What is NYU like?

My friend Jackie just started at NYU this past year! Although she can’t speak to a normal year at NYU, she generously offered to share her experiences with you here. Hope you can enjoy it vicariously.


What is NYU like?

Some of my favorite memories from my first year at NYU are walking around for hours with my friend Theo, a native New Yorker. One of the first weeks after he and I met, we walked all the way from NYU’s campus to Central Park and back as the sun set. Every glimpse I caught of a beautiful mural or brick buildings that complement each other perfectly was accompanied with the thought, “wow! I actually live here!” I can’t begin to count how many times throughout the year I had that realization, accompanied with the knowledge that I get to spend the rest of my college experience in New York City.

My time at NYU this year is by no means representative of the typical NYU freshman experience, but NYU has specific characteristics that undoubtedly persist without a pandemic. NYU’s student body is extremely diverse, with no single race making up more than 25% of its population. This means that, for the first time in my life, I am the only white person in my friend group, which includes an international student from South Korea.

The core curriculum courses I have taken this year, specifically the First Year Seminar and the Writing the Essay Class, have been incredibly inclusive and progressive in their curriculum and in the class discussions we have that are facilitated by the professor. LGBTQ+ rights, racial equality, and feminism are issues that are emphasized as valid and crucial to the improvement of our society in NYU’s classes. 

Many people warned me that while New York City can be an enchanting place to live, it can quickly become a very lonely city. I have made great friends this year, whom I have really enjoyed spending my weekends out and about with, but I do understand this warning better than I had hoped I would. I spent many days without leaving my hall or seeing anyone other than those in my computer screen. It is easy to find yourself without plans to see friends for days on end, and without your family nearby, it can be really, really lonely. I think it just takes a special effort to make sure you aren’t spending so much time alone.

I am so excited to spend the rest of my college experience in the city. I’m even hoping to study abroad in Shanghai this spring! Getting to spend some of your best years in New York City is a magical experience and I’m so glad my college experience will forever tie me to one of the best cities in the world.

Thank you tons Jacqueline! So excited for your next three years of outdoor life at NYU!