View of southern Manhattan from an NYU residence hall.

First Year Residential Experience (FYRE)

“FYRE provides opportunities to attend programs and activities designed to help you transition smoothly into your first year at NYU. Each hall has passionate faculty, professional, and student team members equipped with the knowledge and skills to help you make the most of your first year. The experiences provided will help you connect to new friends, NYU, and New York City. Each residence has a strong hall government for students so it’s easy to get involved, become a part of NYU’s best traditions, and gain experience as a student leader on campus.” —NYU Residential Life and Housing Services

As the weeks counted down approaching my departure to NYU, I had more tangible things around me reminding me of what was coming. I received emails from my new residence hall, Founders Hall. I was headed straight for the East Village, alone. But on move-in day I met my resident assistant (RA) and immediately felt warmly welcomed. We met as a floor soon after, and my roommate and I slowly started to acclimate to one another!

FYRE Features

NYU has 10 residence halls for first-year students. Each has passionate and driven staff committed to FYRE. Every resident is assigned an RA, who typically lives on their floor, to help guide them through this transition and provide support throughout the year. Every residence hall at NYU also has a hall council, similar to student government but for the residence hall. This enables residents to build community in their halls. My RA encouraged me to attend the informational meeting that took place the first week of the semester.

I arrived at Founders’ hall council hoping to meet some new people and try something different. Excited staff and bubbly residents welcomed me. The meeting began and I was so excited to feel this energy in the very building I lived in! I applied for the director of service position, campaigned for it, and was elected. In addition to the general assembly composed of floor representatives, each hall council has an executive board that oversees operations. I was able to put on a variety of different events and share memorable experiences with other residents.

Professional Development

In addition to building community, I had to manage financing my education. I used Handshake, NYU’s job database, to find a position at my building’s resource center as an office assistant. In this work-study position, I was able to work a flexible job alongside my academics to meet my needs. This allowed me to grow closer to building staff and become a more oriented and experienced employee! 

After having such positive experience with my RA, I knew I wanted to hold that role when the opportunity came. I continued working in residence life and other leadership positions to prepare myself. I felt the preparation I put in the two years prior to applying provided me with the experience I needed to excel as an RA! 

Three Years Later

In addition to building community, my time in NYU’s residential life program enabled me to grow socially and professionally. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a leader for first-year students as an RA. 

Michelle Alvarado (she/her) is a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Global Public Health with a concentration in Biology and minoring in Social Entrepreneurship. Originally from New Jersey, Michelle came to NYU as a first generation college student aspiring to earn her degree in the city that never sleeps. When she isn’t working on campus as an Office Assistant or Admissions Ambassador, Michelle can be found admiring NYC dogs or studying at her favorite coffee shop near campus. She is a member of a Panhellenic sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Hall Council. Michelle is passionate about helping others and hopes that by sharing her journey, she can inspire others to chase their dreams.