10 Signs You Belong at NYU

So. You’ve written the essays, taken the SATs, and sent off all your applications. You’ve waited (and waited, and waited, and waited) around for those dreaded admissions letters. And finally, the day came–you’re admitted to NYU!


Now what?! Looking back, it may seem like sending in all those applications was the easy part. But the tough part is now–making your decision on where to go to college.

I’m here to help you out. I’ve compiled this list of some characteristics that might help you realize you’re meant to be a Violet.

(Yeah, our team name is the Violets. The Bobcat is just the mascot. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.)


1. You’re a go-getter.

If there’s anything us NYU-ers have in common, it’s this: we know how to hustle. Almost every NYU student has some crazy combination of club memberships, sports teams, jobs, internships, and research teams on top of their full load of classes. I got my first job my first semester at NYU, a second job the following semester, picked up an internship the next year, and now, in my Junior year, I’m also on the board of two clubs. It’s a lot, but that’s the life of an NYU student. (We drink a lot of coffee.) If you’re the kind of person who goes after what they want–no matter how difficult it may be–you’ll feel right at home here.


2. You have multiple academic interests, and don’t want to be tied down.

You probably have a major already picked out, but that isn’t enough for you. When I was applying to colleges, it was tough picking one major I cared about the most out of all the things I was interested in–Psychology, Education, Child Development, Gender Studies, etc. I came to NYU as an Applied Psychology major in Steinhardt, and even though that’s still my primary major, I’ve added a double major in Gender and Sexuality Studies in CAS and have had plenty of room to play with my electives, taking classes in Classical Mythology (Percy Jackson changed my life in middle school), photography, art history, and more! Even within my major, there is so much flexibility for taking the sorts of classes I want to be taking. Working with my advisor, I’ve worked education and child development courses into my psych major as well. Because NYU has so many areas of study available, there’s really no limit to where your curriculum can take you. That was really important to me in choosing a college, and I’m so glad everything turned out just how I needed it to.


3. You’d rather go to a museum than a football game.

Okay, so maybe you’re not a museum person (a few years ago, it was hard for me to stay awake in any sort of museum–total snooze fest in my opinion). But after coming to New York, I’ve started to understand the hype!

Being an NYU student means forgoing some more “traditional” college experiences like homecoming football games for more ~classy~ activities like heading to the MoMA or a stroll through Central Park. Our NYU traditions are less SuperBowl and more SuperStage–our UltraViolet Live (UVL) talent show, for example, is an annual event that brings out a lot of our student body and all of our student spirit. Think “YASSSSS GAGA*” over “TOUCHDOWN!”

If you’re a sports fan and thinking I’m losing you, don’t stop reading yet. We do have a ton of NCAA teams and club and intramural sports, as well! Personally, I have a ton of friends on the Women’s Basketball Team, and I make it out to quite a few games every season! Plus, you’re always just a subway ride away from a Yankees or Mets game! I actually saw my first ever NBA game through an NYU event. Something for everyone, truly.

*The original “Yasss Gaga” maaaaay have been spoken at UVL, since Lady Gaga performed in it when she was a student here! Well, she wasn’t known as Gaga yet, but I’m sure they felt it deep down.


4. You’re original.

NYU students are some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met in my life. Whether it be fashion choices (or, if you’re like me, constantly changing hair colors) or academic pursuits, NYU students aren’t afraid to show their uniqueness. Whether you’re an engineering student who also dances, an arts student also deeply into debate teams, or a Sternie who also loves theatre, you’ve found your home. No two NYU students are the same, and it makes meeting fellow students so much more interesting. It’s pretty much the utopia presented in High School Musical (post “Stick to the Status Quo” era), but, like, in college.


5. You’re passionate.

Do what you love, love what you do may seem like a cliché, but there isn’t a better way to describe the passion embodied by NYU students. We aren’t here just to take classes on the things we care about, but to get deeply involved in order to begin to make real, tangible change in the world. NYU students aren’t here because they have to be, we’re here to get the tools we need to go out in the world, and do the thing we care about in the best way possible. Education students are already student teachers in the field–I got a job working in a preschool the first semester I was here! Most psych students in my program are, like me, already on research teams or even conducting their own research about the specific question they’re dying to answer. My friends in hospitality programs have internships in some of the biggest hotels in the world, my sports management friends work with NYC teams directly. Our learning happens outside of the classroom just as much as inside, and that’s because NYU students don’t want to wait to do what we came here to do.


