Neil Seejoor/Pipe Dream Photographer

If you asked Nev Schulman what a “catfish” was 15 years ago, he probably would have just talked about the animal. Fast forward to 2014, and a new definition of the word is now in major dictionaries, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.” Incidentally, it was Schulman himself who coined the word.

But adding a new term to the dictionary is not Schulman’s only accomplishment, and it’s not the only thing he had to talk about this Thursday night during “An Evening with Nev Schulman,” hosted by the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB).

The producer, cinematographer, reality TV-show host and photographer, most famously known for his documentary “Catfish” — which followed Schulman’s deceiving online relationship — and his work on MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show,” opened up to Binghamton University students about honesty, self-esteem, online presence and even his own past as somewhat of a self-described delinquent.

Schulman explained that he was kicked out of kindergarten, middle school, high school and college.

“I crashed some cars, got arrested,” Schulman said in a short video he played for the crowd. He later joked, “If there had been Yelp back then, I would not have a very good review.”

As with any good character arc, Schulman explained that he finally hit rock bottom. After getting into a physical altercation with his best friend and having his brother tell him that he didn’t like him, Schulman realized that he needed to make a change.

“Sometimes it’s those brutally honest moments in your life where you hear things or things happen that really suck or hurt,” Schulman said, “that really motivate you to change.”

And through those changes, Schulman learned a thing or two to impart to a college audience. The TV star brought up topics like the dangers of sexting and posting things online, saying “I’d hate to see any of your futures compromised.”

He managed to be a motivational speaker and public safety announcer all-in-one. That being said, the crowd of fans in the audience took it all in.

“I thought what he had to say was really inspiring,” said Lauren Gutierrez, a sophomore majoring in Psychology, “especially about how we’re in a place in our lives where we really have to think about who we’re making friends with, what we’re putting online, what we want to do with our future.”

Schulman struck a chord with the crowd, which filled up an impressive amount of seats in the Osterhout Concert Hall.

“Normally we expect like 250 students to come out to this and we got a number of like 510, so that’s crazy,” said Rachel Winship, the SAPB’s insight committee chair. “I think it’s also really awesome because what he’s talking about is really relevant to us as students and what we’re going through with tinder…”

And on the topic of Tinder, Schulman shared his opinion on it in a conversation with Pipe Dream.

“I’m a big advocate of relationships long or short and taking chances and searching for love,” Schulman said. “And if Tinder’s a great place to do that [then] fine.”

Yet he has his reservations, saying that he worries that it has become a crutch for people.

“I think a lot of people … use the search for the activity of dating and/or sex as a way to really just sort of avoid dealing with things or figuring out what they really want that will make them happy,” he said.

All this being said, Nev is a person who adamantly believes in love, which is incredible when you think of how he was once duped (this was the premise of his documentary “Catfish”). However, it is a perfect example of his belief that even if you don’t follow a common route, you might just find something great.

“Sometimes the best way to get somewhere is not the most obvious, sort of, path that everyone goes down,” Schulman said.

And he is happy with how things turned out, including his original “catfish” encounter with a woman he met online.

“Let me be an example for you guys,” he said. “You can go from the bottom… and end up here.”