6 Ways to Make Your Residence Hall Your Home

As my parents hugged me goodbye and the elevator doors closed on them, I was overcome by fear, loneliness, and anxiety. I looked at my empty new room, and couldn’t help but wonder if I could ever feel as comfortable here as I did in my room back home in Washington D.C.

Moving away from home can feel lonely and overwhelming, especially on your first day in a brand new place. You’re not alone in feeling this–I certainly wasn’t. Here are some tips that have helped me make my residence hall feel like my new home during my first year at NYU.

1. Make your room your own
Don’t let those empty white walls get you down! Fill them with memories, creativity, encouragements, you name it! I made my side of the room completely my own by adding some cute twinkle lights, and memories from home as well as New York to make my side feel more like me. Having a personalized space to retreat to really helped when I felt overwhelmed by all of the exciting new opportunities, and bringing some pieces from my old room to my new room, helped bridge the gap and make it feel just a little bit cozier.

Get to know:
2. …your roommate(s)!
Find out what you have in common–at NYU, roommates are matched based on geographic diversity, but you guys will surely have common interests, passions, or hobbies. Stirring up conversation will not only break the awkward silence that may be hanging after you’ve both said goodbye to your families, it will also enable you to direct your attention to the exciting things ahead. For me, this was a great way for my roommate and me to learn about each other’s cultures, as well as bond over our love for the same tv shows.

3. …your RA
My RA has been my rock during my first year at NYU. She’s helped listen to and resolve roommate issues and family troubles, and she’s also been my personal cheerleader, celebrating every exciting thing that has happened during my first year. She was there to swoop in on move-in day as she distracted me from the sadness of saying goodbye to my family, and focused my attention on how I was going to avoid having FOMO with all the cool events going on during Welcome Week.
Be sure to make use of your RA’s as a resource in adapting to life at college and life in NYC! That’s what they’re there for.

4. …your floormates!
Not only are these the people that you’ll be seeing at hall snacks, game nights, and other floor bonding activities, they’re also the people that’ll pull through with a free bathroom when your roommate is spending a little too long on their #treatyoself night.

5. Join events and activities
See “Waitress” on Broadway, talk out what’s been keeping you down at “Pancakes and Feelings”, watch the Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, you name it; all for free or at a very low co-pay through your residence hall! Not only do you get to experience awesome things that your budget may not otherwise leave room for, but you’ll also be able to meet other people from your res-hall this way. Prefer staying in? Check out Fall Fest, Oscars event, Winter Wonderland, the prelims for NYU’s talent contest, Ultra Violet Live, and more awesome events hosted in your residence hall’s lounges and lobby!

6. Join Hall Council
Be it Brittany’s “BOSS”, Founders’ “FAB”, or Third North’s “TAG”, just to name a few, one of the ways that’s helped me the most in making my res-hall fell like home is by joining hall council. Whether you want to be part of the general assembly, or run for the e-board, hall council promotes advocacy, inclusion and involvement. Being able to help organize events and activities has not only helped me meet a great group of people that I get to call my friends, it’s also enabled me to truly make my res-hall feel like a place where I want to be. Organizing trips to the see the tree lighting at Rockefeller Plaza, working together to pull off the prelims for Ultra Violet Live, and creating a Taste of Founders video to rule them all, has helped me meet many of the over 700 Founders residents, making it a place that I want to call, and that feels like, home.

What’s Your Story: 5 Welcome Week Questions and Why They’re Important

According to my careful calculations, Welcome Week is just 3 short months away. While that may seem like an eternity of time, the reality of the situation is that those weeks are going to #flyby. If you’re anything like the hyper-vigilant freshman I was, chances are, some of you are wondering what Welcome Week at NYU will be like and how best to prepare for it. Please see below for the 5 questions that will dominate your first week on campus and how to answer them while maintaining your sanity.

 

Question 1: WHAT’S YOUR NAME?

Ok I know what you’re thinking. This question seems unbelievably straightforward. But your name is just as much a part of your identity as anything else, and since college is a time of #reinvention, people like to try out new names all the time. One of the first friends I made had just decided to go by his middle name in college, another friend made up a different nickname, a floormate of mine thought names were a social construct. The list goes on. The point is that you can be whoever you want to be, and that starts with a name; so by the evening of move-in day when you have already said your name 9,000,000 times and are So. Done, it is very important that YOU DO NOT MAKE UP A FAKE NAME. You will forget what it is, you will not respond when called, and you will miss out on a potential #newfrand. Trust me, I am wise.

