where barbeque is all the rage? Or is it in a city that is more health conscious and juiced drinks are available on every street? Get ready to try new things and keep in mind you may not enjoy everything you try. Food is a great way to meet new people and try new foods you won’t be able to try anywhere else.

Job Hunting

Getting a job can be hard, and it’s even harder if you are job searching in an unfamiliar place. Maybe you are moving to a big city because of a job, which is awesome. But if you are moving to a big city without having a job offer, you may need some extra savings to pay for expenses while you are searching for a job. Get to know the city, what companies are there and what kind of jobs that they offer. Try to schedule some interviews before you move. If you are there for school, make an appointment with a job resource center and see what they can offer you.

Wherever you end up, there is something different about city life compared to living in a middle to small sized city. There are several things that are usually the same in big cities. There are a lot of people living in a small space. You may not feel completely crowded all the time but you will see a lot more people than you normally do. It is best to be quiet and respectful while you are on public transportation or in a public space. You don’t need to talk to everyone you meet and you shouldn’t feel pressured to stop and talk to every vendor on the street.

Daily Living

There are little things that will change in your day to day life. You may have to walk down the hall to do your laundry. You may have to do a lot more walking than you are used to. You may have to work odd hours to make payments on your student loans. Be prepared for such changes and learn to be flexible with how you live and you are sure to adjust to the big city in no time.

Have you ever lived in a big city? What was your experience and how did you adjust to the new space? Start the conversation by commenting below.

If you spent your whole life living in a small town, you might ask yourself if living in a big city is for you. There are many differences between the two. And to someone who isn’t used to these things, it might be hard to keep up with the fast pace of the big city.

Living in a big city means a lot of people wherever you go

The one thing you already know about big cities is that there is a lot of people. Everywhere. The bus stop, the shop, the elevator. Wherever you go, a lot of people you don’t know are around you. This is very shocking at first for people who are used to living in small towns. Also, students moving to college have this problem too. A lot of the times, these people get anxiety because of the sudden change in the environment. So if you think you won’t be able to handle this, living in a big city isn’t for you.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

There is a lot of people in big cities.

Traffic might be a problem when living in a big city

Since there are a lot of people, there is a lot of traffic. You don’t really need a car to get to places because there is a lot of public transport. However, a vast number of people find traffic jams annoying and stressful after moving to a big city for the first time. Generally, traffic jams are quite common for everyone in a big city. Even movers say that people coming from small towns get very surprised when a truck with their belongings gets stuck in traffic. So if you want to live in a big city, prepare for the busy traffic.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Be prepared to get stuck in a traffic jam at least once a day.

Get used to noise when living in a big city

Big cities are very loud. And to someone who isn’t used to the noise, this is a big problem during the first few weeks of living in a big city. Many people have trouble to fall asleep and they tend to have migraines because of that too. That’s why you should explore the new city to find some peaceful spots you can go to.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

Exploring a big city might help you find a place that is quiet and peaceful.

People are not always the nicest

When you live in a small town, you have to be nice to everyone. Yet in big cities, this isn’t the tradition. People are nervous and constantly in a hurry. Pushing people around is a sport everyone loves. Wherever you work, you will need time to adjust to your new job as not a lot of people will come forward and ask you if you need any help. Not everyone is nervous all the time though, but work days are the worst.


Living in a big city isn’t always as good as they show it in movies. There is a lot of people, both residents, and tourists. A lot of cars and buses on the streets. All of this together makes the city loud and noisy, which can cause migraines for some people. If you don’t think you can handle all of this and many other things we didn’t get the chance to mention, you are not ready to be living in a big city. At least nor for now.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

safety app emergency alert app personal safety appsafety tips

St. Louis, Missouri. Detroit, Michigan. Baltimore, Maryland. What do all three of these places have in common?

Crime. Living or traveling to these places can put your personal safety at risk, as these cities have some of the highest crime rates in the nation. St. Louis, Missouri alone has a violent crime rate of 2,082 per 100,000 people, with 205 homicides each year. Detroit and Baltimore don’t fare much better, with violent crime rates of 2,057 and 2,027 per 100,000 people, and homicide rates of 267 and 342, respectively.[1]

But it’s not just violent crime and homicide that make living in a big city dangerous when it comes to your personal safety. The threat of theft, assault or simply being harassed can turn some people off to spending time in or moving to the city.

However, there are some simple personal safety tips that, when followed, allow you to enjoy living in or visiting the city, without fear:

Personal Safety Tips – Stranger Danger Tip: Be Alert.

