How I Found Community at NYU—And How You Can Too

A guide to finding friends at a campus without walls

Students touring NYU near Washington Square Park.

Whenever I give tours, visitors often ask me one question: “How do you find community at NYU?” Considering NYU is known for its campus with no walls, this question isn’t too surprising. So, for any incoming students, or those in hopes of attending, I decided to break down how I found my community at NYU.

Residential Life

I always bring up residential life or “reslife” first. I met some of my best friends to this day in my first-year residence hall. I matched with one of my best friends, my first-year roommate, through the first-year assignment process. This is how all first-year roommates are assigned. Based on geographic diversity and lifestyle compatibility, NYU matches each student with a roommate who can bring a diverse background to their living experience and complement their living style.

The First Year Residential Experience (FYRE) within the first-year residence halls was another large part of why reslife was a huge factor for me in finding community. FYRE is a program in all first-year halls run by residential staff. They coordinate events and get-togethers for students within individual floors, individual residence halls, and between residence halls. Some events my first year included going to the Chelsea Market, attending an off-Broadway show, and visiting The Met. Through these events, I met some of my closest friends. And I was able to create a larger community I keep in touch with even as a third-year student.

Clubs and Student Communities

Clubs and student communities were another way I found a lot of my community at NYU. NYU has over 300 clubs and student organizations, many of which are run by students. In my first year, I was involved in the NYU Economics Society. And in my second year, I was a writer and editor for a student publication. I was able to find these organizations through NYU Engage, the platform that helps students search for clubs and organizations based on interests and club structure. By being a part of these clubs, I was both able to expand my skills that pertained to the organizations and create some amazing friendships with other student members. We often would have club get-togethers sponsored by the club budget (aka, NYU paid for all the food at our meetings) and many of us would hang out and study outside of club meetings. Even though I am not in these clubs anymore, I still keep in touch with so many of the people I met and often have classes with prior members or cross paths with them on campus. (P.S. If you can’t find a club you’re interested in but have an idea for one, you can always pitch your idea to the NYU Center for Student Life.)

Of course, being an Admissions Ambassador falls into this category as well. As a student organization, the Admissions Ambassador program has introduced me to some of the most fun people I have met at NYU! What’s more, I applied for the position with many of my friends who I met through reslife, and I still work with them. 

Home for the Weekend (Formerly Weekend on the Square)

Lastly, I always bring up Home for the Weekend. This year’s event took place April 9 and 10, and it was  full of student performances, campus tours, and other NYU-related programming for admitted students and their families to take part in. Through my admitted students weekend, I met a ton of other incoming students who I still get together with today. It also was a perfect way to create a community for me to start my time with at NYU, so I didn’t feel “lost in the crowd” when I started the school year.

For a more thorough recap of the Home For The Weekend experience, check out this Instagram Stories highlight!

 

The bottom line? Coming to college can feel scary, but finding your community can be a huge part of alleviating that stress. At NYU, there are so many ways for you to find the right community for you!