6. You’re adventurous.

Moving to New York City at seventeen or eighteen years old? No problem. Going to a school with 25,000 other people? Sure. You don’t hesitate to meet new people. When your friend texts you about the newest Instagram-food-trend, you’re all in to try it. When you get invited to some random Facebook event on campus, you head on over to see what it’s all about. NYU has so much to offer, and in order to really get the most out of being a student here, you have to be ready to step out of your comfort zone. I’ve gone to amazing fashion shows, screenings of movies I’ve never heard of, and eaten foods I can’t pronounce because I’ve been willing to go with the flow! A school with so many people means there will be a plethora of interests and activities presented to you, and I recommend you take advantage of it. If you’re the kind of person who is up to try new things, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that come your way!


7. You want to travel the world.

Luckily for us, NYU extends way beyond New York City. We have fourteen campuses all over the world, and it is so incredibly easy to take advantage of the study away sites. My very first year at NYU, the Steinhardt Dean’s Global Honors Program provided me with a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina over Spring Break! I took a Developmental Psychology class over the Spring semester and then traveled with my professor and classmates to conduct interviews and observations of Argentine children, comparing those experiences with the same interviews and observations here in New York. Then, my sophomore year, I spent my entire Fall semester in Florence, Italy, and “Bello” doesn’t even begin to describe its beauty. I took Italian language classes, a photography course surveying the city, an Art History course complete with (free!) field trips to Venice and Rome, and a course called Family and Gender in Modern Italy, bringing a uniquely global perspective to my Gender and Sexuality Studies major.

If you have a travel bug, NYU is unparalleled when it comes to providing study away opportunities to its students. Spend a summer in Athens, a semester in Paris, and a January in Shanghai. Who knows where your time at NYU will take you!

With that being said, though, let’s not forget the most important city in which you’ll be spending your time….


8. You’re obsessed with NYC.

Ah, New York. Dubbed the greatest city in the world by the cast of Hamilton, it exceeds all expectations. Living in this city is a feeling I can’t describe. Sometimes, when I’m walking home, I just stop and look around and am awed by my own life. Living here is an endless storm of possibility, entrainment, beauty and fun, and everything you could ever want it to be. The skyline takes my breath away to this day, and even though I now consider Times Square one of the most horrible places in the entire world, I can’t help but look at the tourists and evilly laugh to myself that they have to leave and I get to live here. If you’ve been to New York, you may have gotten the feeling I’m describing. If you haven’t been yet, get ready for an experience like no other. Don’t tell my hometown, but NYC is the only place I could imagine spending this time of my life. I think the city has made my college years about twelve million times better than any other college town, and has prepared me for life after graduation more than anywhere else could. The energy is electric and there’s always something happening, and day after day after day, I am amazed that a place can be this beautiful.

With that all being said, I also would be doing a disservice if I didn’t say that New York City is difficult. It gets freezing in the winter and the snow looks absolutely disgusting about .8 seconds after it touches the ground. It’s hard to cross the street with the puddles of melted snow and the dirty piles of mush surrounding them. In the summer, the heat is unbearable and it’s impossible not to be a sweaty mess as soon as you leave your apartment. Everything here is expensive and I expect to live in an apartment about the size of my dining room table at home for the foreseeable future. New York is gross, and people are always in a hurry, and tourists walk way too slow when I’m trying to get to class. A lot of people hate it here.

But I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else in the world. This city is my home and I’m so lucky to be here. Knowing the hard parts, though, is important, and brings me to my next point….


9. You’re tough.

There’s a reason people say “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Sometimes, the city really tests your limits, and so does NYU. Classes here are difficult, and you have to work really, really hard to stay on top of everything and get the sorts of grades I’m sure you’re used to in high school. You have to be willing to put in hours and hours of your time to succeed and to flourish both academically and personally. Like I’ve been saying, NYU students have a lot on their plates, and sometimes it seems overwhelming. You have to be able to get through the more difficult times (I’m looking at you, finals week) to experience the great times. As much as I love college, the last thing it is is easy. Perseverance is key–be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. I promise, though, it’s worth it.


All in all, it boils down to the one characteristic that truly matters:


10. You. Bleed. Violet.

Picking the perfect school comes down to this: can you picture yourself here? When you look at pictures of campus, or read articles like this one, what do you feel? When I went on my first tour of NYU, I was 14 years old. It changed everything for me–I knew, then and there, that this was where I needed to be. Maybe it’s the same for you (heeeey, Early Decision peeps), or maybe it will take some more time. All that matters is that you want to be an NYU student because, somewhere deep down, you know this is where you belong. And if that ends up being the case…


Good luck!


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