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Back to School Must-Haves for New York City Students

As a new school semester approaches, this year is exciting, crazy, and a little bit nerve-wracking as many students have not been to campus in about two years. As if moving back to school during a global pandemic is not nerve-wracking enough, try moving back into New York City after two years of darkness. While everyone packs their necessities, Pace students live by a few things that you may forget about.

A Tote Bag

When you move here, you must adapt to the tote bag lifestyle. Or you will be given side-eyes down the block. A backpack is also totally acceptable, but tote bags are just more fashionable. Every Pace student owns at least one tote bag, and if they don’t they probably are looking for a free one on campus. So please, do yourself a favor and just become one with the tote bags.

A Reusable water bottle

Okay, this one is pretty standard college necessity, but Pace students are very environmentally friendly and try to do their best to be sustainable. Invest in a leak-proof and small water bottle to make your life easier! It is extremely important to stay hydrated as you walk throughout the city. Also it is super easy to refill between classes at one of Pace’s refilling stations!

mta apps

Public transportation is your lifeline in the city. You catch on quickly, but you need to know your train times! For our commuter students, download your specific lines app and never miss a train again. For subway users, I would suggest trying Citymapper. It tells you the exact trains to take, and when they will arrive! While the Pace area is simple subway-wise, no one wants to get lost going to Brooklyn or Uptown!


Welcome home to the city that never sleeps, and neither will you. Everyone in NYC is super busy, and they have no time. Owning a planner can help you manage your classes, internships, jobs, organizations, and other plans. I use a whiteboard in my dorm that I can update frequently. Pro-tip have your roommates write their schedules so you can know when / when they won’t be home.

An anti-friction stick

This is a specific item, but it needs to be included. For all my fellow thick-thighed individuals, I love you and want you to know this hack. Walking in NYC can be tough, especially wearing shorts. However, you will not have to waddle home after a long day. Pick up a Megababe Thigh Rescue, and your life will change. Trust me when I say the best investment of my life.


Yes, I know what you are probably saying “Oh not another LinkedIn enthusiast”. I know LinkedIn is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is essential in the city. Networking can take you so many places and land you internships and jobs! Network with your classmates, professors, and anyone who might be helpful for future job searches. You do not have to use it every day, but it is a useful tool for the current job market.

laptop stickers

Are you infatuated with Sebastian Stan, Harry Styles and want hilariously specific memes for your school? Show off your personality with laptop stickers! Laptop stickers are a fun way to express yourself and are super popular at Pace. Don’t be afraid to show off who you are, and remember your stickers are dope.


Let’s end this list on something practical yet necessary. Headphones are so crucial to keeping yourself level-headed in the city. Sometimes you have to block out the noise of honking, people yelling, and truly focus on yourself being the main character. Remember to always put your headphones in your tote bag for easy access when things get a bit too noisy!

New York can be overwhelming at some points, establish a good routine for yourself and have these basic essential items at your side. Enjoy the semester, and remember to pack hand sanitizer and an extra mask in your tote bag!

Hi everyone! I'm Alysa and I am the Campus Correspondent for HC Pace NYC. I am majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Sociology & Anthropology and Arts & Entertainment Management. Within my articles you can find everything I love to write including, pop culture, sports, politics, and my personal NYC experiences! Feel free to connect with me on my socials!
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