Meet My Dormmates

Dorm LayoutSo, over the course of this week, I’ve had the opportunity to finally meet the three girls I’ll be spending the next nine months of my life with.

I sent a very annoying e-mail to them as soon as I found out how to contact them because, well, I’m me and can’t be patient for anything. At first I thought, “The worst has happened. They hate me and we haven’t even met each other yet.”

Luckily, I was completely wrong.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my dorm-mates.

mara

Mara Rocco

Mara is my actual room-mate. See, in the dorm, we have a kitchen, a living room, and two bedrooms. Each of us is assigned a specific bedroom (no switching allowed), so it’ll be Mara and I in Room B.

“I was born in Rhode Island, but I grew up in Virginia, California, and Germany.” Mara explained (surprisingly willingly, considered I pretty much attacked them with questions).

Mara is in the Liberal Studies Program. She’s a military kid, and is extremely upbeat and Starbucks/gym oriented (We’re cool on the Starbucks…this “gym” thing is going to be an interesting ordeal for me). Mara is also the source of the Keurig machine. We’re pretty much destined to be roomies.

“New York is where all my family is from and I am in love with the city.” She also added, explaining why NYU was her first choice as a University.

“I am a dancer, I love coffee, I am a big traveler, and I love going to different places and trying new things!”

I can already tell this is going to be awesome.

What they don’t know about, however, is just how much “traveling” they’re going to be stuck doing in and out of Broadway.

juli

Juli Eboli

Juli is also in the Liberal Studies Program, and she plans on majoring in Psychology. She was born in Puerto Rico, but moved to Miami a while back.

Of course, Juli is also a Starbucks lover, is really outgoing, and is always up for a visit to the gym (…I am in so much trouble).

“I love the city. It’s a great school with lots of connections and opportunities.” Juli says about NYU being her Number One.

Juli was the first to check out this blog, and she mentioned that she’s thinking about starting one about fashion (maybe she can teach me a few things about dressing myself).

“I love trying different things, I love Netflix, and I’m really big on fashion blogs!” She says. “I enjoy traveling a lot and hope to go to every country someday!”

I can’t wait to get to know people who have been somewhere other than the US and Canada.

Sophia Do1185563_10201752426150168_504806334_n

“Soph” is an upcoming Art History major at CAS. She was born in New York City, but she grew up in Seoul, South Korea.

“NYU was one of my top choices since I’m born in the city and the connection there for internships and jobs is crazy!” Sophia explains about her University decision. “I love going to see art shows, exhibitions, movies…and you guys will probably see me on my laptop 99% of the time when I have nothing else to do.”

Sophia also loves Starbucks and the gym (notice a recurring theme?). I have a feeling we’re going to be spending a lot of time drinking coffee and then working it off.

“But most importantly, I love being around people and chilling with my friends.”

Girls, this is going to be one awesome year.

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Washington Square News vs. NYU Local: A Journalist’s Nightmare

The WSN Logo
The WSN Logo

When I received my first Washington Square News newspaper in the mail, I pretty much died.

Not only does NYU have a school newspaper, but it was delivered to me all the way in Michigan. And it included information on how to join.

Washington Square News is an independent newspaper that pays its staff members and isn’t required to go through the school for censorship. It’s published daily Monday thru Thursday, and has an online edition every Friday. The editors meet daily, and the Editor-in-Chief is a junior.

All of this not only impressed me, but excited me. I was scared that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to join the news staff until my sophomore or junior year, and I knew how badly I’d miss that atmosphere. But the paper listed meeting dates during Welcome Week for freshmen interested in joining.

I had it all set and ready to go, the meeting date on my calendar and everything.

And then I discovered NYU Local.

NYU Local is an online blog that services the community. NYU Local is also independent from the school and is a more controversial news source. It’s less professional, but became as popular as WSN in just a few years of online circulation. NYU Local doesn’t print its editions, but updates online periodically throughout the day. The lesser amount of organization prompts more debate and holds a lower standard in the NYU community, but it’s a more modern version of news.