 

Question 2: WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I’ll be honest, this is my favorite question because I have a lot of hometown pride for my beautiful city, San Francisco. However, this might not be the case for everyone. NYU is unique and diverse with many students coming from different living situations quite literally across the globe. My freshman roommate was from a teeny tiny town in upstate New York, and she could not wait to cut ties with the place, so she said she was from New York and left it at that. You don’t have to love where you’re from, and you don’t have to dwell on it if you’re looking for a #freshstart. As much as I love being from California, we are all coming to NYU for a reason, a chance to learn and a chance to grow in a new place. So go ahead and tell people about where you’re from and why it is or isn’t important to you, it’s a great starter conversation, and if you run into a native New Yorker, go ahead and ask for some restaurant recs, you won’t regret it. And for those of you city kids who constantly meet people saying that they too, are “from San Francisco” or “from Philadelphia” or any major city, they are likely using a geographic tool in place of their distantly located suburb, forgive them, they really do mean well.

 

Question 3: WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

This is quite possibly the best question for making friends, setting up coffee dates, and building your social circle up. With 10 First Year Residence Halls (FYREs), most of the first years on NYU’s campus will likely be in residential life. Floor mates, roommates and suitemates  are a built-in way to meet new people ands learn more about NYU’s large social network. Plus, location is important. Students living in 3rd North and Founders will have a longer walk to campus than students at Lipton and Goddard; it’s always nice to have friends along for an early morning commute to class or a weeknight trip to a dining hall. Know your space, and know the people who live in and around it. The commuter lounge in Kimmel is another great place to meet students traveling a bit further to campus every day, and they often have an insider scoop on the city if they live close enough. #FINDYOURPEOPLE

 

Question 4: WHAT SCHOOL ARE YOU IN?

Oh yes, the one question you’ll never shake during your freshman year. With 11 undergraduate schools and colleges, your friends will be coming from a #RANGE of programs. My freshman suite featured Steinhardt, Tisch, CAS and Liberal Studies in one space. We always had tons to talk about academically, especially during those first few months of settling in. Many schools will have first-year specific programs and classes to help y’all settle in like the CAS and Stern Cohorts, Steinhardt New Student Seminars and mass-Tisch plenary lectures. I met a bunch of new faces through my first semester classes which happened in and out of my actual school (I started off CAS and transferred to Steinhardt for my sophomore year). Classes happen all over campus and are often open to non-majors. Asking people about what they came to NYU for is a great way to get the ball rolling for a good first convo.

 

Question 5: WHAT ARE YOU STUDYING?

Perhaps the most important question of them all. What are you studying? Why is it important to you? What made you so obsessed with this subject that you came all the way to NYU just to learn more about it? I have made so many friends in my major of Media, Culture and Communication this way, as we’re all united under the same common interest. But I’ve also made friends studying also many other things–from recorded music in Tisch, to computer science at Tandon, to Finance at Stern–and it’s nice to be able to share so much as an NYU student but have so much academic variety across our large urban campus. NYU students are notoriously passionate about their studies and interests, and it’s always gratifying to get to talk to your peers about what you’re learning and why. Take a leap, ask a question, make a friend it’s as simple as that.

 

Have a great summer friends! We’ll see you at Welcome Week in the fall!

My Top 10 Roadtrip Songs for NYU

When I was admitted to NYU, all I wanted to do was watch every YouTube video, read every article, and follow every social media account that talked about NYC. I was ridiculously pumped to start school and couldn’t wait for those 3 summer months of waiting for move-in day to fly by! If you are anything like me, you’ll need a spicy soundtrack that showcases all your NYC feels and fiery excitement.

*Some songs include explicit content.

 

1. Empire State of Mind – JayZ & Alicia Keys
Obviously, this is #1. There is an old wise tale stating that NYU students wake up singing this exact song every single day for the duration of their NYU career.

