A year after my own arrival in the city, another Welcome Week simmers to an end and the freshman class reflects on its first impressions of NYU.
I walked into my own information session on my first visit to NYU with the blind and unwavering faith that my next four years would be spent in Washington Square Park.
My first impression of the university was laced with romanticized ideas of life in the big city, and although I’ve learned that Times Square isn’t exactly representative of New York, my view of this colorful city has not changed drastically from my first moments within its historic walls.
Steinhardt freshman Sinead Anae said that her initial impression of the university was molded by the sheer contrast between New York City and her hometown in California.
“My first impression of NYU was probably a common one,” Anae said. “I was definitely overwhelmed when I first arrived. However, more so I was excited to be in this environment. Coming from the West Coast, I wasn’t exposed to East Coast lifestyle before attending NYU so I experienced a bit of a culture shock when I first arrived.”
For Anae, Welcome Week has only reinforced her thoughts on the vibrancy and excitement of NYU, but she has come to realize that the independence of the campus and the students is also a defining trait.
Some students, such as Tandon freshman Jesse Maloney, said NYU has proven itself extremely different from their impressions prior to attending. In particular, Maloney said his perception of Tandon and its role in the NYU community was incorrect.
“Before coming to NYU I heard that Tandon and the Washington Square schools were worlds apart, and I anticipated a sort of seclusion from the rest of NYU,” Maloney said. “However, I think the people who say Tandon is basically not NYU are entirely wrong. I’ve met so many
people from other schools throughout Welcome Week and seen many come over to the Brooklyn side. Tandon is not secluded at all, it just requires a little longer commute.”
Another disparity between Maloney’s initial perception and his experience at the university is in the atmosphere on campus. He said NYU provides an impressive balance between academia and fun.
“Welcome Week has been so loud, vibrant and fun, and I’m glad NYU can be a pretty prestigious school while still having a great time,” Maloney said.
Haseeb Waseem, a freshman in Steinhardt, agreed that the community on campus is much less divided than what he thought beforehand.
“I expected the community to be much more separated and divided, especially given how some residence halls are generally farther than the main campus, as well as how Tandon is in Brooklyn,” Waseem said. “I’m pleasantly surprised to say that I’ve gotten close to many people from a wide variety of halls even though I’m in Lipton, which is right next to the park.”
Waseem said that the vast number of clubs andactivities offered at the school also came as a surprise to him, but most importantly the people were more relaxed and helpful than anticipated.
“I was surprised by how generally chill a lot of the staff tends to be,” Waseem said. “During the Presidential Welcome, I never felt like I was being talked down to, and it’s very refreshing coming from high school to that.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 5 print edition. Email Jemima McEvoy at [email protected].