Category: Guides

Having trouble getting out of bed? Often times, waking up feeling groggy and with a lack of energy is the result of the human body processing unbalanced amounts of unnatural substances.

Luckily, you can improve your sleep quality and overall health and appearance by following the simple tips below:

1. If you want carbs, pick “good” carbs, not “bad” carbs

“Good” carbs come from natural non-GMO foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, etc. that are loaded with vitamins and minerals in their natural and absorbable form.

For grains, try “good” carb grains like quinoa, and exotic wheat such as spelt and bulgur. Tubers such as potatoes and yams are also great “good” carbs. As for rice, make sure it’s wild. If not, then prepare it with other vegetables, seeds, nuts, or legumes that will decrease the percentage of empty “bad” carbs.

You are what you eat, so if you eat junk, you will feel like junk. Therefore, keep all processed foods overloaded with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and other synthetic sugars to a meager minimum.

Eating “good” carbs in high amounts on a regular basis will help the body repair the damages caused by years of “bad” carbs. Thus, you will wake-up feeling more refreshed and full of energy.

2. Decrease your dependence on stimulants

Whether it be coffee, alcohol, or drugs, stimulants can be addictive and habit-forming. Stimulants can negatively influence the brain by heightening emotions and also can influence the cognitive and memory centers of the brain so you lose control of your body.

Over time, this can impair your memory, as you start to lose brain cells. Therefore, if you stay up late and depend on stimulants to continue to perform any academic or social activity, this could affect your quality of sleep.

In order to decrease your dependence on stimulants, it is best to replace them with a natural alternative. For example, replace a cup of coffee with an energy-boosting combo of oranges and pomegranates. Replace alcohol with something like grape juice.

Drugs can be replaced with natural herbs called adaptogens (such as ginseng, rhodiola, etc.) that lower stress and anxiety, while also boosting the immune system. By lowering your dependence on stimulants and drugs, your body will be able to process fewer harmful chemicals, which will give you more energy to start your day.

If you combine these tips with a moderate amount of exercise and sunlight, then you will be able to wake up feeling more refreshed and full of energy.

To submit a piece for publishing on The Lion, email submissions@columbialion.com

Morningside Heights is pretty good for a college town, but the best part about our neighborhood is that there’s a conveniently-located subway leading to other vastly more interesting parts of New York.

In honor of our beloved 1 train, and in an effort to help new students get away from campus while they can, The Lion staff presents the best things to do in NYC that aren’t within five minutes of Carman.

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

Take the subway out to Brooklyn at night and walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge, lights on and everything. Grab a slice at Grimaldi’s while you’re at it — it’s some of the best pizza in the city. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, grab a Citi Bike on either side of the bridge and do some late-night riding.

Take the Staten Island ferry WITHOUT a tour group

Oh my god do not go with a tour group. Don’t be those people. When you get there, don’t leave immediately—take the bus (Yes, there is public transport in SI) and try some of the excellent Italian food that is cheaper than what you’ll get in Manhattan or Brooklyn. And while it’s still warm outside, check out Ralph’s Italian Ices. Yes we know that there are multiple locations in the area, but this is the original one! And if you’re already having pizza nearby, well…

Best part? The ferry is free. No joke.

See a movie at the IFC

Preferably a midnight one or when there’s a guest speaker. Get one of the ridiculous food or drink items they sell (overpriced ice pops, coffee, apparently some of the highest-rated popcorn in New York, etc.), and/or get Artichoke pizza on MacDougal street. Grab some tickets here.

Get a piercing on St. Marks

Yelp it for ratings first. Seriously. Yelp it. Some of those places are scary. Apologies if you’re 17.

Go to Shake Shack

Yeah, it’s not just in New York anymore, but it started here and you owe it to yourself to grab a burger and milkshake at its original location in Madison Square Park. Be a pro and go for the Shack-cago Dog instead of a Shack burger. The Shack was originally a hot dog cart, after all. (But the shakes are definitely gold.)

Hit up Columbus Circle

Bring a camera out to Columbus Circle and wander the park. You’re sure to find unforgettable street performances just around the corner, and Bouchon Bakery has to-die-for macarons when you need a snack.

Go to museums

There are like a bazillion great museums in New York, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t visit at least one of them by the end of NSOP (plus they’re a great place to chill with your new pals). The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe American Museum of Natural History, and MoMA are all “free” (suggested donations) for Columbia students, and other (slightly) less famous choices — like the Museum of the Moving Image and the Frick Collection — are cheap for those with a college ID.

