From a senior to the freshmen, how to survive Hunter

There’s a lot to learn

Hunter is a great school, but it’s difficult to forge your way at first. I moved from Westchester to the big city, and there was a pretty huge learning curve. Now, as a senior, I’d like to think I’ve learned some valuable things to pass on to freshmen.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of you time at Hunter and what to look out for:

Escalators of Hunter West that never work

If you have classes in Hunter West, be prepared to walk any amount of stairs. It is rare to see all of the escalators work from the basement to the seventh floor. Consider it a good leg workout.

Elevators of Hunter North that never come

I have walked from the tenth floor to the first many times. (Actually, I did it today.) If you’re in a rush, be ready for more stairs.

Central Park

Go there. And go often. It is less than 10 minutes away from Hunter, five if you walk quickly, and it is a beautiful spot to spend a break of any length. There are always adorable babies and dogs. And I’ve heard it’s a big spot for Pokemon Go, if that’s what you’re into.


After dealing with escalator and elevators at Hunter, you’re bound to have a headache. Caffeine is always the answer. Hunter has a Starbucks in the lobby of Hunter West, but if you’d rather sit in a Starbucks cafe, there is one on the corner of 66th Street and Third Avenue. There’s also a Gregory’s Coffee on 66th Street and Lexington. But if coffee isn’t your thing, there is a David’s Tea on Third Avenue between 66th and 65th Streets.

When it says “staff” on CUNYFirst

Run. Don’t do it. I did this for a statistics class and sorely regretted it. It’s annoying when you’re registering and it says “staff” for every section, but just keep tabs on it and look up reviews as soon as it’s posted. Or, you can go to the department and ask who is teaching the section – highly recommended.

Food around Hunter is excellent

It is New York City after all. When Hunter is lucky a Waffles and Dinges truck sits outside Hunter on Lexington Avenue, which is the perfect snack to grab between classes. I prefer Chipotle or Manhattan Brick Oven pizza, both on Third Avenue between 67th and 68th Streets. Hunter Deli is another great spot (70th and Lexington Avenue), and when you show your Hunter ID you receive 10 percent off.

Free printing

In the Student Resource Center you can print up to 300 pages per semester for free. The SRC can be found in Thomas Hunter on the 3rd floor. It will definitely save you a few bucks (printing in the library is five cents per page) but be prepared to wait – every other Hunter student is there reaping the free printing. Side note: you can also print these pages at the Brookdale Campus in the game room.

Intramurals and the gym

In the 3rd floor of Hunter North, you can visit the Health Services offices to obtain a Hunter Physical Activity Card (PAC). This card enables you to utilize any of Hunter’s athletic and fitness facilities if a team isn’t practicing. You’d be surprised at how many floors of athletics Hunter has hidden in the basement – we even have a pool.

The 8th floor of Hunter West

Go there. It is a beautiful balcony spot that overlooks Lexington Avenue and has a pretty spectacular view of the skyline. It’s open when it’s nice out, so take advantage while you can.

The library

It is really strange that you enter the library on the third floor, but this place will be your best friend come finals week. During finals week it is open 24 hours. Hunter is always congested, but there is always somewhere to sit within the nine floors of the library. Also, the library has all textbooks on special reserve and can be read in the library so you don’t have to buy the ones you won’t open anyway.

Immunize yourself for free

Flu season will be here soon and you can get vaccinated for free. The Duane Reade on Third Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets offers free seasonal flu vaccinations as long as you bring your HunterID. Keep in mind it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Sometimes Hunter will bless you (or curse you) with a really long break. My freshman year I had a four hour break one day and a five hour break another. Museums are definitely a great way to spend a long break, especially the MoMA and the Met which are nearby. At the MoMa, presenting your CUNY ID grants you free admission. At the Met you pay what you want for admission.

The 8th floor of Hunter East 

Another balcony to sit on, across from Hunter West. This one is less popular, and therefore an ideal spot if you’re looking for a quiet place to read or study with a beautiful view.

Poses park

Around the corner from the Hunter East building entrance, past the newstand is the entrance to Poses park, a gated outdoor seating area, perfect for reading or eating Chipotle. It’s the closest place to get fresh air if you find yourself with a jam-packed schedule.

Be proactive

Hunter is not the school to go to if you want someone to hold your hand. No one is going to look out for you but yourself, and it is so important to stay on top of the classes you need for your major, for the Core and to graduate. It is never too soon to look at the requirements for your major – you can find this online or visit the department. Your Degree Audit is your best friend at Hunter. If you want to be part of the minority and graduate in four years, you have to get yourself through it.

Hunter College