Losing my first semester has made me distinctly aware of its value. I am a first-year transfer student — yes, that is a thing. I spent my first semester at another university and came to NYU in January of this year. Although I am still on track to graduate and have not lost out on many opportunities, there are some not so obvious consequences to transferring.
The largest consequence, in my opinion, has been not being able to room in a first-year residence hall. When preparing to transfer, I looked up the different housing options at NYU and expected to be rooming in Rubin or Third North or Lipton — but upon applying for housing, none of these were an option for me. Instead, I could only choose from upperclassmen dorms, and ended up in Carlyle Court.
Rooming with all sophomores as a first-year means a few things. It means that everyone except me has known each other for at least a year. It means I am the most likely to be talked down to. It means that I no longer have the opportunity to make a life-long friend with my first-year roommate — something I was skeptical of prior to college but now see some merit in. Instead, despite the efforts of my roommates to be inclusive, I will always be somewhat of the odd-one-out.
At my prior institution, I had become good friends with my roommate. We had bonded for some time, learning each other’s quirks and making an effort to be friendly, as we were both going into a new environment without any prior friends. That mutual motivation to not only be friendly, but to become friends, is not there entering a school mid-year. It doesn’t help that the first-year friends I have made are generally not nearby, making it harder to reach out and go with the easy “want to get dinner at the dining hall” route to friendship.
I am not trying to feel sorry for myself — OK, maybe I am a little. I just learned, the hard way, the value of coming into a school with others, eager to make friendships, ready to conquer college together. For non-transfer students, appreciate that experience. For incoming first-years, take advantage of it.
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Email Victor Porcelli at [email protected].