Fun on a Budget in NYC

Hi everyone!

Even if you have only visited NYC, you’ll notice how quickly costs add up! When you’re a student on a tight budget, this can make having fun seem like an expensive treat. However, there are many fun things to do for little to no cash.

Free Museum Days
Many NYC museums have free days, or nights when you can pay as you wish. If there’s one you’re interested in going to, check on their website. They even might have student discounts or special events. MoMA has free admission for SUNY students (which means an FIT id gets you in for free!) and many other places have similar arrangements.

Cheap Eats
Want to go out with friends on a budget? I would recommend grabbing dollar slice pizza and taking it to a park, or checking out Chinatown. The good eats abound in Chinatown, my friends and I are really big fans of Shanghai Dumpling on Mott St. Get their soup dumplings- it’ll change your life and the shared plates system means you get to try a lot of things while paying less than you would for one meal out most places.

Take a Walk
When I first moved to NYC, I would walk EVERYWHERE! Since where I worked was a 30 minute walk, instead of taking the subway I would just grab my sneakers and go on foot. It’s great exercise, and saved me quite a bit in the long run. Additionally, it’s one of my favorite ways to find new places in the city. Passing by a cafe or cool shop while walking gives you the freedom to pop in for a bit and check it out. Save on metro fees and turn on a podcast to go – the savings do add up!

Picnic in the Park
Enjoy a nice day in the park with friends! Grab some snacks or make a few sandwiches and hang out in one of NYC’s many parks. Bring a deck of cards and a speaker and enjoy the outdoors!

College Student Potluck
My personal favorite- instead of everyone bringing a full dish to share, each person brings an ingredient and everyone cooks together. It’s a lot easier than finding time to prepare in advance and it makes for a cheap and easy dinner! My friends and I have made pizza (one person grabs crust, the other sauce, etc) and sushi amongst other things.

These are just a few ways to have fun on a budget! As much as I love a good $5 latte (oops), there are so many ways to enjoy the city and hang out with friends on the cheap.

What ways have you found to have fun on a budget?
Sam

Online Classes at FIT

Last semester was my first time trying online classes. I had never taking an online class before, so I was definitely not too happy to be taking two online classes and in another time zone. However, I had no other choice because I was studying abroad, and these classes weren’t offered there.

Class #1 was an Intro to Biology

Class #2 was Organizational Communication and Workplace Relations

For starters, the professors were great! They were clear and posted everything so that we had enough time to complete all assignments. Not only theirs, but also spend time in our other major-related projects. Overall it was a fair amount of work.

The assignments went had-in-hand with the textbook and resources provided by the professors. If you aren’t able to purchase a hardcover textbook, like I wasn’t, you can either rent or purchase the online version of the textbook.

Throughout the semester, the professors made sure we were keeping up, sending emails, reminders, making sure we participated in the class discussions, etc.

One of the reasons I liked taking these online classes was that I can complete the assignments in my spare time, after coming from my other day classes in Florence. I did not think that I would enjoy taking these online classes, especially with the time zone difference, I thought I would have issues to upload everything on time. I actually found myself registering for another online class for this upcoming semester, which came in handy because I had already chosen my main courses and did not want to rearrange it so much.

There are many courses at FIT that you can take online, from liberal arts to major-related. Check out the FIT Website for more info.

Have a great weekend,

Maria

Tokyo Trip

Hi everyone! Last month after wrapping up exams me and my friends from FIT studying abroad as well took a fantastic trip to Tokyo. It was so much fun! Here are the highlights and recommendations.

Maid Cafe

My personal favorite! As far as I know, Japan is the only place in the world where you can have this experience. The maid cafe we ended up at was super cute, and they even gave us cat ears to wear while we dined! We got a Polaroid with the maid that took care of us- she was super sweet and did her best to communicate with us.

Takeshita Street

Harajuku’s main shopping thoroughfare, this street in lined with tons of shops bursting with color, patterns and fun. Make sure to get a crepe if you go!!

Puri Kura

While you’re on Takeshita Street, pop into a photo booth to take some pics! For about $4USD you can take, edit and print super kawaii pictures. This was our favorite activity in Tokyo, and we may or may not have gone over 5 times.

Itoya Stationary Store

Floor after floor of stationary supplies! If you like school supplies, planners or anything crafty, you will have a field day in this store!

Tower Records in Shibuya

Love music? This is the place for you! Each floor has a different genre, from all around the world. Look for the headphone stations, where you can sample music from selected CDs. Their store merch is really cool too.

Check out a Baseball Game!

We got standing tickets to see the Tokyo Giants play the Hanshin Tigers, which was a blast! Japanese baseball fans go hard when it comes to dressing up and cheering for their teams. It was a Wednesday night but the stands were packed.

Vintage Shop in Koenji

I’ve never seen so many cool little vintage shops in one area before! Just keep walking and you’ll keep finding spots to shop. The vibe is very really laid back and it has a very neighborhood feel.

There was so much to do in Tokyo and over our 9 days there we did quite a bit, but these are truly my favorite things we got to experience.  I look forwards to going back someday, hopefully soon!

Best,

Sam

Summer Goals!

Hi everyone!

Special summer post here. This break I’ll be interning here in NYC, and I hope to get lots of experience but also have lots of fun! I have 3 goals I’ve set so as to get the most of my next 3 months.

1. Go to Meetings!

As an intern you may or may not get invited along to meetings. Personally throughout my intern experience I haven’t gotten to attend many, so this summer I want to go to as many as possible to start seeing how they run and how they function. In order to achieve this, I’ve asked my boss to bring me along and this week alone I’ve been to four! It never hurts to ask, especially for something relatively small.

2. Make a social plan every weekend!

It’s easy to get home from work Friday night and just hibernate and do chores and errands all weekend, especially since going out with friends usually means a long haul on the train. But I want to fully enjoy this summer, which means going out and enjoying my friends and the freedom of summer. Also, I’ve been enjoying hosting my friends! Last weekend I had fellow blogger Henry over for dinner and banana bread muffin baking. It was loads of fun!

3. Stay learning

While a break from school is great, I really want to take advantage of the time to study more Japanese. Getting to use the bit I know when traveling to Japan last month was amazing, and I want to know more! I’ve been using Memrise, and really enjoy the app. I paid for the premium version and study offline on the train to and from work.

I think these 3 goals are a good focus for my summer, aside from interning and getting a break from college. Setting up plans and sticking to them is a rewarding feeling as well!

Do you have any summer goals?

Til next time,
Sam

Tips on Managing Projects

Happy Monday EVERYONE!

I know the semester is over, but it is never too late or too early (for next semester) to give you all some tips for managing all the projects thrown at you from professors!

1. Time Management –

I know, I know, I know! You hear this all the time, from almost everyone, but, this is key when it comes to juggling so many projects all at once. Making sure you have enough time for each project can make the difference in the quality of the final product. Not only that, but you aren’t stressing out the night before trying to finish everything all at once.

 

2. Get Lots of Rest –

Getting some rest and proper sleep in the days of hard work can seem a little hard to do. Not only will you feel rested, but this will help you start each day with a clear mind, ready to target all tasks.

 

3. All you can Eat –

Yes! Buffet style. I cannot stress this enough. It is very important to eat as much as possible when working so hard and for so many hours. This is the #1 thing that will give you energy to carry on!

 

4. Go over details –

It is never enough to go over all the details for your projects. Make sure you are following all guidelines given by your instructor and that you aren’t forgetting any small points.

Over the semesters I have been learning different techniques to help me juggle so many different classes. These were some of the ones that have best helped me through all the projects, you should give them a try, maybe they’ll help you too!

Have a great week,

Maria