And then I was forced to make a decision.

The two newspapers have a strong, if not slightly unhealthy, rivalry between them. And sometimes, it gets nasty. Whatever paper I choose, I have to be prepared for the flack I’ll have to throw at the other paper. There is no doing both. There is only one or the other, and it’s a four-year commitment, if you want to do it right.

From what I’ve seen, WSN is a dying newspaper. Most people say they never read it and, if they use it at all, it’s usually as a umbrella against the harsh New York City rain.

However, WSN is three times more professional than NYU Local, and would probably look much better on a resume if I’m applying for, say, an internship at the New York Times. A spot on NYU Local may be completely laughable as a stepping stool to a prestigious position.

And, if WSN really is a dying newspaper, that gives me something to work with. I have three years of experience on a paper that no one seemed to know existed and, while I can’t say I changed the face of the school with it, my friends and I did manage to make it more noticeable by the end of three years on staff.

So it looks like I’ll be attending the WSN meeting. But keep in mind, boys and girls, I never said I hate NYU Local.

I may be singing a different tune in a couple of months.

NYU’s Staff: My Experience

StaffIf NYU doesn’t appreciate their student body, they have an awfully funny way of showing it.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the overall helpfulness and availability of NYU’s staff. Other than one very confusing telephone call in which I was forwarded back and forth between two offices for half an hour, I’ve had a great experience so far.

It all started with my first correspondence to the school. And it wasn’t a very nice one.

We all know that NYU is expensive. It’s not a secret. The only reason I’m able to afford it is because of the scholarship I’ve been given, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. But, when I got wind of the news that I needed to pay a $500 down-payment when I accepted admission, I was furious. They knew how hard it was just for me to apply, and now they wanted $500 upfront? Before I’d even visited the school?

So I sent a not-very-nice email wanting to know how to use my scholarship money for my down-payment.

And then I got the answer I expected. I couldn’t.

I was starting to think that NYU had only given me the scholarship to get me to go to the school for the first year and then they’d screw me over on the other three (there’s my dad’s skeptical demeanor coming into play). I’ve learned to be careful.

But, the kind response to my outburst shut me down right away. The school offered to give me an extension on the deadline. That, I wasn’t expecting. The woman also offered a kind and understanding explanation of the situation.

And then, at Welcome Week, the tour guides were amiable, kind, and patient when questions or concerns were brought up. The financial aid officer answered our long list of inquiries without being rude or needing to ask someone else for the answers (in fact, she is the sole reason my dad is completely comfortable with my financial aid package). And the Dean of the College of Arts and Science was extremely personable.

Even when I got back home, all e-mails sent back and forth were answered in a timely manner, and politely. I never had to ask the same question twice, and was always redirected without a problem. There were several times when I had a thread going between myself and the same adviser, like a Q & A session.

My counselor was completely boss. She was direct, answered all of my questions quickly, and got me signed up for everything I wanted without a single issue.

Let’s just say, I’m pretty blown away with NYU’s staff.

I feel like that needs to be said, because many students are less appreciative. We don’t expect amazing service, but that’s what I’ve gotten so far.

If that continues, I think it’s going to be a pretty great four years.

An Unexpected Expectation: Studying Abroad

DCWhen I toured NYU’s campus at their Weekend on the Square, I
learned very quickly that NYU has an unspoken requirement for their student body that is highly unlike any I’ve ever seen before in a University.

Most students are expected to study at one of NYU’s abroad schools for at least one semester.

Cost of tuition stays about the same, sometimes it’s even less. And it’s meant to enrich the school’s diversity and culture, as well as each student’s opportunity to learn within their field, no matter where it exists.

At first, I was dumbfounded. It’s a big enough decision to move to New York City from Howell, Michigan. But then to entertain the idea of traveling abroad? I couldn’t even begin to imagine what I would do. And we all know about my lack of knowledge when it comes to foreign languages. How would I even communicate?

