Students sitting a table with face masks on.

I know firsthand how intimidating joining NYU in the spring can be. During the long months of fall that followed my high school graduation, I was filled with both anticipation and nerves. What would my NYU journey be like?

To be sure, finding friends, learning to live in New York City, and figuring out my academic schedule seemed like a lot to tackle at once. Especially since it felt like everybody else would have time to figure out these things during the fall semester. Additionally, I remember wishing I knew more about how to prepare for the spring. So, I hope that my spring-start experience and the lessons I learned will be helpful!

Before NYU...

Reaching Out to Your Academic Adviser

As I say on my tours, your academic adviser is the person who holds your hand through your NYU journey. They help you create your academic plan and make sure you are on track to graduate. If you want to pursue minors or study abroad, they will help you figure out what you need to do to make that happen! Also, I recommend doing your own research on your major requirements and which classes you need to take. This way, you have more background to explore fun courses and interesting minors.

Prepared with an academic plan, I was comfortable choosing courses each semester, especially knowing  I had room to pursue both of the minors I wanted. Additionally, I knew I wanted to study away. As a result, I planned my semesters out perfectly so I would have that opportunity. Of course your plan will change as you explore what you want to do, but having an initial one will help you feel confident going forward.

What’s more, while most schools at NYU require you to apply with a major in mind, you can continue to explore major options once you are enrolled and taking classes. The internal transfer process is easy to navigate if you are interested in switching schools or majors. Additionally, you can double major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

When I first came to NYU, I wanted to pursue a double major in Economics along with my Applied Psychology major. Then, I wanted to transfer to Media, Cultures, and Communications (MCC). In the end, I stayed in Applied Psychology, but used all the courses I had taken for a double minor in Business Studies and MCC! Don’t be scared to take nonmajor courses and explore your interests.

Three students walking through a snowy Central Park.
Snowy Central Park
Pack for the Weather!

New York gets cold. Like freezing, snowing, bone-chilling-winds cold. It’s good to keep that in mind when packing for NYU. Even though you are a “spring start,” you will endure the chilly months of January and February. If you aren’t used to colder temperatures, bring some big jackets, thick pants, and waterproof shoes with you. This will help make your first winter in New York memorable for the right reasons!

Attend Club Fest and Join Clubs!

Club Fest takes place at the beginning of each semester. It’s a great time to explore some of the 300+ clubs at NYU. There’s a club for every interest and niche, from cultural clubs to hobby-based clubs like our Cheese Club. You can learn about each club and sign up for the ones you’re interested in. You can even get some free snacks and souvenirs as you move through booths.

Speaking of free stuff? Attending club events throughout the semester is a great way to get a free lunch or dinner, since many clubs love to give out food during events.

Students posing for a group photo.
Chinese Mei Society
A small group of students posing for a photo
My Phi Chi Theta family!

For me, clubs were the best way to find friends and community as a student who started in the spring. Attending events and getting more involved, you really get close to people who share similar interests. I made many of my close friends through Phi Chi Theta (PCT), a business fraternity. Important to note, NYU has Greek life that includes Panhellenic, identity-based, and pre-professional clubs. Through PCT, I also learned about Chinese Mei Society, a Chinese cultural club. I also found an amazing community there!

Meet Your Neighbors

Living in a residence hall, there are many ways to meet people through events and outings. Your resident adviser (RA), an upperclassman at NYU, plans lots of fun events throughout the semester. My RA planned an event that included free burgers and board games. It was a really fun way to meet people on my floor. Additionally, RAs will plan excursions around New York City. Not only is it a great way to explore NYC for free, but it is also a great way to bond with other students in your building. In my first year at NYU, I got to see The Phantom of the Opera for free!

Spring cohort students are often grouped together when assigned to residence halls. Try introducing yourself to your neighbors! Everybody is new and looking to make friends, so there’s nothing to be scared of.

Hand holding a Phantom of the Opera playbill in a theatre auditorium.
phantom of the opera
Play Sports

If you want to play sports recreationally, NYU offers over 20 intramural sports and 26 club sports. Playing sports is a great way to make friends and stay physically active. There are also gyms on the Washing Square campus with weight-lifting, pools, basketball courts, and more.

Find an On-Campus Job!
Admissions Ambassadors smiling for the camera in front of an NYU Violet wall.
our ambassacommunity!

Living in New York City can get pretty expensive. A campus job is a great way to make some extra cash. And since it’s an on-campus job, they’ll understand your student priorities come first.

In my sophomore year, I became an Admissions Ambassador. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested (shameless plug!). Not only is it a cool job that pays well, but the ambassador community is also amazing.

You help prospective students by giving insight into your experience. Additionally, you can become a digital ambassador, which includes Instagram story takeovers, making TikToks, and writing articles like this! Since I am interested in doing social media marketing post-graduation, this job was a great way to get experience.

Take Advantage of Free Activities and Get to Know NYC

There are so many things that happen in the city. In fact, one of the biggest challenges coming to NYU is managing your time. You need to balance studying and having fun! From ice-skating in Bryant Park and kayaking on the Hudson to concerts in Times Square, you will never run out of stuff to do. Many times you can do these activities for free. Just keep an eye out for deals and raffles. For example, I went to the Global Citizens Festival a few months ago because my friend won tickets.

There are also many ways to find discounted activities around the city through NYU. Besides club and RA outings, NYU offers a program called ScholasTix. There, you will find heavily discounted tickets for Broadway, sporting events, and more!

Lastly, there are also amazing things to do around New York City that don’t cost anything. Walk along the Hudson Piers or the Brooklyn Bridge. Definitely take advantage that New York City is our campus and go explore.

Skyline view of Manhattan from Pier 26.
View from Pier 26
A spread of grapes, cheese, and crackers for a picnic in Central Park.
Picnic in Central Park

From Beijing to Portland to San Francisco to Upstate New York, Megan has lived from coast to coast. Now, with New York City as her home, she is pursuing a major in Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt, with a minor in Media, Culture, and Communications, and another in Business Studies. On campus, you can find her hanging out at Washington Square Park or grabbing a bite on St. Mark’s Place. Besides, working as an Admissions Ambassador, she is also on the executive board of a Chinese cultural club called Chinese Mei Society, as well as a business fraternity called Phi Chi Theta. During her free time, she loves to explore the city on bike and grab brunch with friends.