Soon you'll be a new college student living in Cincinnati. You've chosen wisely. Cincinnati was ranked one of the nation's 10 smartest cities in 2013 by real-estate website Movoto on account of its number of per capita colleges and universities and its library system.
Whether it's UC (Go, Bearcats!) or Xavier (Go, Musketeers!) or one of Cincy's many other higher education institutes, you'll need a place to eat, chill and hang with your dormmates and new friends, right?
Since your parent's fridge, basement, or rec room are out, where will you go when you need to get a break from the college eatery, your smallish dorm (made smaller by stuff that should be in storage), and your roommate?
"The area surrounding campus has a variety of restaurants, so it's almost impossible not to find something to eat," wrote University of Cincinnati student Rachel Kellerman for UC website College Prowler. "You have your choice of pizza places, Asian, Greek, and German fare, American favorites, and healthy options." If you head over to Calhoun Street or West McMillan you will find the following popular student hangs:
Chipotle - Yup, Mexican fast food. If you are in a mid-day time crunch, fax in your order or place it online as lunchtime can be crowded.
Daniel's Restaurant and Pub - This friendly college hang has a downstairs with pool tables and a jukebox.
Uncle Woody's - Popular with UC fraternities for its awesome patio and "the pit" - a lounge with fireplace and big-screen TV - this locale is perfect for hanging with friends.
Gypsy Cafe - A nice place for tea drinking, chilling and smoking hookah.
Mount Lookout Tavern (MLT) - Tons of Cincy character, including an outdoor patio and karaoke.
If clubbing is your scene, check out Metromix Cincinnati for a list of college bars and clubs organized by music genre, location, features, games, and user ratings. And if you are under 21, Vertigo, has a dance floor, pool table and arcade games.
Know that late-night mid-week restaurant options are minimal, so store your fridge with quick-bite items for midnight snacking.
Long gone will be the days of curfews, homework reminders, and the who-what-where-when-and-why questions of living with parents. Use these websites for applications and information if you plan to live in a dorm:
"Living in a dorm is unlike any other cohabitating situation you'll ever encounter, and your experience totally depends on what you make of it," writes Jaye J. Fenderson of Seventeen.
For an optimum dorm experience:
Leave your dorm room door open to welcome others,
Participate in floor activities and hall programs,
Practice patience with others regarding sharing bathrooms, washers and dryers, and
Communicate; ask others nicely for favors, such as keeping the noise down, and reciprocate when asked.
A resident assistant won't help you with time management or with your laundry, but he or she will assist in building a community for you. "Remember that you are not alone. If you have questions, always know that there are many people...who have the answers; normally it's your resident assistant," says Megan O'Leary-Buda, assistant director of residential life at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, who has a great "what to bring to college" checklist.
Before your pack up the loot from the trunk party your mother threw in your honor, get in touch with your future dormmate and find out what he or she plans on taking to college to avoid duplications, as you will most likely have limited space. Put extra items in storage for the day you set up house on your own.
"In this competitive talent atmosphere, finding the top talent can often start with an internship," reports the Wowzer website. Start planning now for summer internships and possible jobs by
contacting a college coordinator, whose job it is to reach out to companies,
contacting a company's HR department directly, as most have intern outreach programs,
using Seventeen's 17 best internships list, which includes how to apply.,
hitting up your parents' friends whose careers are in fields that interest you.
Believe it or not, the day will come when, after having made your friends for life, you will have earned your degree, and it will be time for you to drive off into the sunset and make your mark on the career world. But you'll have to pack up that dorm room or apartment before you hit the road.
While you pack, if you find that you need to store some of your stuff, use our storage finder to locate a temperature-controlled unit near you.
"Choose Cincinnati", Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau - http://www.cincyusa.com/cincinnati/awards/
"Off Campus Dining", College Prowler - http://collegeprowler.com/university-of-cincinnati/off--campus-dining/
"Dorm Life Tips", Seventeen - http://www.seventeen.com/college/advice/dorm-life-0507
"Freshman Advice for Adjusting to College Dorm Life", College View - http://www.collegeview.com/articles/article/freshman-advice-for-adjusting-to-college-dorm-life
"The 5 Most Inventive Internship Ideas", The Wowzer Blog - http://explore.wowzer.com/blog/inventive-internship-ideas