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Natalie Tak / Staff Illustrator

You’re studying for finals, trying your best to concentrate on that psychology lecture you put off for two weeks and now have to watch on CourseWorks at double speed. Your pen is in your hand, your notebook in front of you, but your mind keeps drifting off to more mindless, visually gratifying ways to spend your afternoon: curating a Pinterest board for your picture-perfect summer plans in the city or watching those mesmerizing TikToks made by stunningly attractive friend groups on impossibly cool trips. It’s true that combining social media with your summer daydreams is a dangerous game when you have exams to study for and papers to write. Oh well, a few minutes on Instagram couldn’t possibly hurt, could they? And as long as you’re on your phone, you might as well check your For You page too.

For that city kid summer inspiration you’re looking for, here are some TikTok and Instagram accounts you should be following.

TikTok: @michellemariejavier

Michelle Marie Javier is a self-proclaimed foodie whose TikToks detail her excursions around New York City in bold colors and mouth-watering short clips. Some of her most recent videos include ideas for places in the city to visit (including many free options) and trendy eateries to check out. She also often responds to questions in the comment sections of her TikToks, making her page a great source of inspiration for summer activities.

TikTok: @greerhiltabidle

Summer in the city is a great time to show off your fashion-forward style. For students who are looking for trendy shopping spots in New York, TikTok creator Greer Hiltabidle’s series about shopping (under hashtags #nycboutique and #vintagenyc) are a great place to do some retail research. Her multi-video series “Going to Every Boutique I Find on Instagram in NYC” is exactly what it sounds like: minute-long videos previewing the eclectic New York shops and boutiques that may have come up on your explore page from time to time.

TikTok: @thebrunchguy

There is nothing the Internet loves more than brunch. With over 80,000 followers on TikTok, this food account posts lots of videos about lots and lots of food, the vast majority of which is made and served at restaurants across New York City. While brunch is obviously his specialty, the videos on this account also let viewers in on delicious deals you can get at any time of day.

TikTok: @consumingcouple

This is another food TikTok account, but the abundance of restaurants to try is what makes New York so special. This foodie couple started a TikTok series of videos where they “eat around the world without leaving NYC.” Their plan is to find a restaurant that serves authentic food from every country right in New York City. By now, they have tried food from 64 countries, with the latest one being Sri Lanka. If you want to expand your palate and discover foods you never thought you would try, make sure to give them a follow.

Instagram: @new_fork_city

New Fork City curates high-quality (and photogenic) foods from all around New York City. From quick brunch to hearty dinner, New Fork City has it all. Don’t browse their feed while you’re hungry, or you’ll definitely hear your stomach growl!

Instagram: @nybucketlist

If you ever wonder what you should do in New York, New York Bucket List is the perfect account to follow. As the name suggests, New York Bucket List curates the most bucket-list-worthy activities to do in the city, from sightseeing at The Edge to obstacle courses and zip lines. Moreover, they also provide discounts in some places and post monthly lists of activities, making it easy to participate in limited-time events.

Instagram: @prettycitiesnewyork

Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building are two of the more common photo spots in New York City, but sometimes, a more unique spot is necessary for your Instagram feed. If this sounds like you, check out @prettycitiesnewyork. Pretty City New York curates photo spots that are less tourist-y and sometimes hidden, making it a great account to browse for interesting photo ideas around the city.

And just like that, you’ve spent three hours on TikTok. Now that you have some more ideas for your post-finals celebration plans, it’s probably time to get back to that political science paper you need to write. As always, make sure that you follow health guidelines no matter where you choose to spend your picturesque summer romps. Good luck and have a great break!

Staff writer Nirutti Charupaisankit is looking for interesting things to do around NYC for the break. These are some of the accounts he follows. If he missed any of your favorite accounts, you can send them to him at

Staff writer Haley Long has just set a personal record for the number of likes she’s gotten on a comment she left on TikTok (it was really funny). You can send her your personal favorite New York-themed Pinterest boards at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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