Go to Smorgasburg

Every Saturday and Sunday through the last week of November, Smorgasburg offers New Yorkers a chance to try some of the coolest and strangest food ever conceived. How does a Ramen Burger sound? (Spoiler: it’s good). How about a tuna taco, or Filipino-style spring rolls? There’s also just normal good food available from small time vendors that you wouldn’t get to try anywhere else. For locations and times, check out the Smorgasburg website.

Visit the Reservoir after dark

Bring a friend and don’t go too late, we don’t want you getting mugged (although the park is actually extremely safe), but the nighttime view of the city from the Central Park Reservoir is amazing. Go to the 96th street entrance and walk straight until you’re on the running path. Get right up against the small fence that prevents you from falling in the water for the best vantage point.

Walk the High Line

The High Line is located on West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues, and is one of the nicest public spaces in the entire city. Open daily from 7 am to 11 pm, the High Line is a one-mile elevated train track that has been converted into a beautiful park. There’s great (but expensive) coffee and bars located along the way, as well as Chelsea Market nearby, so feel free to just chill on the many benches and enjoy a view of the Hudson River.

The Greenway

If you like bike riding or long walks on the water, the Greenway is one of NYC’s most under-utilized attractions. The giant path is eventually meant to circumnavigate the fringes of the Island, but for now, start at 59th street, walk west until you hit the river, and then walk south. You’ll run across some of the best views in the city, Hudson River Park, and eventually the Freedom Tower if you keep on going. Almost the entire Greenway is next to the longest bike path in the city, so snag a Citi Bike and make a day of it. Speaking of which…

Go ride Citi Bikes all day

It’s still warm out, and a 24 hour Citi Bike pass is about ten bucks. Get your friends together, go to Columbus Circle, and rent some bikes. Then spend the whole day riding around downtown New York, stopping to explore cool shops and otherwise having a good time. Once it gets cold this gets roughly 1 billion percent less fun.

The following actually happened:

: “…I’m vegetarian.”

The room: *gasp* “A…a what? Did he say vegetarian?” “But what does he eat at JJ’s?” “Oh, that poor thing!”

Yeah, it’s true. Being a vegetarian kind of sucks in a country where meat is a staple food. I don’t eat chicken, beef, pork, fish, or any other kind of meat. Unfortunately for me, this means that I usually have less to choose from when I’m getting food to eat.

Back home, I had to be discerning about where I went out to eat with my friends. I had to check the menu for every local restaurant to try and find vegetarian options before I visited, and there were a lot of times where I couldn’t find anything. I never went on late-night excursions to Buffalo Wild Wings or KFC – there was no point.

But now that I’ve made it to New York City, I have a very different problem – there’s too much to choose from. Good problem? Absolutely.

For one, the dining halls have no scarcity of vegetarian and vegan food. John Jay and Ferris both mark numerous options every day as vegetarian and vegan. And what’s better, both are very clearly labeled – no longer do I have to partake in the ritual of saying, “Do you guys have anything vegetarian?”

 While JJ’s Place is geared towards burgers and chicken tenders and all that stuff (which looks delicious even to a vegetarian), even it has vegetarian options. You can get veggie burgers; you can get wraps without meat, omelets without meat, and obviously, those wonderful chocolate chip pancakes without meat. On campus, there is no scarcity of choice when it comes to finding vegetarian food.

When I go off campus into Morningside Heights and beyond, there are always vegetarian options within a block of where I’m standing. There’s so much food in New York City that statistically, there’s always a vegetarian option close by. And as with most food in the city, it’s usually good.

In most places, vegetarian food gets boring – the same old sandwiches, salads, and meals. But it’s not boring here. For once, I have choice; I have the luxury of variety.

Being a vegetarian at Columbia is way better than being a vegetarian almost anywhere else in the country. It’s nice, for once, to be in an environment where my dietary needs are fully catered to, and where I don’t have to constantly search and ask for options that suit my needs.  While the quality of food may be lackluster at times, I will always be thankful for John Jay and Ferris because I don’t want to go back to driving around in search of a Subway.

Columbia dining gets a lot of flak from the student body about what they serve, but this is one thing they got 100% right.

Looking to explore New York’s theater scene? While tickets can be expensive or hard to come by at times, we’ve compiled some of the best ways to secure yourself a seat in the theaters where it happens.

