Trying to figure out… the Subway & NYU’s Many Buildings

Image Credit: Instagram @sanji_chowdhury

I am a born and raised New Yorker, but most of my traveling in Queens was done by bus or car. My first time navigating the subway alone was Welcome Week and best believe I got lost. Fortunately, I only had to take one train all the way to west fourth. But, man is west fourth station big.

When I reached the station, I took the first set of stairs I saw and walked up to see a closed-off construction site. Not realizing the F train station stopped on the lowest floor and not seeing another set of stairs going up, I started to panic. Frantically looking for an exit, a man approached me and asked if I needed help. He figured I was a new student, considering it was college orientation and NYU takes over the entirety of Washington Square Park and surrounding area for Welcome Week, no one could escape it. He directed me to walk farther down the current level and take another flight of stairs up.

I was ecstatic to finally be out of the station, there was just one problem; I needed to find the building for orientation. Because I struggled to get out of the station, I had ten minutes to get to the room. I quickly put the building address for Skirball theater into maps and started to follow Siri’s voice. With five minutes to spare, I walked in showing my ID and went up the stairs feeling relieved My relief quickly dissipated as I was faced with a table of Welcome Week Leaders and no other students. Noticing the look of confusion, one of the leaders came up to me. Hoping I was in the right building, I asked if I was in Skirball. Unfortunately, she responded no but reassured me that I was not that far off. Apparently, I just needed to walk a bit further and turn a corner to see largely labeled doors for Skirball. Big fail on my end. I ran out of Kimmel into Skirball and took my seat with a minute to spare.

So there are a couple of things I did right that first day and quite a number of things I should have prepared for.
Definitely patting myself on the back for:

  • Budgeting a good amount of time for unexpected situations.
    • Tip: Especially since you will be dealing with MTA, try to build in a 30-minute buffer window for any set time commitment.
  • Knowing the address of where I needed to go and having an app to help me get to where I needed to go
    • Tip: Download a copy of the NYU building map

Definitely slapping myself on the head for not:

  • Knowing the exits of the station
    • Tip: If using the West Fourth station, either in the front or the back of the building, keep in mind that the West third exit is beside Bobst Library and Kimmel center, while the West eighth exit is closer to the Cantor Film center and Weinstein.

Tips I Learned Since Freshman Year:

  • Keep some emergency items in your bag like a portable charger, snacks, and a water bottle.
    • Additionally, try to keep enough quarters on you for an MTA ride. Quarters will allow you to use the bus and subway.
  • Get plugged in with MTA by downloading the app, following them on twitter or signing up for text alerts for the trains you frequent.
    • If you are a commuter, you might be spending more time on trains than on the actual campus, so get comfortable with your home away from home.
  • Utilize and keep in contact with your Commuter Assistant
  • Enjoy getting lost! It’s part of the experience of handling things on your own.

By Sanjidah Chowdhury

Sanjidah is a rising senior at NYU Steinhardt majoring in applied psychology. She aspires to become a mental health counselor to understand intergenerational dynamics and better serve the needs of women, Muslims, and the South Asian community. She currently works with NYU’s Office of Alumni Relations. Throughout the academic year, she works on a research team under Professor Niobe Way and volunteers for Nordoff -Robbins Center for Music Therapy. Most of the time you can find Sanjidah with her nose in a book and music blasting through her headphones. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


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