Skyscrapers and buildings in the East Village under a blue sky.

The view from the NYU Journalism building.

Coming into NYU as a first year can feel a bit intimidating. On top of adjusting to a new city, making new friends, and trying out all the cool clubs, activities, or events NYU has to offer, you have a new challenge: college classes. Despite all of this, academic life doesn’t have to feel scary! Orienting yourself with NYU’s resources and on-campus study spots can make your transition to college much easier.

On-Campus Resources

The Office of Student Success

The Office of Student Success, which is located in the StudentLink Center on Lafayette Street, offers support for every student who wants it. There, you can meet with a student success specialist to discuss your academic and professional goals. Or you can work on your time management skills. They even offer tailored advice for second-year students through their Year 2 @ NYU program.

The University Learning Center

The University Learning Center (ULC) is my favorite academic resource here on campus! It’s located in University Hall and hosts group workshops like study slams and review sessions with other students. The ULC also boasts one-on-one peer tutoring, completely free. Students can meet with a peer tutor who has been successful in a class they may be struggling with. If your biology homework feels a bit tricky, or if you just want someone to help you through it, the ULC is a great resource for you. It’s open year-round, even during the summer.

Preprofessional Fraternities

In addition to social Greek life, NYU boasts a number of preprofessional, coed fraternities for students. These fraternities are for students interested in areas like prehealth or prelaw. Join Phi Chi Theta if you’re a business student hoping to find a bit of community and support within your major. Check out Phi Delta Epsilon if you’re an aspiring doctor seeking connections after college. Make friends, collaborate on notes or study sessions, and join a network of people in your field. Whatever it is you’re interested in academically, you’ll be able to find a community for it at NYU.

A brick building with stairs in front of it.
The Silver School of Social Work.
Professors and Advisers

NYU has an incredible staff of professionals, from advisers to professors! Professors, of course, are a great resource. They are required to have four to six hours of office hours every single week. During that time, they are available to answer questions or just chat. This is a great opportunity to go over classwork and get a better grasp of a subject. NYU is also one of the only US universities to allow first years to start research right away. So meeting with your professors is a great place to start. Your adviser, who is assigned to you when you get to NYU, is also a key person to touch base with. The advising program is designed to be a resource for your academic success as well as a jumping-off point for the rest of NYU.

Study Spots

Bobst Library

Bobst Library is, of course, NYU’s biggest library (in our eight-library system!). It’s also the most popular study spot on campus. The lower floors of the library are open 24/7 for any late-night or early-morning cram sessions. The upper floors are normally open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. and 24/7 during finals week. You’ll never have trouble finding a place to study. If you’re like me and you love to chat while you study, you can reserve a private room in the basement for you and some friends. You can have your own personal space while still having access to all that the library has to offer. What’s more, I get all of my required reading at Bobst, so I never have to pay for a textbook.

Washington Square Park and trees.
The view of Washington Square Park from NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life, another great study spot.
School-Specific Study Spaces

Whether you’re a student at the Tisch School of the Arts or the Silver School of Social Work, chances are your school has some kind of building or study space. The social work lounge, located at 1 Washington Square North, is a personal favorite of mine. It has tables, a printer, comfy chairs, and books to read between study sessions. In addition, the NYU Journalism building offers a beautiful view of the East Village and recording rooms for podcasts or interviews. Still figuring out what you want to study? Check out “How to Find Your Perfect Match: College Major Edition,” written by another student ambassador.

A Local Coffee Shop or Library

If you want to study off campus, try The Bean, Cafe Reggio, or any of the amazing spots in the NYU area. Use your NYU discount or befriend your barista for the chance to receive a free drink. Whether you choose to become a regular at your favorite spot or never visit the same place twice, coffee shops are a great choice. Other libraries around the city, like your local public library or the New York Public Library location in Bryant Park, can also provide a change of scenery.

An elaborate gold ceiling with clouds painted on it.
The ceiling of the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s flagship location next to Bryant Park.

Other Tips and Tricks

Figure Out What Works for You

You might be an avid user of Google Calendar, or the type of person to put each assignment on a sticky note. Whatever it is that works for you, I’ve found that organizing your assignments can be incredibly helpful. Sometimes I’ll be working on an article for a journalism class, an essay for a social work class, some lines of code for an elective, and an event poster for my student government position. It helps me to know when everything is due. I like to put everything in a digital calendar. That way, I can visualize my academic schedule and take it with me everywhere.


Whether it’s a free meditation or yoga session with MindfulNYU, watching a movie on the 7th floor of the library in the Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media, grabbing a bagel after class, or scaling the Palladium rock wall, finding things that make you happy is one of the keys to thriving in college. This has been so important for me in figuring out how to balance school, work, and life. You can’t succeed academically if you aren’t taking care of yourself!

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Your professors, resident assistants, and advisers are all here to help you! Don’t be scared to reach out to them or any other students as you’re adjusting to life here at NYU.

Holly is an NYU graduate(!) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism and Social Work from the Silver School of Social Work. She is an admissions ambassador and has published several articles on MeetNYU and beyond, including a senior honors thesis on psychedelic-assisted therapy. During her time on campus she was publicity chair for Silver’s Undergraduate Student Government, a member of the journalism honors program, a welcome week leader, a member of her first-year hall council, and a winner of the panel portion of the Academic Research Conference. In her free time she enjoys reading, hot yoga, running, and rock climbing.