I transferred to NYU my sophomore year after having spent my first year at a school in Boston where I struggled to make friends. The one place I had managed to make connections was editing for the student newspaper there, so, naturally, when I came to NYU, I decided to join WSN. Little did I know that this would be one of the best decisions of my college career.
Hours and hours of working in the office, sometimes not getting out until the sun had already come up, was a bonding experience like no other. Movies always show this, so it’s not hard to picture: a group of young people up at all hours, sitting around just talking and laughing with one another. Add in a lot of hard work, trips to Westside Market for a late-night snack and laughing at things that are only funny because it’s four in the morning and you have what working at this newspaper was like. There is also the incredibly rewarding feeling of getting to see all of your hard work pay off when you hold a copy of the newspaper in your hands or the pride you feel when one of your friends mentions that they heard about something from reading it in WSN.
WSN encompasses what a good support system is supposed to — it helped me grow as a person. I was shy and awkward in high school, but through my time at the newspaper, I became more comfortable in my interpersonal relationships. And for that I am truly grateful. Through WSN, I have been lucky to work with so many talented people who I call my friends. I know that they are going to go on to do amazing things because so many of them are already doing amazing things, and I cannot wait to see their journeys. I know that I will encourage and support them every step of the way.
Now for the advice section of this spiel. For first-years or incoming first-years, the strongest piece of advice I can give you is to join a club or activity. Making friends at NYU can be hard: this school is very big. It can be easy to get caught up in academics or the many opportunities being in New York City gives you and forget to keep in touch with people. Being in a club makes this easier, plus you get to do something that you are passionate about.
Academically I say: raise your hand and ask the stupid question. You might feel embarrassed but someone else was probably thinking it too. It might be something the professor has overlooked. Go to your professor’s office hours. They have them for a reason. Professors are here to help you, and that is a resource that you should definitely utilize. Take classes on things that interest you, even if they aren’t your major.
Finally, enjoy yourself. You’re in college in New York City; there’s so much to see and do. Try going above 14th Street or out of Manhattan — there’s a lot to do in those areas. Or if you’re sick of New York, go abroad. I went to Prague last spring, and it gave me a new outlook on life. Whatever you do with your time at NYU, make the most of it.
Read more from Washington Square News’ “While You Were Here” Issue.