After months of excitement about getting into NYU, Move-In Day finally arrived. I drove up to my first-year residence hall with the biggest smile on my face and my bags stuffed with clothes that I had just bought as a way to “reinvent” myself. I said to myself that college was going to be the start of something new. After walking into my room, I immediately threw up every poster and piece of decor I had to create the “artsiest” room. My goal was to create my dream Carrie Bradshaw apartment with a walk-in closet full of the season’s latest trends. It soon became apparent that my stained, linoleum tile and wobbly desk would ruin my plans.
The Next Steps
My next step was to find friends. I had always thought of myself as an extroverted, easy-to-get-along-with guy. Get ready, because here comes my next piece of disappointment: almost everyone I met was also extroverted and easy to get along with. I freaked out, because I realized that the things that made me special in my 200-person high school would not translate to my 20,000-person college experience. Regardless of my disappointment, I didn’t accept defeat, and I started looking high and low for the people that would fit my Sex in the City friendship stereotypes that I had in my head. After finding those people, I realized that instead of living my dream Carrie Bradshaw life, I was living an off-brand, rundown version of it. Everything I did was calculated in order for me to fit these unrealistic expectations.
I always said that NYU was supposed to be the start of season seven of Sex in the City, starring yours truly.
Sadly, that season didn’t air for a reason.
After much trial and error over the course of my first month in the city, I realized that while trying to “reinvent” myself, I lost sight of who I really was. I had a case of imposter syndrome. In my senior year of high school, my teacher warned me about imposter syndrome, but I didn’t think it was actually real. Trust me, it is and it’s worse than the Freshman 15 myth. I am not Carrie Bradshaw, my room is made of linoleum floors and a standard Twin XL bed, and Sex and the City season seven never happened. After conducting a self-diagnosis in which I decided I was suffering from imposter syndrome, I knew it was time to look for a cure. A quick little Google search showed me that the only cure to imposter syndrome is to be honest with yourself and discover who you truly are. The only thing was, Google didn’t tell me who I truly was. I knew this was all on me; SparkNotes and Wikipedia couldn’t help me as they did in high school.
The first step in the process of discovering myself was to take a step back and question everything. Ask myself, “Are these clothes me?” “Did I actually mean what I said?” “Am I being 100 percent authentically me?” After answering all of these questions, I knew the second step would be to find out who I really am. Through this second step, I realized that at NYU, the students don’t care about what you wear or where you come from. The people here are 100 percent authentically themselves and just want to encourage everyone to do the same. At this point, I knew it was time to start over, but start over with the person I wanted to be; not Carrie Bradshaw and certainly not the fake, off-brand version of her I was pretending to be. So clearly, I didn’t fulfill my Sex in the City fantasies, and you know what, that’s totally OK. I ended up finding my people, my place and my true passion. The amount I have grown since I started here is insane and I know I am not done.
In the wise words of Carrie Bradshaw, “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”
So here are some things to take away from this post. Remember to stay true to yourself and not the person you think everyone wants you to be. NYU will push you outside your comfort zone and make you rethink everything, but just know that everything will work out. And, possibly the most important thing to take away is:
Always be 100 percent unapologetically you.