Welcome Week Stories: Friends From Around the World

I was possibly the epitome of freshman trash when I started NYU.

I was insanely excited to leave my small hometown in Georgia and meet people from all over the world in college. Within the first few days of Welcome Week, I had a group of 10+ people I hung out with, talked to in a group chat and, most importantly, coordinated Welcome Week activities with. That Welcome Week Events app was made for me.

We did everything — Drag Bingo, Casino Night, Coney Island day trips, Good Vibes Ball, Disney karaoke, you name it. Outside of NYU-sponsored activities, my new friends and I wandered around Washington Square Park at midnight, got hit on by creepy men and joined other random freshmen for late-night gelato runs.

We rarely took advantage of the endless time we had to venture out past Greenwich Village. What more could we possibly want when the NYU bubble gave us endless fun? We were truly lame.

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A lot of people will tell you that no matter your Welcome Week experience, you probably won’t stay friends with the people you hung out with — but I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be true. If you find the right group of people to spend time with, no matter how lame or cool your Welcome Week nights are, some of them might end up staying in your life well after the first week has come and gone.

My best friend at NYU was one of my Welcome Week friends — we’ve been there for each other through internship success, boy troubles and pizza cravings. I spent my last few hours of freshman year with her, wandering around the West Village late at night and sitting by the Hudson Pier, staring at the Freedom Tower, and we’ve spent every week of summer counting down to the day we get to descend upon 99 Cent Fresh Pizza once more.

A guy who was once, to me, just some kid from Brazil is now the guy I can call on to rescue me from stressing myself out over essays or to stay on the phone with me while avoiding creepy men at the park. We’ve never shared a class or club together, but he remains one of the most important people in my life.

To be sure, I met some of my best friends at college months after Welcome Week memories faded. But their presence in my life didn’t erase that of my first-week friends. Just because you aren’t obligated to hang out with your Welcome Week friends after classes start doesn’t mean you shouldn’t — they’ve been with you through your first week of freedom, and they can absolutely be there as you continue to grow and learn past that.

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 27 print edition. Email Natasha Roy at [email protected]

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