July 21, 2024
overcast clouds Clouds 64 °F

9 Things Every Off-Campus Binghamton Student Needs to Do

Welcome back, new and returning off-campus students! Living off campus is an exciting adventure, but for many, it’s your very first real home away from home.

Don’t fret! Here are some easy tips to help you make the most of your off-campus experience:

Figure out how trash and recycling work

Broome County recycling bins

All garbage you put out needs to be in official City of Binghamton blue bags, which you can buy at pretty much every supermarket or CVS. Your garbage day depends on where you live, so make sure to look that up. Recycling is free, but you do need to get a yellow recycling bin from City Hall. While you’re at it, make sure you know how alternate side parking works during the winter.

Always put safety first

Harpurs Ferry

You’re not invincible; things happen. Make sure you’re always ready to call Harpur’s Ferry, Binghamton’s student-run ambulance service, in an emergency. Their number is 607-777-3333. You should also sign up for B-ALERT so that if there is an emergency, you’ll know right away.

Bookmark the OCCT schedule

Students on a bus

There will probably be a moment this semester when you’re scrambling to figure out when the next bus is coming. Bookmark the schedule now, and download the SPOT app while you’re at it, so you always know where the bus is when you need to. Remember to do the same with Broome County buses as well, which students can also use for free with their student ID!

Find your off-campus study spot

Strange Brew

Although nothing will ever replace your long nights at Bartle, finding some off-campus study spots is an absolute must. If you want to stick with library vibes, the Broome County Public Library on Court Street and the University Downtown Center are both good options. I prefer coffee shops, such as Strange Brew or Laveggio, to get my work done.

Stay up to date on Binghamton events and festivals

LUMA Festival 2017

There’s so much to do off campus, it can be overwhelming. During the first week of the semester alone, we have Binghamton Porchfest. Two weeks after that, there’s the LUMA Projection Arts Festival, the nation’s largest projection mapping festival. To stay up to date, make sure to keep an eye out for the Off Campus Events email, sent out twice a month!

Understand that Binghamton is a foodie’s paradise

Garage Taco Bar

One of the best things about living downtown specifically is being around the corner from some of Upstate New York’s tastiest restaurants and eateries. Make sure to try places you’ve never been before and find your favorite Binghamton places to eat!

Find your zen place

Confluence Park

College can get stressful. Finding somewhere off campus where you can relax and recharge is important. Luckily, Binghamton is home to immeasurable amounts of natural beauty, so finding your hidden gem shouldn’t be too difficult. My favorite spot is Confluence Park, a meditative green space at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers, seemingly separated from the rest of the city, even though it’s right in heart of downtown Binghamton.

Use Whoosh! when parking downtown

The Whoosh app

Gone are the days of running to a kiosk to pay for your parking when you’re already late to a meeting or class. Now you can pay right from your phone via Whoosh! Download the Whoosh! app and create an account at whooshstore.com.

Get involved!


You are officially a resident of the greater Binghamton community. In addition to patronizing local businesses and being a good neighbor, it’s always a good idea to get involved and give back to your community. Head to the Center for Civic Engagement and find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you!

Have a great start to the semester, Bearcats!

Conrad Taylor works in the Office of Communications and Marketing and is an alumnus of the Class of 2018.

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.