2. New York City – The Chainsmokers
Because we all need a good pop-ballad by The Chainsmokers every once in a while.

3. New York Soul Pt.ii – Jon Bellion
A smooth NYC pop/rap song for your ride over to NYU.

4. Welcome to New York – Original By Taylor Swift, Spotify Cover by Ashley More
Clearly, no road trip is complete without a Taylor Swift song/cover. Sooooo…..Welcome To New York ‘UNIVERSITY’ 😉

5. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
An oldie but a goodie, especially for all you Tandon folks out there! #BrooklynSquad

6. New York – Urban Cone
Because you always need a calming indie-pop group singing about love, loss, and NYC in the mix!

7. I’m A Believer – Smash Mouth
Can you really call it a road trip if you don’t play Smash Mouth at least once? I think not. And clearly 10+ points for Shrek.

8. Bye Bye Bye – NSYNC
Every new adventure utterly requires needs a good nostalgia trip while you say “Bye Bye Bye” to your old life, and start a new at NYU!

9. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
The #1 classic road trip/good for any occasion sing-along song for the ages.

10.New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
Gotta end this on a high note with a Sinatra classic that resonates with parents, grandparents and new NYU students alike. If this doesn’t give you goosebumps and a rush of adrenaline, then you’re probably just lying. <3

Fill your trip to NYC with good vibes and great memories, and we’ll see you at the square!

HOW DO I PACK UP MY LIFE? 5 Packing Tips for Your First Year at NYU

Is there anything more exhausting and nerve-wracking than packing? You have to look at the climate, think about how long your trip is, grab backup options, and pretty much destroy your perfectly (or not so perfectly!) destroyed closet in the process. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but packing for college can be this whole process turned up to the millionth degree, unless you stay #ORGANIZED. As a (self-proclaimed) seasoned college packer, I’m here to share some tips of making sure you come prepared to have an incredible first year on campus here at NYU.
1. IF YOU LOVE IT, BRING IT!

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There is definitely something to be said for packing light and cutting out items you think you won’t need. With that being said, one of the biggest mistakes people make when coming to college is leaving behind those super-personal items that make them feel at home. For example, as an eternal overpacker, I decided that I ABSOLUTELY did not need to pack the cushy green throw pillow that I have slept on every night since I was seven, since it was bulky and wouldn’t really fit in my suitcase. I could not have been more #wrong. I couldn’t sleep my first night in the residence hall without it, and it wasn’t until my mom kindly shipped her silly daughter her security-pillow that I finally got some much-needed rest. So moral of the story: PACK WHAT YOU LOVE! Don’t worry about making it fit, if it’s important to you, you’ll make it work. A bonus: having some special items in your room will make you feel more at home in your new NYU surroundings.

 

2. REMEMBER THE WEATHER!

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Oh, late summer in New York City, how we love you! Packing at the end of August makes it easy to stay in that endless summer mindset, and trust me, those first few weeks at school are absolutely #amazing weather-wise. But by mid October, it’s getting chilly, and our first snowfall this past year came in NOVEMBER! I cannot tell you how many people forget to pack layers, especially those east coast kids who are used to living life one season at a time. We Californians are extremely terrified of the cold, and come with parkas ready to combat Winter in Westeros. The point is, that as great as the warm weather is, you don’t want to be stuck with the chills when you realize you’ve only packed for the beach. It’s easy to forget that you’ll be spending most of the year at school, and coming prepared for every sort of temperature can make the transition so much easier. Plus fall in NYC is a STYLISH time, friends. Get ready for plaid scarves, black booties and thick socks. Come ready to look cute and stay cozy.

 

3. PICTURE THIS!

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You’ve made it through packing your clothes and bedding, what do you need now? DECORATIONS! College decor in the modern era is all about string lights, tapestries, black and white versions of famous photos taken in color, and prints of quotes that sound deep but don’t really mean anything when you think about them. This is how you create an #aesthetic. But you don’t have to follow just one trend. One of the best things to bring are photos of you and your squad living up that #precollegelyfe. Printing out selfies, prom pics and fam-shots can be a good way to really make your space yours. I personally like to intersperse my photos with random postcards and art pieces. Am I trying to be more hipster? Yes. Am I hoping to be more alternative? Definitely. Is it working? Absolutely not. But my room feels like I made it and my walls look dope, and at the end of the day, that’s all you’re hoping for.

