Institutional Spotlight: New York University

By Emma Philip, JIF ‘16

With my second semester well underway (hello, midterm season!), I’m taking advantage of this snow day to share some of my biggest pros and cons about NYU in this institutional spotlight! In my experience, NYU is a lot like the city itself -- it has a lot of good things to offer, but you have to stay on your toes and make sure you don’t get swept up in the thrill of it all. Manhattan can be tough, but it’s also the most rewarding experience to look out your window at the end of a long day and know that you call this city home.

Some good things:

Location. As any of the school’s promotional literature will tell you, NYU is located in the heart of lower Manhattan, but I don’t think I fully processed that until I arrived on campus! Being so centrally located means that even with a full day of class and studying, there’s time to run to SoHo to run errands, or head to the East Village for dinner with friends. I get to see way more of the city regularly than I ever would have expected!  

Wide range of opportunities. Y’all -- there are so many clubs here. Really, whatever you’re interested in, there’s an NYU club for it, and if it doesn’t exist yet, I’m sure someone will be happy to start it with you. Because the school is so big, there are literally so many clubs and groups, and someone is sure to have overlapping interests with you! This is also great because it means there are so many opportunities for leadership positions and you can really throw yourself into the things you love!

Studying abroad. If you’re considering NYU, I’m sure you’ve heard good things about their study abroad programs, and they’re well-deserved. Just about all of the upperclassmen I know have studied abroad at least once in their college careers and they all absolutely rave about it. It’s a great example of something pretty unique about NYU that really is the highlight of a lot of people’s time here.

Food. NYU has some fantastic food, both in its dining halls (hi, Upstein Chick-Fil-A!) and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Since I’ve been here, I’ve tried soup dumplings, Thai food, and that edible cookie dough that everyone loves on Facebook (it’s just down the block from Kimmel). In addition, Palladium’s Sunday Brunch spread is world-class and definitely the best value for brunch you’ll ever find in the city.

Some less-good things:

Location. NYU is so conveniently close to so many fun things that it can often be tempting to put off studying in favor of visiting one of the many world-class museums nearby or simply exploring the city. I’ve found the perfect balance is doing your readings in Washington Square Park (when the weather’s nice enough!).  

Expenses. Not only is NYU a private school in an enviable location, but outside of tuition and room and board, there are other things to consider. New York City is an expensive place to live, and even if you promise yourself you won’t go out to eat every weekend, just one or two meals off campus can add up. 

The large size. My graduating class here is close to 7,000 -- a number that didn’t mean much to me on paper but felt like a much bigger deal when I was sitting in the Barclays Center surrounded by most of them! My hometown is only about 3,500, so even if you’re like me and don’t expect to be overwhelmed, give yourself some time to get used to that huge number of people -- soon, you’ll start making more friends and it won’t feel quite so big.

Tourists. Of course, when the weather isn’t miserable, Washington Square Park is usually overrun by tourists. While it can be annoying to be stopped on the way to class and asked where x tourist attraction is (or whether or not they can get inside your building’s Chick-Fil-A), it’s a good reminder to stay humble -- it was your first time in the city once, too, after all.


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