Dear NYU: I Still Owe You that $5 I Promised You When I Graduated
August 26, 2010 1 Comment
There’s really something just immediately satisfying about sitting around and watching Top Chef with my girlfriend, coming home, pouring a scotch and getting down to write. Bonus points for Death Cab For Cutie playing. It feels like college, when things were okay and I would take my trendy little Moleskine to a bar to write with a Guinness, working out characters for a short story class or outlining some sort of jerk-offy paper about Melville that was probably due the next day. Look at this fucking hipster. Except I’m not. I just got the exact college experience that I wanted; I got to wander around a pseudo-campus taking things in and not having to go to football games.
I used to study/nap on the 9th Floor of Kimmel, overlooking Washington Square Park with a direct view of the Empire State Building. Then the tour groups started coming. The spiel was always the same here–it was always the beginning or the end of the tour, depending on when it started. They would take questions that would invariably involve the direct/indirect absence of a campus-proper due to urban environment, far-flung buildings/dorms, lack of greek life. The tour-leaders, almost all of whom had, at this point, slept with a friend of mine, would instantaneously launch into their well-worn rebuttal that dragged out student-services [please stop jumping off the Goddamn library], clubs [LOST watchers, et cetera] and dorm shit that everyone skipped. The Frat question was always answered with the same re-direct that should have answered the rest of them: This is Not The School For That. This bugged the shit out of me. Every. Fucking. Time. If you want a campus in the city, go to Columbia. If you want Frats, go to Maryland. If you’re seriously considering NYU and really want all the above, you can go anywhere else in the country and get that experience. This is NYU, historically a different experience. You can be as woefully involved as you want. You are paying too much, getting saddled with too much debt, to not have fun and learn.
Yet fresh-faced Freshman, still sign that letter of intent, fully knowing what they’re getting into, and then complain about the campus thing. If you don’t consider WSP your campus, then you are not spending enough time on campus. If you feel like there’s no community, it’s probably because you talked your parents into springing for an apartment. And on-campus housing at most colleges that I’ve been to are probably further than any that I’ve been in at NYU.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I had a bunch of fun in college, I enjoyed the experience. We threw an ill-advised kegger in a 30-story dorm. We ran around harassing people shit-faced. Hell, I still go to one of the dorms drunk for Chik-fil-a. I don’t see how this is fundamentally different from the college-type-experiences that my friends had at SUNYs (except they tap kegs better than I do). And it hurts to think that there is someone that feels slighted by this..
I would like to note that I do despise the NYU administration just as much as anyone else. And I mean, I could have been an English Major anywhere. But where else could I have spent all night drinking, then walked across the Brooklyn bridge to watch the sunrise? Where else could we go from a bar that hands out free personal pizzas to… shit, the PATRIOT? It was my privilege to spend four years with the people I did in the place that I did.
I think I’m back in the same place I was when I graduated two years ago. Now I’m just a lot more comfortable with that place. Have a good night everyone.