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Macaulay Honors College
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New York, New York 10065

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Frequently Asked Questions by Incoming Freshmen

A savvy sophomore shares the secrets of her freshman year.

There are some things about Hunter you’ll learn on your own, as part of the college experience. Other things, however, you’ll regret not knowing from the get go. To help you along the way, here are some tips to keep in mind during freshman year.

  1. Where can I buy my textbooks?
  2. How do I use the laundry machines in the dorms?
  3. Where can I buy food around Hunter?
  4. Where can I go to relax and de-stress from school work?
  5. What are some ways I can make new friends?
  6. How can I get involved in Hunter clubs?
  7. How can I take advantage of the resources Hunter has to offer?



1. Where can I buy my textbooks?

Textbooks are expensive, there’s no way around it. You can, however, save a few bucks here and there.

The most obvious choice for purchasing textbooks is the Hunter Bookstore. Here, you can buy used textbooks in decent condition if you’re extremely lucky, but more often than not, you’ll have to buy them new. As you can imagine, this will be a bit on the expensive side. Not only that, but the Hunter Bookstore does not order a textbook for every student in the class, so if you’re one of the many unlucky students who can’t get a textbook within the first week of the semester, you might be in trouble.

The good news is that websites like eBay, Amazon, and are here to save the day. While most students go straight to these sites, there are some things you should look out for:

  • Search the ISBN of the required book to ensure you get the exact edition you’ll be using in class. Old editions and wrong textbooks are avoidable hassles.
  • Beware of shipping details. Allow about 1-2 weeks for most packages, and if it won’t arrive in time, don’t fret. Speak with your professor, or ask a classmate to scan the assigned pages until your book arrives. 
  • As always when buying on the internet, use caution about sites where you’re entering personal information.


2. How do I use the laundry machines in the dorms?

Moving out, for many, also means doing laundry for the first time. Upperclassmen are a good source of help and are usually willing to lend a hand.

However, if you don’t feel comfortable taking that route, here are a few tips on how to use the machines: 

  • Coins are not accepted. You will need to put money on your Hunter OneCard (Hunter ID) in order to use the machines. A kiosk to add money to your OneCard is conveniently located in the first floor lobby of the dorm, in front of the mail room, and it accepts both cash and credit cards.
  • Set a timer on your phone. With only one row of washing machines and a handful of dryers to service 600 people, laundry traffic is very common. It’s not necessary to stay in the laundry room while your stuff is getting clean/dried, but returning even half an hour after the time is up on your machine may mean coming back to find your clothes piled on a table. Avoid this and be considerate by setting a timer on your phone. Allow 40 minutes for washing and an hour for drying.


3. Where can I buy food around Hunter?

Ideally, packing a lunch from home would probably be the healthiest and most economic decision. Realistically, spending money on food will be inevitable.

The Hunter Cafeteria offers a decent variety of food, including pizza, burgers, sushi, salads, and other snacks.

Your choices are not limited to the Cafeteria, and below are links to some places in the vicinity of the 68th St. campus and the dorm at Brookdale. Don’t be limited to these places; there are dozens of fruit stands, Halal carts, and all kinds of other restaurants in the area just waiting to be discovered!


4. Where can I go to relax and de-stress from school work?

The city is your oyster (unless you’re allergic to shellfish), and the possibilities are endless.

Using your Macaulay Cultural Passport (and your MetroCard), you can hop on the train/bus and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art a little further uptown, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Asia Society or the Museum of Natural History across the park, plus so many other museums, theatrical and dance performances, etc.

Central Park is always open if you want to enjoy a nice stroll or read on a shaded bench.

Betsy also posts her Freebies-For-All on the Honors website on weekends which is compromised of numerous free events and activities in New York City, and many, like free kayaking on the Hudson, are definitely worth checking out!

You can also relax in the Honors Lounge between classes; it’s not the best place to study, but ideal for taking breaks and catching up with friends.

Hunter also has exercise facilities open to all CUNY students for those who enjoy burning off the excess energy at the gym.


5. What are some ways I can make new friends?

College is intimidating enough on its own, and worrying about making new friends doesn’t have to add to the stress. For some, Facebook is a great way to start meeting your new classmates; for others, it’s not as easy.

The Macaulay Freshman Orientation will be a great opportunity to interact with your future classmates from all seven campuses.

If you will be living in the Brookdale campus dorm, there are a few things you can do to meet your neighbors. Leaving your door open, eating in your floor lounge and hanging out in the game room are good ways to leave yourself open to new friendships.

Don’t worry; you’ll also meet plenty of people in your classes, and of course, in the Honors Lounge.


6. How can I get involved in Hunter clubs?

Hunter has over a hundred extracurricular activities. Once you’ve settled into classes and schoolwork, check out the activities fair held by Hunter each September.

Joining clubs is a great way to meet people who share common interests. You determine how involved you want to be, so don’t let schoolwork prevent you from joining. Hunter clubs are an awesome way to get involved in something you’re truly passionate about (even if it’s Harry Potter)!


7. How can I take advantage of the resources Hunter has to offer?

You will no doubt have pages upon pages of notes and papers to print out during the semester. If you bought a printer for this reason, great, but you will most likely run out of ink halfway through the semester like I did.

Instead of buying $50+ worth of ink every semester, go to the Student Resource Center (SRC, room TH202).

Hunter allots every student 300 pages of free printing; all you need is your OneCard. There’s also a microwave, TV, Wii, and a couple of board games at your disposal in the SRC, so it’s definitely a place you want to keep in mind if you need a break between classes.

You can get free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at the Undergraduate Student Government office (USG, room 121HN).

USG also hosts a free ski-trip during the fall semester and a Six-Flag trip during the spring semester so keep your ears open for any news about signing up. In addition, USG plans a free concert during the spring semester. Past performers have included Nas and N.E.R.D.



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