Heading off to college is a huge period of transition for students and BUILD Series, a live interview series in New York City, wants to help ease some of the anxiety around the freshman year experience.
Host Matt Forte recently interviewed three current college students at New York University — Wade Cushner, Nettie Jones, and Liz Schilling — about parent relationships in college, making new friends, dealing with roommates, and how to get through the transition.
All three students had a different journey to college. Schilling studied abroad her first year; Jones went to a school close to home before transferring to NYU; and Cushner followed a more traditional path from high school to the dorms.
But all three offered similar advice about making friends and dealing with the fear and anxiety that can come from going to a new school and not knowing anyone.
Schilling pointed out that everyone feels the same way their first year. But she said that you shouldn’t let that fear push you to make friends that aren’t a good fit.
“You’re trying so hard because you’re so afraid of not having anybody at all,” she said. “Something that I probably would have loved to have heard from someone older than me is, ‘Hey, if you have one or two, like, really solid friends that’s enough and you’ll find more people.’”
Cushner said that friendships change throughout your college experience, and that’s okay.
“As time goes on, just be open to the way those things evolve,” he said. “The people that are really important to you and that you connect with will stay around.”
Beyond making friends, Jones also shared the top advice she wished she would have heard when she was starting out.
“Don’t sweat it,” she said. “Stressing over all the little things, all of the due dates, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the mental struggle you have…There is always someone there who can help you through it.”
Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s senior communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.