New York University
BackgroundInterview Date:December 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: Half Mexican/Half White
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Seattle, WA. There was 450 in my graduating class. There is a strong culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: Greek Life, First-Year Abroad Program in London. [NYU sends more students abroad than any other American university.]
How has Greek Life impacted your experience so far?
It’s been really positive. Since I was abroad, I didn’t get that involved in many organizations or meet as many people during my freshman year. Greek life paired me with like-minded individuals and gave me a sense of community that NYU did not initially offer.
How was it blending back on campus after being abroad for a year?
It was fine for me because I’m a very adaptable person. It was just hard to get used to getting around. I know it was a little difficult for other people because living abroad makes that place your home. I think NYU could make this transition a bit better, but it’s okay.
Is there anything you feel NYU has done especially well or poorly so far academically?
I’m in the Liberal Studies Core Curriculum right now but want to transfer [out of the curriculum] in order to double major in Journalism and Economics. The Liberal Studies have a lot of required courses, which makes it hard to branch out and figure out what I want to do. I want to double major but didn’t have a lot of room to explore other classes [only being part of Liberal Studies]. The only reason I had the option to is that the Journalism major is so small [allowing me to fit in more diverse courses].
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s very competitive but it depends on what class you take. I’m in a class of 15 students, but am also in one with 150 students which makes it easy to get lost in the crowd. You have to have the independence to show up to class. People aren’t working against each other, but they are striving to do better for themselves by studying constantly. This leaves little room for free time.
How accessible have your professors been?
It’s here and there. Some are easy to reach and talk to, but that depends on what classes you take. Some classes are huge, and some are small.
Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
No, I don’t think so at all. I think politics end up leading into the classroom, and it’s a very liberal school. I grew up in a very Mexican household, and am socially liberal but fiscally conservative. This gives me a different perspective that I’m not comfortable sharing with people in the classroom. Anytime I have brought it up I get shot down.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Gramercy Green with 1 roommate and 2 suitemates
How was transitioning from Seattle to Manhattan, NY?
It was fine because I grew up on the East Coast and only lived in Seattle for high school. The transition was a little lonely, but in general, it’s a great place.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I’ve always felt very safe around campus. NYU does a good job with the guards at our dorm doors.
Do you ever feel like you are more of a resident of New York than you do as an NYU student?
Sometimes yes, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers at NYU. Gramercy is really far from campus so sometimes I do feel like I’m more of a New York resident. [Gramercy to Washington Square is a 25-minute walk.]
Pros and Cons of being located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, NY?
1) It’s very close to a lot of things so it’s easy to get around.
2) There are lots of places to shop and eat.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in at NYU?
I go to parties or 18+ clubs. I don’t have Friday classes, so I go out anytime Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. The parties I go to are mostly hosted by groups of people or fraternities in their apartments.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s really good. Joining Greek life is such a good idea if you want to have a good nightlife. It’s a good way to go out with people to parties.
How happy are you with the nightlife at NYU? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s by no means a state school. Frat parties are not what people generally expect coming in. It’s harder to meet people and go to parties than it is at a state school.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through my sorority.
How would you describe the overall social scene at NYU?
It’s difficult and you have to go out of your comfort zone to meet people. There’s a jump between meeting people in class and hanging out outside of class. I think this has to do with not having a campus. There are also a lot of different personalities at this school, so people tend to gravitate toward each other while some get lost.
How would you describe the student body?
There are so many different personality types on campus. There will be people going into business or very artistic people. Overall, everyone is very hardworking and ambitious.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think very much so. NYU is very accepting of anybody and any race.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about NYU before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how much harder I would have to try and put myself out there. I had to learn how to make NYU good for me both socially and academically. It’s a hard school if you are not very social. The classes are also very rigorous.
Reasons to attend NYU:
1) The abroad programs are great. It’s very easy and it’s the same price as tuition.
2) Being in New York provides so many options for getting internships, or beefing up your resume with cool jobs.
3) New York is amazing.
4) Even though the tuition is high [$49,256], the dining halls are better than the other schools I’ve visited.
Reasons to not attend NYU:
1) The tuition is expensive, so you have to decide if it’s worth it to you or not.
2) It can be hard if you aren’t super outgoing, but if you put yourself out there it’s not too difficult to find people you connect with. There are lots of clubs.