Want to enter ticket lotteries and buy tickets, but don’t feel like making the effort to leave campus? TodayTix is the perfect app for you. At the click of a button, you can buy tickets and even enter lotteries. The application is a great way to easily plan Broadway and Off-Broadway show events with your friends. You can also get $10 off your first order using the code VMANV.*
*Affiliate code
If you’re walking around Times Square and want to buy Broadway tickets at up to 50% off, visit the TKTS booth in the middle of Times Square. Everyday they sell tickets to shows with extra seats left so this is a great way to get a seat in any of the area’s popular shows.
At the start of the semester, The TIC, located in Lerner Hall begins selling discounted tickets for specific dates to certain Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. In the past, tickets have been sold at significant discounts to Hamilton, School of Rock, and Wicked. Due to the limited supply, students have been known to camp outside the TIC booth starting as early as 8AM to secure tickets to some of the more popular shows. A list of performances for the fall semester is posted on their website a few weeks before the booth opens for the semester.
General Rush:
Several productions offer discounted tickets starting at 10AM the morning of the show at their theater’s box office. If you want to secure a ticket, be sure to arrive 1-2 hours early depending on the show’s popularity.
Trying to score tickets to one of Broadway’s most in-demand productions? We can’t guarantee you tickets, but here are the best tips we have, courtesy of Allison Talker, CC ’19, and a Broadway lottery expert:
You just have to enter the online lottery every day for evening and matinee because they don’t have a live lottery any more (winners pay $10 for front row tickets). Most other shows have rush tickets that you can get at the box office at 10 am.
Right now, Hamilton has 1 live lotto on Wednesdays for the matinee. The winner is drawn at 12:30 for the 2 pm show.  Pro tip:  Fold your ticket into weird shapes.
Think we missed a good tip on how to get into Broadway shows? Send us an email at team@columbialion.com.

Being a student is tough. Fortunately, many companies and organizations realize this and offer their products to students at steeply discounted rates. Check out these free and discounted offers on technology, transportation, and more so you can spend more time worrying about classes than cash.

You Need A Budget 4

Avoid the stereotype of the broke college student by making a budget every month. According to their website, You Need A Budget offers budgeting software to college students for free if they follow these steps:

  1. Write to us at support@youneedabudget.com and include proof of registration at your college.
  2. We’ll send you a special license key, good until the end of the academic year (August 31st).
  3. At the end of the year, just shoot them another email if you’re still cranking away on your schoolwork, and they’ll send you a new license key that’s good for the next year.

Microsoft Office and OneDrive

With you .edu email, you can get the entire Microsoft Office suite and 1 terabyte of OneDrive storage for free. To sign up, visit this link.

Amazon Prime

As a college student, you are eligible to six months of Amazon Prime for free. After six months, the service is only $50 a year for college students. For those new to Amazon Prime, the service offers you free two-day shipping and access to a whole host of services including Prime Now, which promises two hour deliveries within most major cities.

Sign up here to get started with your trial and a $5 gift card (requires your .edu email).

Uber

If you’re trying to get around the city and looking to avoid the subway, make sure to sign up for Uber. Uber is a ride-hailing app that can get you around the city for a decent price (except when there’s surge pricing).

Sign up here to get your first ride free (up to $20).

*Affiliate offer code

Lyft

If you’re trying to get around the city, looking to avoid the subway, and don’t like Uber, make sure to sign up for Lyft. Lyft is a ride-hailing app that can get you around the city for a decent price (except when there’s surge pricing).

Sign up here to get your first ride free.

*Affiliate offer code

Gett

If you’re trying to get around the city and looking to avoid surge pricing, make sure to sign up for Gett. Gett is a ride-hailing app that can get you around the city for $10 flat if your destination is within Manhattan.

Sign up here to get your $10 off your first ride.

*Affiliate offer code

Lynda.com

Looking for some extra help learning new materials? Using your UNI, you have access to Lynda.com, a website that offers a treasure trove of interactive videos to teach you about nearly any subject you’re fascinated about. Log in through this link.

Adobe Creative Suite

With your Columbia email, you can get Adobe’s entire Creative Suite at a discounted rate of $20 a month. To sign up, just visit this link.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Using Columbia’s CLIO system, you can get access to the Wall Street Journal. While it won’t be laid out like a newspaper, you can get access to today’s news. If you want a traditional hardcopy paper, WSJ also offers 15 Weeks for $15.

Apple

Apple has special education pricing on Macs and iPads for college students old and new. As a bonus, Apple will give you a free set of Beats Wireless Headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac, iPhone or iPad product. To get the deal, simply visit any Apple store with proof of your acceptance to Columbia or shop through Apple’s online education website.

Local Museums

Of all the amazing reasons to go to college in New York City, the wealth of museums might be one of the best deals. And using your Columbia ID, you have access to over 3 dozen of them for free. From spending a day admiring Egyptian art at The Met to learning about the history of New York’s transit system at the Transit Museum, there’s a whole slew of opportunities that await. To find which museums we get access to for free, visit the Columbia Arts Initiative’s website here.

 

Think we missed something? Send other recommendation deals to submissions@columbialion.com