Your Guide to the (Seven) Friends You’ll Meet in Yeshiva University
Friendship at YU can be a funny thing . It doesn’t seem to work the same way here as it does in other places. We all know that making new friends can sometimes be harder than it looks. Approaching a complete stranger in your new course, going outside your comfort zone in the beis, talking to actual people over potato chips and soda at a YC-Stern mixer, and even saying a simple hello to the people you see every day, can all be extremely difficult. It’s for this reason that people in YU often don’t feel the need to branch out and seem to be content with the people that they already know.
What is sometimes overlooked is that there are a multitude of different types of people to meet on campus; you’ve just got to put the effort into look for them. It’s easy to get lost in your academics or learning and put your social life on hold. It’s easy to stick with the friends you came to YU with. And well, let’s face it, who’s got extra energy after waking up early for minyan and ending class late at night to meet people?
But friends shouldn’t be overlooked. A big group of friends will help you through the daunting moments you’ll face: the test you bombed, the meeting that didn’t go well, and the stress of finals. In order to survive college you’ll need what I’ve coined a, “Justice League of Friends,” each with a different talent that can be brought to the table. There are seven types of friends who you’ll meet during your time here. These friends will be the foundation of your success and will be the people you turn to the most. Because at the end of the day, who are you going to go to for Shabbat when your plans fall through last minute? Who’s going to help you cram for a midterm after you decided to watch three seasons of “How I Met Your Mother” instead of studying? And who’s going to comfort you when you’ve had a rough day?
The seven friends you’ll meet at Yeshiva University:
THE NEW YORKER (Can be found anywhere)
This is the person who you can always go to for Shabbat. During the year, their house will be your home away from home. They might not be able to find your state on a map, but they’ll be your tour guides while you’re here and won’t mind showing you around New York. Your outings with them will include museums and parks, but will mostly be sporting events. They’ll even answer all of the questions you have about subways—even after you explain to them that the only subways you have back home are restaurants.
THE BACHUR (Can be found in any Beis on Campus)
This is the person who you’ll learn with on a regular basis. Their constant time in the beis will push you to attend night seder and follow up with everything you promised yourself you’d learn when you got back from Israel. Not only will they influence your Torah study, but they’ll also push you to trade in that t-shirt for a button down, guilt you into wearing tzitzit, and increase your davening to three times a day. They’ll even be your go-to person when you have a halakhic question, or at least the ones you think are too stupid to ask your Rabbi.
THE STUDENT LEADER (Can be found being loud at any event)
This is the person who defines the words “Yeshiva University.” They take an active role in every club, council, paper, and leadership position. They’ll give you advice about which programs to get involved with. Remember, it doesn’t hurt to be friends with the person who has an “in” with every administrator on campus. Their involvement will motivate you to join more extra-curricular activities and inspire you to run for a high level position, so when it comes time to apply for a summer job you can include more than your six years at Moshava.
THE HONOR STUDENT (Can be found on the fourth floor of the YU library)
This is the person who gets an “A” without studying. You’ll frantically hunt down this person late a night when you need help finishing that pesky lab. They’re the type willing to spend three hours on a Sunday night helping you study for your upcoming midterm no matter how many excuses you give them about having been too “sick” to study during the semester. Their wide range of knowledge and vocabulary will spur intellectual conversations that will encourage you to take more trips to the library and try harder in your academics. After a while you might even decide to read one of the many books that’s been sitting on your shelf since the beginning of the semester.
THE FUN ONE (Can be found anywhere that isn’t on campus)
This is the person who knows how to chill. They’ll teach you how to balance studying and fun at the same time and show you that college is just as much about enjoying yourself as it is about grades (though not as much the latter). They’re the exception to the rule that fun is underrated at YU. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we go to school in New York, but the fun one will remind you that “the city is our campus.” Be careful. Before you know it you’ll be trading in the fifth floor of the YU library on a Tuesday night for a night out in town.
THE STERN GIRL (Can be found on any floor of the YU library)
This is the person who is going to be your “closest” friend. Somehow she knows you best. For some reason, she’s willing to listen to your long list of problems. She’s willing to set you up with girls she knows you can’t get. Because of her large network of friends, you’ll meet new and interesting people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Your friendship will force you to change those pants you wear four times a week, shower more than twice a week, and eat food without your hands. She’ll also make you feel less creepy about spending every Shabbat in Stern.
THE ALUMNI (You don’t find them—they find you)
This is the person who already finished college but lingers around imparting wisdom upon current students. They walk around the Heights Lounge and talk to students in the café, trying to trade their funny stories for free sushi. They’re willing to take you under their wing and share all the secrets they’ve discovered over the years. Because they’ve gone through it already, they’ll be able to teach you the essentials, like what to major in, which professors to steer clear of, and why people on campus are obsessed with the Maccabeats.
On their own, these friends won’t be able to help you overcome every facet of life at YU, but together they form a cohesive group of friends unmatched by any other. It’s because of these seven friends that you’ll thrive in college. Now it’s up to you to find them.