 

4. YOU DON’T NEED EVERYTHING!

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This tip is a BIG one. If I could force the fact that New York is a huge place equipped with literally every product known to mankind, including that special Kiehl’s lotion you ordered online to bring with you even though Kiehl’s has a store right next to your residence hall, I would. Manhattan has a drugstore on what feels like every corner, grocery stores every few blocks, and flagships of basically every clothing store just a subway ride away; there are quite literally 4 Urban Outfitters within the vicinity of NYU’s campus. My Point: you don’t need to bring things you can buy at school. This means toiletries, perishable snacks, and extra pairs of #trendy overalls are NOT THINGS YOU NEED TO PACK. Any product you could ever possibly need is almost certainly sold in NYC. Even though I convinced myself before college that I needed every single type of Burt’s Bees Shampoo from my Walgreens at home, the reality was that I didn’t, and the first Duane Reade I walked into had everything I’d packed with me. So #saveyourspace for those extra sweaters, and consider buying essentials when you get to NYU.

 

5. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

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At the end of the day, when all is packed and done, there is a pretty good chance that there’ll be at least one thing you forgot, or didn’t know you needed or realized you wanted after all. The thing to remember: IT’S TOTALLY OK to not get everything right on your first try. Preparing for your first semester at NYU can be a crazy, super exciting time, and nobody is going to expect you to be totally on top of your game. I made my bed the first night and didn’t even have PILLOWCASES. But you make it work, and you figure it out as you go. Your family and friends are never more than a phone call or email away, and they can always send your mementos to you at school, or you’ll get them the next time you return home. So start thinking about what you need and don’t need. Remember, it’s not the things you bring to college that make it special, it’s the people you’ll be sharing your experience with. So get out there, and #MEETYOURPEOPLE.

 

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That’s all for now, kids. I hope these tips gave you some packing peace! Now all you have to do is finish up your semester, have a great summer and get ready for NYU. We’ll see you in the Fall!

Goin’ Up A Yonder – New York Culture Shock

Although I will deny it from time to time, you are reading the words of a boy who was raised in The South (North Carolina and Alabama to be specific), which, for those unfamiliar, is a part of the United States rather different than the Northeast, and very different from New York.

So, despite the fact that I’ve wanted to come to the North and see New York City since I was a youngin’, there was still a bit of culture shock, so let’s talk about how to handle that.

 

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Memoirs of a First-Year

Picture this. You’re sitting at your desk at twelve o’clock at night eating Kraft mac n’ cheese—because you didn’t eat dinner..because you had a venti double chocolate Starbucks frappuccino at three o’clock after one of your exams…because you’re a self-indulgent college freshman whose motto became “treat yo self” after binge watching Park and Rec during your first semester (Aziz went to NYU!). You’ve got one hand on your fork and the other navigating through the twenty tabs open on your laptop. You glance at the time on your phone, sigh, and begin to reflect upon all your current thoughts.

 

Okay, so you might have had to imagine that this is where you are now. Unfortunately, it is where I am right now. Although I hope you are in a much comfier state because you have much better productivity skills than I do during finals season. I want you to stick with me for a moment.

 

What’s on your mind? Your first thought might be the three exams for your classes coming up and a final essay for your first-year expository writing class due tomorrow; these things hanging over your head like a reminder that if you don’t live at the library for the next week, your GPA might go down the drain. But that might be your brain telling you that you can’t wait for the school year to be over. But is that true?

 

Do you really want to leave? Whether you’re happy or sad about leaving college and whether you’re staying over the summer, there’s no denying that from the day you stepped foot onto campus, your world has split into two.

 

There are your friends that you’ve made here in college and the friends that you have back home. If you’re living on campus, there’s the room you have with a twin XL bed with a roommate that you adore, and the bed you slept on back home. Going home means no essays, no exams, and exponentially fewer tasks in your planner.

 

But you’re also a bit worried about going home. You see, within a course of a year, a lot has changed. You’ve grown in more ways than one—you’ve begun to understand yourself. You aren’t necessarily a radical new person (as seen by your unceasing procrastination and weekly chipotle cravings), but you are an improved person, seen from skills you learned from being independent and the quality of relationships you made with the people around you.

 

Now then, the question is, how much of that positive change is a result of your away-ness? Perhaps it is a result of your here-ness?

 

The end of your first year in college marks a transition. Going home means seeing friends who have also experienced similar positive changes. Things won’t be the same? Or will they?

 

It’s scary I suppose to think of all these changes that have occurred during my first year. Living in a large metropolitan city has definitely facilitated my strong independence as well as those changes. However, when I take a step back, I’m still the same person at the core—watching pug videos and tagging friends in Facebook posts.

