You Know You Are a Poor Student Living in New York When…

* You are a vegetarian… but not by choice. Meat’s just too expensive. Or you shop at places with skeptical meat options (yes, that’s you C-Town).

The basics. I can cook, but making a meal for 1 under $5 is a little more difficult than "boil water," or "add salt for seasoning."

* Unlimited subway passes are gold. Losing this may be worse than losing your debit card.

* You eat slowly… verrrry slowly.

* You probably live in a place where you have no control over the heat. It’s either “on” or “off” so it’s either sweltering or it’s freezing.

* Milk is a luxury.

* You still get care packages from mommy and daddy, which often include food they know you won’t buy – like Oreos. Because, once again, that is a luxury.

A care package and the ol' heater.

* You definitely don’t have cable – thank goodness for Hulu.

*Light on, light off. When one person’s home, no two lights need be on at the same time.

* Meals often include pasta, eggs, peanut butter, potatoes, or bread. And bagels, of course. No, that is not a luxury! There are differences between what you want and what you need. Bagels are a necessity.

* You have also been known to eat chickpeas out of a can because they have iron and give you energy.

Energy for less than two dollars! Side effects may include high blood pressure from sodium intake, and is sometimes fatal. See back for details.

* And since you are a student, you will probably splurge on coffee. But forget those fancy Starbucks drinks. Practice saying “Tall Pike Place please” (cheapest Starbucks drink at 1.80 something). Better yet, get hooked on Dunkin’ Doughnuts.

* Stay away from 5th Avenue shops if you have an itch to buy. Actually, just wear a blindfold.

* No – no taxies for you.

* Wear your tights and leggings until the die – literally. And then when you look like a cartoon character with holes in your stockings, keep waiting until Christmas to replenish.

Hum. That's just wrong.

*Also wait till Christmas to receive any expensive items. Example: coat, boots, Clinique makeup.

* Base all grocery purchases on the “2 for 1” deals, even if you don’t really love the food. Consider food stamps because some of your actor friends use them. Then un-consider food stamps because some jobs ask if you've ever used them. Possibility for extreme awkwardness.

* Know that Bryant Park has free ice-skating and that Rockefeller Center is $30+.

*Figure out innovative ways to fix broken appliances.

The coffeemaker that did not close now does with the help of my little leopard friend here. Notice it says, "I don't do morning." Got to be a favorite mug.

* Ask every business if there is a “student discount.”

* Get to know the friendly cockroaches in the neighborhood. They’ll stop by and say “hey” every now and then.

* Go to work during the day, class at night, and then see if you can throw an internship into the mix.

* Accept the fact that you live in New York City and you love it.