College is a time for many to travel beyond their hometowns and begin living independently. During my college application season, I remember many of my classmates were eager to flee the Big Apple and study in other places. They dreamed of the West Coast in California, for example, or a European experience in London. Although many of them were prepared to travel 10 hours to their next destination, I only wanted to travel one to my new home: New York University.  

A female-presenting student traveling on the subway in New York city.

Why I Applied to NYU as a Born-and-Raised New Yorker

Staying close to my family is one of the main reasons I chose to continue studying in the city. My relationship with my family is a big part of who I am. During my first year, I chose to live on campus at Brittany Hall. Doing so, I had the convenience of going home whenever I wanted to, unlike my friends who had to wait until Thanksgiving or winter break. I found myself returning home at least two or three times every month. During these trips, I would catch up with my family and also indulge in home-cooked meals. 

Even though I have lived in New York City for over 16 years, attending NYU still provides me with a different appreciation for the city, especially since I went to high school in Queens. My high school friends and I were always excited to travel to Manhattan during our school days off. Sometimes we would venture to Times Square or SoHo to window-shop. And while I was unable to attend a high school in Manhattan like many other native New Yorkers, I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to study here for college. As a current sophomore, I am still finding new sights and restaurants in the city every day. 

Yes, it is true. New York City is the place for shopping and eating bagels. But it is also one of the cities with the most hospitals in the nation! As a nursing student, I find more opportunities for networking and internships here than I would anywhere else in the country. I also wish to continue working in the city after graduation. So staying and studying here will provide me with that head start! 

The author’s dorm room decorations, from hanging plants and stuffed animals to photographs and string lights.
I chose to live on campus at Brittany Hall during my first year!

Being a Commuter May Not Be So Bad After All…

There are a few advantages to commuting to school:

  1. Better time management 
    • Unlike when I lived on campus during my first year, commuting to school has set clear boundaries between my schoolwork and social/rest time. I use my planner more often now to factor in my commute time. So I use use my time more efficiently, especially during breaks between classes. 
  2. More “you” time
    • It can be hard to find time for yourself, or times to simply be alone, while living on campus. As a commuter student, I have had more opportunities to enjoy being alone and have privacy overall. 
  3. Fewer distractions
  4. Becoming more social while on campus and creating deeper connections with everyone
Three female-identifying people of color at a basketball game.
My friends and me watching the Los Angeles Lakers play against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. We got tickets through NYU ScholasTix!
My Advice If You Are a Commuter!

Many commuters worry that they won’t make friends or have the same experience as those living on campus. These feelings are completely understandable! 

  1. My No. 1 piece of advice: join clubs and organizations on campus
    • This is truly one of the best ways to make the most of your experience at any college as a commuter. NYU has over 300 student-led clubs and organizations ranging from dancing to trying cheese.
    • Sports teams! We have over 21 varsity, 15 intramural, and 25 club sports teams for you to choose from. If you are able to dedicate some time to these activities, you will meet new people while improving your physical well-being! 
    • Commuter Student Council! This club represents the voices and needs of off-campus students at NYU. It provides many chances for students to meet and socialize, get involved in campus life, and ultimately make the most of their NYU experience.
  2. Go to on-campus events
  3. Create study groups with individuals in your classes
  4. Stick around after class, and don’t be so eager to head home 
    • It can be easy to adopt a “go to school, study, come home, sleep, and repeat” cycle as a commuter student. Don’t give in to this life so easily and stay on campus to really form those connections!
Two students taking a selfie at Gould Plaza outside NYU Stern.
My Admissions Ambassador friend Molly and me enjoying October Open House together!
A group of NYU students take a selfie together.
The Admissions Ambassador family and me during our very first training after summer break!

I would be lying if I said that being a commuter student is all rainbows and sunshine and that the fear of missing out does not exist. While it can be extremely difficult and overwhelming at times, I have found myself to be a lot stronger physically (from all of the walking and backpack carrying) and mentally. 

Hi! I’m Michelle (she/her/hers), a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing. I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, who is re-discovering my love for the city as an NYU student. On campus, I am an Admissions Ambassador and on the Eboards for UNSO (Undergraduate Nursing Student Organization) and SGA (Student Government Assembly). When I am not giving tours or memorizing 100+ flashcards for anatomy, you can find me either running by the Hudson River, baking brownies for my friends, or reading in the NYU Law courtyard.