When you’re in a city, you’ll be spending time around large numbers of people that you don’t know. And while most strangers are harmless and even well-meaning, you need to be alert, should you cross paths with a dangerous stranger. To remain alert, put your cell phone down and pay attention to your surroundings. This is an easy way to spot people and situations that may take a dangerous turn. So you can exit the situation and get away from the stranger as soon as possible.

If a stranger does approach you, do your best to get away as quickly and matter-of-factly as possible. Distance yourself physically from the person so that he or she cannot touch or grab you. If possible, move to a well-lit and well-populated area so there are other people around who could assist.

If the person becomes aggressive, immediately call – and yell! – for help from those around you. Sometimes others aren’t paying attention, and they wouldn’t even realize the stranger poses a risk to your personal safety until you cry out. And if he or she tries to touch or grab you, do whatever it takes – kicking, biting, hitting – to remove yourself from the situation.

Look Confident

Even if you’re unfamiliar with which subway stop you need to take, do your best to appear knowledgeable and savvy. Research the public transportation route beforehand, so you know where you want to get on/off. Don’t linger in the subway after you exit, either. Instead, immediately find your way to the exit and out to the street. If you’re walking, consult your smartphone’s map before heading out. So you are aware of the route, street names, etc. on the way to your destination.

While walking, hold your head high, maintain a brisk pace, and always keep one hand free. If possible, avoid walking alone, to reduce the appearance of being an “easy target.”

Carry Protection

To give yourself an added layer of protection and confidence, carry something with you that can be used to fend off an attacker. Mace, pepper spray, and even stun guns (where legal) are tools that you can employ if someone tries to attack you. Carrying your car keys between your fingers can create an instant weapon to jab an attacker with as well.

There are also companies that manufacture weapons like knives, tasers, and kubatons that come on a keychain. These weapons are discreet and easy to carry in your hand for that added feeling of confidence, too.

Carry the Silent Beacon Wearable Safety Device with You

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

In addition to the previous personal safety tips, carry the Silent Beacon wearable panic button with you wherever you go. This small, lightweight personal safety device can be clipped onto a keychain or lanyard. This will provide you with instant access to emergency assistance with the press of a button.

The Silent Beacon safety device pairs with the free Silent Beacon app. Simply load up to seven contacts (including emergency personnel), set up your preferences, and you’re prepared for any emergency. In the event of an emergency situation, you can use Silent Beacon to call any number including 911 while sending multiple people your live GPS location.

With the Silent Beacon’s GPS technology, first responders will be able to pinpoint your location in real time. This will saving your precious time and energy trying to identify where you are. As you wait for help to arrive, you can continue speaking with your emergency contact. You can communicate directly through the Silent Beacon device.

In sensitive situations, disable your LED lights and audio to silently notify your emergency contacts without revealing that you’ve activated the Silent Beacon. When calling for help in silent mode, your voice can be heard through the Beacon, but your contact’s voice will be muted.

Unlike competing devices, Silent Beacon requires no monthly or hidden fees. Once you purchase your device and connect it with your smartphone or tablet’s Bluetooth®. You won’t have to worry about additional fees or setup costs.

Enjoying Big Cities

As you can see, you don’t need to fear cities. In fact, recent data indicates a trend where people are moving back to cities in record numbers. [2] Knowing this, you deserve to enjoy the nightlife, cultural events, and conveniences that cities have to offer – without fearing for your personal safety.

Follow the personal safety tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to making the most of living in or visiting the city. Plus, the Silent Beacon is ideal for people living in (or visiting) a big city, providing you with protection and peace of mind.

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I have a question. I currently live in a college town and I work online.

The thing is I need to move from current room because the home owner is selling the house.

I am thinking, should I stay in the same college town or should I move to a big city? At this point in my life only thing that is bothering me is my game. I had a good education, good job, etc.

Advantages of college town:

Lots of easy girls around, they really threw themselves on me few times.

Parties, bars, clubs, etc are crazy.

Everyone is here to have fun.

Girls here are HOT, very HOT.

Disadvantages of college town:

I am 29. It has been few years since i graduated. Almost everyone I know moved out. I hang out with same 4 people and 2 of them will move out of town in a month.

All of my friends are good with women but they all get the girls from social circle. If we into a bar and if there is nobody we know, then we just sit in the corner and watch dancing girls.

My friends have never done any cold approaches in their life. They get weird when I try to do a cold approach in a club. Noone is motivating so I usually end up doing nothing.

