To NYU’s latest undergraduate class, congratulations! Relish in this moment. It’s a big one, and you deserve to celebrate! While the excitement is enormous, it can sometimes be accompanied by concern. You might be anxious about your move-in date or confused about what to expect between now and then. Read on for some advice on preparing for college life at NYU. I’ve been in your shoes and know what you’re going through!


1. Find Balance

When you get arrive on campus, it can be super exciting, but also overwhelming. Welcome Week starts before classes begin to help you transition to college life and build community. There are hundreds of events for first-year and transfer students during this week. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet new people.

If you live in a residence hall, your resident assistant (RA) will also host events for you. RAs are there to help and give advice! They are typically a junior or senior, and they live on your floor. RAs hold events and can take students on excursions throughout the academic year. When I lived in Third North, a first-year residence hall, I went to the Edge observation deck and Governors Island for free! Both outings were hosted by my RA. They were a great way to explore the city and meet new people. 

Although NYU has many opportunities you can take advantage of, don’t put pressure on yourself to do them all. Find a balance that works for you, whether that’s attending two events a week or two a day. Also, you should prioritize time alone. Get to know the city on your own terms! Exploring on your own, you’ll definitely find cool restaurants, cafes, and museums while getting acquainted with your new neighborhood.

A lot of Welcome Week events are low-key and low pressure, though, which is nice! For example, you can go on a boba walk around the city or attend a silent disco. These events only take an hour or two of your time, so you can still get involved, but at your own speed. 

View of Downtown Manhattan from Governors Island
A view of the Manhattan skyline from the Edge
2. Take Care

Whether you’re from one of the five boroughs or an international student, living in New York and going to NYU will be different and new. These changes can be daunting at first, but will shape the person you’ll become. You’ll be pushed to learn new things within and beyond the classroom. NYU will provide experiences you haven’t had yet. Over time, you’ll get more comfortable, eventually referring to NYU as a second home.

For me, NYU is certainly home. I have developed a sense of familiarity with campus, which has taught me about my identity, relationships, and goals. It did take me a while to become this confident in the city. Before moving to New York, I lived in a small Connecticut town. There were definitely jarring moments when I first got here, but it helped to find a routine that stabilized me. 

Finding stability in New York required some effort. I applied to be an Admissions Ambassador, which provided me with the structure I needed. This position also brought me close to the loveliest people, like my friend Anjana. You never know where you’ll find your friends—it may be at a club, in a class, or during a job.

Two students in purple smiling
Anjana and I at during Admitted Students’ Weekend.
Two students in purple taking a mirror selfie
Anjana and I at Fall Open House.
3. Embrace Community

On the note of friendship, it always happens when it’s meant to be. While that may seem corny, it is good to be reminded that things fall into place eventually. For example, I met my current roommates at Drag Bingo, the most popular Welcome Week event, just because I was sitting next to them. I met my friend Alexis in line to see Harry Styles on the Today Show, and we ended up living together when we studied at NYU Florence. Most recently, I made several friends through the Dancers/ Choreographers Alliance.

You haven’t met the people who will be at the heart of your support system at college. Chances are they will come into your life when you least expect it. My parting advice? Keep an open mind and remember that this transition will bring lots of great things!

three students holding ice cream
My friends and fellow ambassadors Alexis and Jake from when we studied at NYU Florence.
two girls hugging in front of a field
My friend Hannah, who I also met at NYU Florence.

Olivia Federici (she/her) is a junior studying Media, Culture, and Communication at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development with a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. Born and raised in the small town of Oxford, Connecticut, she brought with her to NYU a vigor to enrich her academic pursuits through conducting traditional coursework and immersing in the social fabric of the city. During the school year, she serves as an Admissions Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, as well as a Writing Tutor at the Writing Center. Off-campus, she embarks on photo walks, learning from those whom she meets along the way.