8 Tips For Out-of-Town Freshmen to Thrive in Philadelphia
Okay so you’re not from Philly but you committed the next 4 (maybe 5) years of your life to being here. For some Philly can be a culture shock while for others it can be the perfect fit. Wherever you fall in the spectrum, there are things you should know outside of the classroom to thrive in Philadelphia. To help make it an easy transition we compiled a short list of things that will maximize your time and make it more enjoyable. So check out our list of 8 Tips For Out-of-Town Freshmen to Thrive in Philadelphia.
Don’t Rock Your IDs
I remember as a freshman I felt like the man rocking my Temple ID around my neck. It felt like a badge of honor like “look at me I am doing something with my life.” What I didn’t know that the thing I was really doing was making myself a mark. For those freshmen in or around sketchy areas it’s probably best to put away your IDs and blend in. Philly isn’t really a flashy city for folks to stand out. There are 5 major universities in and around the city, so folks seeing college students isn’t a biggie. Quite frankly the city is pretty jaded when it comes to this sort of thing. At best rock a shirt or a sweater with your college, it’s definitely a lot more suitable.
Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
This isn’t high school where the jocks sit at one table and the nerds at another. There is no “cool kids table.” College is the time to mix it up with those you would have otherwise passed by the halls in high school with not so much as a nod. Get to know other kids with different interests. If you love hip hop, attend a rock concert. If you love rock, go to a reggae party. Whatever your comfort zone is step outside and mingle. Not only will you get an education outside of the classroom, you’ll make cool friends for life.
Start Networking Now!
Don’t wait until your senior year to attend networking events in hopes of scrounging up an internship. Do it now as a freshmen. You may not have much to offer in terms of value but developing relationships now is invaluable. Attend mixers, collect businesses cards, periodically drop a line. The relationships you build now will set you up in the future. Hell, you may not even need to draft a resume in your life if you know the right folks.
Get to Know the Promoters
Aside from business contacts, it’s always a great idea to know the social influencers. After all these will be your glory years of partying. The memories you make now will be the ones you’ll be reminiscing over with your fellow alumni at future reunions. So why not know the folks that can get you access to the best parties in town? Just know that not all promoters are created equal. So get to know who throws the best parties and befriend them. Promoters are always looking for a fresh new batch of kids to bring to their events so if you can bring out a squad of fellow classmates to each party, you’ll fast track yourself into the social scene.
Find the Cheap Events & Food Spots
I clearly remember knowing which Chinese restaurant had the best $5 platters with the biggest servings as well as enjoying cold leftover pizza at Dirty Franks because it was free (nearby pizza joint used to drop off leftovers pizzas after closing). These are just the things we knew. There are also a good amount of free activities in town all-year-round. If you’re having trouble finding them, Click here to check out our cheat sheet for cheapskates. We definitely understand the struggle of living on a budget, so anywhere you can save some coin, make it happen.
Get a Cash Side Hustle
No we’re not talking about peddling dub sacks, we’re talking legit cash hustles. You’re a freshman so your career isn’t going to take off any time soon. There’s nothing wrong with a part time job to get you through the year. Aside from becoming a waiter, jobs such as bartending, barbacking, valet, and bellman are heavy cashflow positions. If you have a talent such as knitting or screening shirts, make a mini bizz out of it. Not only will you have cash in hand after every shift or sale, you’ll meet likeminded folks that hustle and work hard not to mention being in the nightlife and service industry has its perks.
Take Time to Volunteer
So you’re new to the city. The best way to assimilate is to connect with the community. Find a cause or movement you’re passionate about and see how you can get involved. Sacrificing a Saturday morning for a park clean up or tutoring can be pretty rewarding. You’ll also get a chance to cultivate relationships with community leaders which can go a long way in the future in terms of job prospects, recommendations and referrals.
Have Fun and Explore the City
Do not confine yourself to your own campus. I know colleges are creating mini-cities within their boundaries with theaters, bars, and entertainment but check out what the city has to offer. Visit other campuses, become a tourist and visit monuments and learn the history that makes this city so great. Millions of people travel to Philly each year and it isn’t just for cheesesteaks. It’s a dope city with tons to see, so take time to enjoy it now.