NYU Seniors Reflect on Their First Time Away From Home
September 5, 2017
As one of the world’s top tier universities located in one the globe’s cultural and financial epicenters, NYU attracts new students from near and far. Over 6,500 freshman were predicted to join the NYU community this year, many of whom will experience their first real time away from home.
CAS senior Nihar Tomy, like many incoming NYU students, left his home country to pursue his education and expand his horizons. Raised in Mumbai, India, Tomy is preparing to finish his last year at NYU studying economics. For much of his life, Tomy was expected to continue on with his schooling and become an engineer in India.
Around the 11th grade, however, Tomy realized that to actualize his dream of success in finance, he would need to take a leap away from home. These were not his only reasons for leaving though.
“I grew up with the same friends since I was a child and all of our schooling was just a few miles apart,” Tomy said. “I wanted to experience something different.”
Tomy spent his freshman year studying abroad at NYU’s Paris campus. Tomy says he remembers his first day in Paris perfectly as he was both excited and terrified.
A moment that most stands out about Tomy’s first day on his own was his failed attempt to order a kebab. After struggling to order in fractured French, Tomy said he felt intensely overwhelmed.
In a hurried panic, Tomy said he darted out of the kebab shop and within minutes found himself heating up instant ramen, alone in his dorm room.
While his first year was difficult, Tomy says it prepared him well for New York.
“To be honest, [the transition] was so easy,” Tomy said. “One of the things I knew coming into NYU that I did not have in Paris was a good group of friends and people that I could call up and hang out with. I knew I had matured way more.”
While some like Tomy come from across the world for a new experience, others are living on their own with considerably less distance from home. CAS senior Juliette Murphy has called Manhattan home for her entire life.
For Murphy, the decision to come to NYU was heavily influenced by the city itself.
“I wanted to stay in New York because I knew that I really like living here,” Murphy said via email.
Murphy, like a number of NYU students who are originally from the city but chose to live away from home, have a unique experience of a constant setting mixed in with a totally new way of living.
Unlike Tomy and other students who leave their states or countries to attend NYU, Murphy says that homesickness has never been a major issue for her. While the thought of remaining close to one’s family for college may seem off-putting to some, Murphy says she relishes it.
“I get to see my family and friends from home all the time, which is really great,” she said.
Murphy, who studied abroad in Paris her junior year, strongly encourages new students to consider studying abroad.
Tomy also advised fellow students to travel and be open minded but emphasized the importance of branching out when making friends.
“NYU is truly an international college,” Tomy said, “and you will meet people from all over the globe and from every continent pretty much.”
“You want to relate to people not just because you share the same nationality or the same skin color or interests,” said Tomy. “You don’t want to shackle yourself.”
Tomy says that in some ways, New York reminds him of Mumbai. It’s this busy and hectic lifestyle that makes the university so unique.
“NYU is a dry run for adult life,” Tomy said.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 5 print edition. Email Mack DeGeurin at [email protected]