Kaitlyn McNab, a first-year student from New Jersey, couldn’t wait to move to New York City and become an NYU student. But when she finally arrived, her confidence suddenly disappeared. Was college going to give her a never-ending case of social anxiety? As soon as her family helped her unpack and left for home, Kaitlyn sat in her dorm room feeling hopeless. And then Welcome Week happened.
I went to the Bed Bath & Beyond After Dark Party with my amazing RA and my roommate. The store was open for NYU students only and had music, games, and lots of giveaways, but I was freaking out about even holding a conversation! Then my RA suggested a walk in the West Village, and all at once, I was at ease. The three of us chatted and bonded over favorite movies and books.
Typical first-year student, I got lost. When I finally found my classes, I fell in love with NYU even more. I took an Africana studies course called (De) Tangling the Business of Black Women’s Hair. We looked at why hair holds so much significance in the black community and analyzed its history through the lenses of race, gender, and class. Cool, right?!
Time management. The complete freedom of college is every teenager’s dream, but unless you can prioritize straight off the bat, it can be a nightmare. After all, our campus extends into the greatest city in the world, and it’s so exciting to be here. It took me an entire semester to figure out how to avoid writing papers at 3 a.m. the night before they were due.
I went to just about every marquee event. I took the subway with nearly 6,000 other new students to Madison Square Garden for the Presidential Welcome. I danced at a silent rave sponsored by Tidal. I circled Manhattan on the Moonlight Cruise. Welcome Week introduced me to the truly vibrant NYU student lifestyle. The only thing I expected from NYU was the experience of a lifetime—and it started right away.
Course: Caribbean Women Writers, taught by Cristel Jusino Díaz
NYC Thing: The Nuyorican Poets Cafe
NYU Thing: Palladium Dining Hall stir-fry