First-Years Feel Unprepared for NYU Academics After Welcome Week

One week into their NYU careers, first-years told WSN that Welcome Week’s emphasis on events designed for mingling left them unsure of what to expect from their upcoming classes.

“Bodak Yellow” gets a group of first-years dancing at Bed, Bath and Beyond After Dark in 2018, an annual Welcome Week event. (Photo by Sam Klein)

With Welcome Week complete for the class of 2023, some first-years have found community through the programming, but feel unprepared going into classes on Tuesday.

Welcome Week is a series of events designed to help first-year students transition into their time at NYU. From Drag Bingo to Unforgetta-Ball, events were available for students of all interests. WSN spoke to 24 first-years about their takeaways from Welcome Week, with several expressing that despite being able to make friends, they did not feel academically prepared.

“When you go to college, you don’t really know what to expect but there are a lot of different people you can meet here so the amount of events did make it diverse and easy for everyone to fit in,” Liberal Studies first-year Sahil Doshi said. “Meeting people and living here is good parts of [Welcome Week] but we still need to learn how to balance our time academically.”

Steinhardt first-year Julia Moser echoed Doshi’s sentiment, saying that she did not feel ready for classes to start on Tuesday.

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“They needed more events that would prepare you for the first week of classes because I only had a couple in my major and now I don’t really know what to expect from my classes,” Moser said. “Community-wise I’m prepared, but in terms of being in my classes and being a student, I’m not ready.”

Liberal Studies first-year Adriana Ugarte agreed with Moser.

“I got to meet new people but also when school starts next week, I’m not going to be prepared,” Ugarte said.

Many of the events are intended to provide opportunities to socialize, although students also have required introductory events attached to their schools and majors.

Other students were not as concerned over the non-academic focus. Liberal Studies first-year Nicole Shiao said Welcome Week helped her get acquainted with NYU and its structure.

“It helped you figure out where to go, what places you need to be at a certain time, how to navigate the city and how much time to get from place to place,” Shiao said. “It helped me understand the climate of the student body and the atmosphere of the school.”

University spokesperson John Beckman said that Welcome Week intentionally includes sessions focused on helping students with academic success. He mentioned events that focus on time management or introduce students to the Academic Resource Center.

“It’s interesting feedback, and we will think about it and discuss it internally,” Beckman wrote in an email to WSN. “That said, I would note the following: most of a student’s academic life takes place within his or her school, and that starts the week after Welcome Week, as the schools and colleges individually begin to introduce students to their academic culture, picking up where the University-wide welcome week leaves off with a more academic orientation.”

Additional reporting by Mina Mohammadi and Roshni Raj.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 3, 2019, print edition. Email Victor Porcelli and Claire Jones at [email protected]

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