6 Things You Should Know About Going To College In The City

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Coming To College In Philly

Are you thinking about coming to school in the city? Not sure what you'll expect? Here's what you need to know!


Before coming to college in Philly, I had no clue what I was in for—not necessarily in a bad way, but I didn't know what to expect at all. I've only been in college for a semester and a half, and I've already learned so much about what this amazing city has to offer and what surprises are up its sleeves. Here is a list of things that I wish I knew before coming to college in the city of Philadelphia!

1. How much I rely on the subway


My friends and I, along with many other college students in Philly, take advantage of the fact that we are in such a big city with so many things to do. To get to all of these places, you need to use SEPTA, specifically the Broad Street Line (to go to Center City, the sports complexes, or the venture through the South Philly neighborhoods) or the Market-Frankfort Line (to go to Old City or Penn's Landing). I usually take the subway at least once or twice every week to go shopping or explore new parts that I've never been to before.

Pro tip: If you plan on going into the city a lot, buy yourself a SEPTA key card so you don't have to keep paying for one-way fares. You can put as much money on it as fare costs, but it's faster and more convenient.

2. How much more expensive everything is


When you come to Philadelphia, don't be surprised when the price of something you buy is much more than what it says on the tag. Although the tax in the state of Pennsylvania is 6%, the tax in Philadelphia is 8% on most items. A lot of food, clothing, and other goods are going to be a bit more expensive once you go to buy it, both in stores and online. Also, don't forget that beverages are going to cost a lot more money, thanks to the city's soda tax!

3. Free events at tourist attractions


I found this to be a huge shock when I came to college in the city. A lot of businesses offer discounts on tourist attraction prices. For example, if you're a Temple student, and you would like to go ice skating, Dilworth Park's skating rink offers you a discount on admission; you only have to pay $2! Also, if you are in the Tyler School of Art at Temple, you can get free admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sometimes, the Kimmel Center will offer a college students night, where any college student in the area can get in for free to see the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Another pro tip: In order to see these events, follow @campusphilly on social media. They always post events that college students can go to for either a reduced price or no price at all!

4. The street noise


This was one of the biggest adjustments for me since I come from the quiet suburbs. The noises that you hear from the streets can be very noisy, even in the late hours of the night. You hear car horns going off for about thirty seconds. You hear fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars blaring their sirens down the street from a mile away. Motorcycles and four-wheelers speeding down the street. Just about everything you can think of. Over time, you eventually start to tune it out, but it was a very hard adjustment at first.

5. How dedicated people are to sports (especially the Eagles)


Since I came from one of the Philadelphia suburbs, I knew that people liked their sports teams, but I didn't see how extremely passionate the fans were until I lived in Philadelphia for college, especially the Eagles fans. During football season, after every game that the Eagles won, all of the fans would go outside and chant the Eagles fight song for what seemed like forever. After every touchdown, they would go outside and scream. It didn't matter if it was a school night or not. Whether it was 11 p.m. or midnight, or whatever the weather was like, they would be out there cheering for their favorite football team. Back at home, no one ever did this, except for when they won the Super Bowl in 2018, so this came as an extreme shock to me.

6. The amazing sites that Philly has to offer


Before living in Philadelphia, I never came here very often, so I wasn't aware of the sites that the city had to offer, aside from the mainstream ones. Yes, there are the Philadelphia Museum of Art, City Hall, and the Liberty Bell, but there are so many more intriguing places to explore. On the first Friday of every month, Old City has pop-up art galleries that you can walk into. Fairmount Park is perfect to take a stroll through in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. If you take the subway down to South Street, you can visit Philly's Magic Gardens, where local artist Isaiah Zagar puts his murals on display for the city to see. Not only is it just in the gardens, but it's also all over South Street! It's the little wonders in this amazing city that make it so unique and such an amazing community to be a part of.

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

9 Things To Do In Nashville If You Have No Idea What To Do

Trust me, I was just as lost as you are.


Nashville is a great place packed full of lots of really cool smaller great places that all offer their own unique take on the city. If you're like me, though, and have a hard time ~planning ahead~, then this list is exactly what you need. I went around and got lost and tried all the coolest hidden gems in Nashville so you don't have to. Here are some of my faves.

1. Milk & Honey Nashville

Located in the Gulch, Milk & Honey is the coffee shop/cafe from my dreams. It's decorated perfectly for any cute insta story and y'all when I say their coffee is amazing I mean it. Try it. It's so worth it, and pretty easy to find, too! You can browse their menus here.

2. Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop

While we're on the topic of coffee shops, Frothy Monkey is a MUST try. Trust me, I've drunk A LOT of coffee in my lifetime, and theirs is up in the top 10 of the best. They have other good things too, but if you're a coffee person like me, this place is heaven, I promise. It's right off 12th Avenue and within walking distance of lots of other funky little shops.

3. Two Old Hippies

This is the coolest little shop you will ever go into. Tucked away in the Gulch, it's within walking distance of Milk & Honey, so stop by after you grab a coffee and browse. They have everything from handmade clothes to cool books to refrigerator magnets. This is one of my all time favorites and I know you'll love it too.

4. Baked on 8th


I fell in love the second I saw the cute sign. Baked on 8th has a great atmosphere and even better little pastries, cookies, and cakes. Their cookies were so good it took every ounce of self-control I had to not go back and order 2 dozen. 12/10 would recommend if you're into Instagrammable locations and bomb sugar-filled desserts.

5. Burger Republic

I get it, you've gotta eat more than just cookies and coffee. As far as restaurants go, this place is home to the best burger I've ever eaten, plus the atmosphere is pretty laid back and great, and it's an awesome place to go and watch pretty much any sporting event happening anywhere relatively close to Nashville. Browse the menu so you can know exactly what to order before you even get there here.

6. Fido

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a HUGE fan of coffee shops and cafes. Fido was the most perfect little spot. It boasts about its gourmet coffee and great food, and rightfully so. It's also got the coolest funky vibe that makes you just want to sit and stay all day, and it's in a great location and decently close to Vanderbilt.

7. Go see some murals

Nashville is FULL of these bad boys. I know y'all have all seen the countless pictures of those people with big butterfly wings. Well, there's more and they're all around the city and on the side of pretty much every building. It's cliche, but tbh it's also kind of a must do while you're there.

8. Walk around Centennial Park and the Parthenon

This is a really nice place to visit if you're looking to spend a couple of hours away from the concrete of the city, and the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Greece.

9. Ride one of those little scooters around and explore


I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I did not ride the scooters. They seem kind of dangerous and I know without a doubt that if I tried to get on one it would not end well for me, the scooter, or anyone within a 3-mile radius. With that being said, though, I did see a lot of people riding them and it looked pretty fun, plus it's a great way to see the city without walking too much. So if you just want to explore, hop on one of these bad boys and pray.

Nashville is a great city full of tons of tourist attractions and amazing musical history, but if you find yourself stuck with nothing to do for a couple of hours before your next walking tour, you're sure to find something on this list that you'll love. So, you're welcome.

Related Content

Facebook Comments