It is a small town, so it is very likely to run into same people often and get labeled as PUA (or something like that).

Advantages of big city (what i can think of. ):

Lots of bars, lots of new people.

It is easy to join one of the lairs and have wingman to hang out.

I can practice my game more often. If I find a willing wingman, I can go out every night and do 3-4 approaches every night. I think this would be a good boost for my game.

Disadvantages of big city (what I can think of. )

Girls will not be throwing themselves on me.

Girls will be more aware, hard to get, etc.

I will probably move to bay area, where F to M ratio is probably 1 to 10.

My living expenses will increase. I wont have the same amount of money for going out, doing activities, etc.

So, what does seddit think? Should I move to a big city or should I stay in the same college town?

Unfortunately, this will be a one time decision. If I move to a big city, there will be no way back to college town. So i am hesitating. Let me know what you think seddit. I appreciate your comment.

How to adjust to living in a big city when you go to college

The allure of moving to a big city for the first time can blind many young adults to the changes they need to make before they leave.

Even in the months after making the move, there is still lots to learn about your new zip code. For those coming from a small town, here are six tips for living in a big city for the first time.

Adjust To the Pace

Anyone new to a big city will notice the fast pace of everyday life. While you can certainly stop and enjoy the view, the middle of the sidewalk is an inconvenient location when people are rushing to get around you.

Trust Public Transit

In smaller towns, cars are the way to go for things like grocery shopping and visiting friends. But things are different in the city, where owning a car can be prohibitively expensive. There are also the issues of parking and traffic, making owning a car pointless for many people.

In some large cities, the best way to get around is on public transit. It is less expensive to take the bus or subway than to own a car, and you won’t have to deal with the stress of driving. Some cities even offer bike and scooter rental programs to encourage public transportation and exercise.

Maximize Space

Real estate is expensive in the big city, making it critical to maximize the space you can afford. Multipurpose furniture like a sleeper sofa can be especially valuable for anybody living in a studio apartment. This also means you shouldn’t overload the apartment with items, or it may feel cramped.

Go Explore

One of the biggest benefits of living in a big city is how much there is to do, so get out and explore whenever possible. Many cities have street fairs and concerts during the summer, along with other events throughout the year. There are also clubs, organizations, and sports leagues for all ages, interests, and skill levels, making them a great way to meet people.

Save When Possible

One of the tips for living in a big city for the first time is to prepare for a price hike. Big city living will almost always cost more than living in a small town, so plan for all the extra expenses. Look for ways to save money, including finding a roommate, cooking meals at home, and shopping for discounts when making big purchases.

Find Your Happy Place

It can be stressful living in such a fast-paced environment, so finding your happy place is critical. This can be in your home, on a favorite park bench, at a local coffeehouse, or anywhere else that helps the stress of the day melt away.

Do you live in a city and miss nature? By using the right apps, you can ditch the hustle and bustle for a short period of time, and find ways to appreciate the outdoors.

There are many advantages to living in a big city such as taking public transportation to many destinations and being close to great restaurants and many activities. If you choose to live in a city, there are tons of things to do every day and you will never be bored. While being in a city invites constant action, it also means trying to function in a condensed area with lots of other people. Most of the time, that’s not fun. So, if you’re the type who likes a slower-paced lifestyle, but you have to live in a big city, there are ways to get the best of both worlds. With the help of apps, you can find those lost gems of nature within the confines of a big city. Indeed, there are pros and cons to living in a large city but you can find a compromise and discover nature with the help of apps.

In fact, if you like the outdoors and enjoy nature, there are many ways to immerse yourself in it and make it a part of your daily life. Many people do not know how to enjoy the outdoors because they don’t have time in their everyday lives. Your wellbeing and the outdoors are connected and if you can spend time outdoors, you will be able to relax and enjoy nature more. Whether you like white water rafting or just hiking on the weekend, you can use apps to find some fun things to do in the outdoors. If you want to know how to appreciate nature, there are apps that can show you.

However, if you prefer being in the outdoors and want to say so-long to the rat race of a big city, then you should consider checking out a smaller town. There are advantages to living in a small town such as being closer to nature and enjoy more alone time. And, maybe, just dial down the pace. You can use this time to enjoy a hobby or just spend quality time with friends and family. Small towns are nice places to live if you prefer a slower, quiet life where you can be in nature and enjoy life. In a city, however, you can still make time for nature and spend time in the outdoors if you plan for it, such as nature walks or even fishing. Regardless of whether you want to be in nature or just want to be around fewer people, there are apps that can show you several advantages of living in the country.