But, as it started to set in, I very slowly began to like the idea. After all, how many people can say they did a semester in London? Or Sydney?

And that’s exactly what I began to look into. Our counselors asked us for our top three choices when it came to studying abroad. So, finally, I managed to narrow it down.

London, England. If I’m ever going to travel overseas, it’s going to be somewhere with primarily English-speaking residents. Mostly because I want to understand what’s going on, and I want other people to understand me. As a journalist, communication is absolutely key.

Sydney, Australia. Primarily English-speaking, and the outback. Do you know how many different kinds of meats I could try in Australia? (I’m weird, I know, don’t judge me) But think about it, I could really see myself riding kangaroos and wombats and saying, “Good day, mate,” all the time. In all honesty, I just think it sounds like an adventure.

Washington D.C., America. I know this isn’t technically abroad, but it’s one of the journalism capitals of the United States. There’s so much I could do with my career in D.C. I could shadow a senator, or a congressmen, or the PRESIDENT. Not really, but we can pretend.

So, will it be different? Absolutely. And I have no idea what year I’d try to take it on, or whether I’d just do one semester or multiple. But, as a whole, I think I’ve learned to love this unexpected expectation.

Just another thing that makes NYU unique.

Dorm Assignment Results Are In And….

PalladiumJust so you’re in complete understanding over how big this is, I need to explain a few things about dorming at NYU.

First of all, most Freshmen are in FYRE dorms (First-Year-Resident-Experience).  These dorms are generally traditional, close to Washington Square, and miss the mark on amenities.

Traditional dorms have a bedroom and a bathroom, shared between two students. Suite dorms (usually for upper-classmen) include a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom, shared between three or four students.

Most kids are looking for suite dorms. You pay less for a meal plan, have more space, and get to brag to your friends about living in a New York City apartment, which is pretty much what they are.

When I toured the campus, I decided on the four major dorms that I wanted. And, being me, I had to be ridiculously picky.

Brittany- This dorm is close to Union Square (and, when I say that, just remember that it’s about a 15 minute walk from Washington Square Park, where most classes and FYRE dorms are located), is for Freshmen only, and has traditional bedrooms. But, it also boasts the largest rooms, has wonderful clubs, and is rumored to have a ghost. If you know me, that’s a huge plus.

Third North- This dorm is, again, close to Union Square, has great clubs and student involvement, offers suite-style rooms for Freshmen, and has a very artistic-feel to it. Most Freshmen push for this dorm, and it would probably be my number one choice, if it wasn’t for the amenities of the other two.

University Hall- Also known as “U-Hall”, this dorm is close to Union Square, and has a Burger restaurant inside (this is about as close as you can get to Cassie-heaven). It’s also one of the more modern dorms, and has suite-style dorm rooms for Freshmen. Because of its location and seriously close proximity to NYU’s gym and pool, I’d probably make it my first option. But the last one is the real kicker.

Palladium- This dorm is usually not even offered to Freshmen. Because of a renovation going on to one of the FYRE dorms on Washington Square, a few floors are being used for Freshmen housing for this year. Because Palladium is home to NYU’s gym, pool, and career-center, I was pretty much sold from day one. The land was bought by NYU after the demolition of the Palladium nightclub, and the dorm was named after it. First of all, that’s freaking awesome. Not to mention Palladium is the only dorm to have a Sunday brunch and the best food court. The rooms are small, but they are suite-style, and you generally have four to a room.

That being said, I put in my request for one of the four dorms.

Ladies and Gentlemen, drum-roll please…

I got Palladium.

If you couldn’t tell by the way I ranted about it a few sentences ago, I was pretty excited. My poor roommates had an e-mail from me waiting for them in their student inbox in less than twenty-four hours (no responses yet).

Now that I know I have three roommates, a suite-style dorm, and my move-in date is set, I can start to move forward with some of the more important things. Like buying kitchen and bathroom decor.

…should I be surprised if my roommates never respond?