 

As I push the mac n’ cheese around the cup, I’ve come to acknowledge that my overthinking is a blessing. To be agonizing between such incredible places, to have grown so much within the past year, is something that I’ll look forward to during my time at college. After all, in three and a half months, I’ll be back living in an entirely different place on campus and wearing the title of a sophomore. New year, new challenges. And I’d like to think that that’s the beauty of it all.

Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Classes Wisely

CONGRATS! You’ve been admitted to NYU and have made all the deposits.

Soon you’ll be filling out housing preferences and registering for fall classes. Now all that’s left is to shop, pack, and prepare for your adventure in the Big Apple.

While you wait in anticipation to join the likes of Gaga and the Sprouse twins, here’s a few of my pro-tips for making your schedule throughout your college career.

 

1. Decide if you want to study abroad.

If you’re like me and have a major with a really structured course load, you should start planning ASAP for how your schedule will need to be organized so that you can take classes abroad. If you tell your advisor you want to study abroad from the beginning, then they’ll really work with you to make it happen.

 

2. Keep close contact with your advisor.

Your advisor should be your best friend when it comes to your academic progress. Be sure to consult with them before taking a class not already recommended for your major. I’ve had to work with my advisor so I could find classes that I liked and would still count towards my graduate requirements.

 

Turn  into 

 

3. Figure out your preference for morning, afternoon, or late classes.

Everyone is different, and one of the great things about college is getting to choose your schedule. If you’re like a lot college students and hate waking up early, it’s probably better for you to not schedule morning classes if you don’t have to. Maybe you’re like me and can wake up for an 11am if I know I’ll finish all my classes by 2. Or you’re like my roommate who hasn’t had a class before 1pm since sophomore year. In any case, try to make the schedule fit your needs because the better it fits, the easier it will be to go to class everyday… and you SHOULD go to every class. Besides if you really hate mornings, you can just do what this guy does every morning:

 

4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Keep in mind, you’re essentially scheduling your life for the next few months. It may seem easy and fun to take all the cool classes you’ve heard of from upperclassmen, but remember that you will be doing all the work and will need time. Don’t overload your schedule by taking too many hard classes at once or ones with too many assignments if you don’t think you can balance it all. Remember that you’re still gonna want to go to club events, socialize, see movies, etc. so be sure to keep your work load manageable for your sake. Balance your life better than this guy did:

 

My Favorite NYU Student Perks

Welcome Class of 2021!! Now that you’ve finally finished the exhausting college admissions process and have committed to NYU, it’s time to talk about the ~fun stuff~. I’m sure you’re all super excited to finally make it to campus, move in to your residence hall, and start exploring New York. So here are some of my favorite perks about being a student in the Big Apple. This is, of course, not an exhaustive list of everything you can do with your NYU ID or as a student in the city…because there’s seriously a lot. 

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Summer in the Big Apple

Spring is a great time to enjoy the warm weather of NYC. People are shedding their thick winter layers, everyone is laying out, friends are catching up and brunching on terraces – it’s basically just a great time to be an NYU student (but tbh, when is it not a great time to be an NYU #amiright?). But, I think one of the most stressful decisions for some is deciding whether or not to stay in this amazing city for the summer.

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Wait List Update #2

On Monday, May 22, we will admit another round of students from our wait list. By Monday evening, we will have admitted a total of 925 students from our wait list.

Included in those offers of admission will be students awarded one of the 70 spaces we have in our new Spring Admission program. These students will arrive in January for the Spring semester. They will stay with us for the Summer term to ensure they are on track to graduate with the Class of 2021.

It is highly unlikely that we will admit anyone from this point forward to our Global Liberal Studies Program, our Meyers College of Nursing, our School of Professional Studies, or our campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. All of these programs and campuses are at capacity. It is premature to speculate on our other programs at this time but I will provide you with future updates this summer when I have more definitive information to share.

We will provide all of our applicants with a final admission decision no later than August 1. In the interim, please feel free to review our wait list FAQ if you have not done so already.

We respectfully ask that you do not send us any additional materials whatsoever at this time and that you not call or email to inquire about your status on the wait list. There is no additional information we can share at this time.

I realize how anxious you must be about receiving a final decision from us and I cannot thank you enough for your patience. Please know that we appreciate your interest in NYU and we will be in touch to provide closure as soon as possible.