We ask Julia Tymoshenko from NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021 to reflect on her college journey, and she shares with us the friendships formed, how she’s grown, and her favorite NYUAD memories.
Name: Julia Tymoshenko
Major: Social Research and Public Policy
Friendships are perhaps the main reason why I am so sad about leaving NYU Abu Dhabi. During the first few months of the pandemic, my friends and I got stranded in different parts of the world having to finish our semester alone. I realized how valuable and amazing it is to be able to spontaneously gather for lunch with your best friends. Being away from each other was hard because we got so used to being together all the time.
My friends come from different places: Ukraine, Macedonia, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, the USA... and probably more! I met my core friendship group at the beginning of Marhaba, on a bus trip to IKEA. It seemed like a coincidence but it feels like we were destined to become friends. Even when I went on a study away semester to Madrid, I was drawn to other NYUAD students that I have not met before. It feels like NYUAD students have a more global perspective on things and that’s why it is easier to communicate with them.
I remember feeling intimidated (in a good way) by how smart everyone around me were. At first, I really lacked confidence and was afraid to speak up in class. Luckily, I got wonderful professors who encouraged me to voice my opinions and ideas and to validate my worth.
I’m still very close with Lecturer of Writing Camilla Boisen, my first year writing seminar professor. She has been a real role model and mentor for me.
Connections like these are so special at NYUAD because the student body is small here, so you can easily build long-lasting relationships with your professors.
Today I am so much more confident in my knowledge and I know how to recognize my worth.
My favorite thing about being an NYUAD student is being able to explore new places with my friends. Apart from learning so much about the UAE, we also got to travel to other places for study away semesters and J-Terms.
I remember when we were studying in NYU Madrid, my friends and I decided to rent a car to visit northern Spain for the weekend. It turned out to be one of the most memorable trips in my life. We were trying new food, communicating in Spanish with the local people, seeing breathtaking landscapes, and just enjoying our time together.
Another memory that will always stay with me after graduation are all the late night chats with my friends. We talked about everything from personal lives to world issues.
Studying remotely during my last year without my friends by my side would have been unbearable. Luckily, NYUAD did everything possible so that we could come return to campus to complete our final year.
Having friends near has really helped me to persevere through this very difficult year. I still miss being in the classroom with fellow classmates. While I miss the sense of community, my close friends have helped me to maintain a sense of it. Their support makes me so much stronger. I really will miss having all my friends around me after graduation.