Every day this week, we’re bringing you diaries from some of NYU’s shiny new freshmen. Click here to meet our diarists and check back on NYU Local every day for more insight.
9:00 AM- I wake up. Tisch 101, my first college event, is at 9:30. How could I have slept in this late? Oh yeah, last night..
It’s not that it was crazy or insane. Perhaps surreal? No, “bizarre” would be a more apt description. It started off as innocuously and, quite possibly, lame as possible. What better way to spend my first night away from the loving grip of my parents than to flip on Full Metal Jacket and crash at 11:00?
Dislcaimer: It was not my intention to assume the role of homebody my first night; I’m placing all blame on the utter exhaustion arising from moving in and the several Benadryl I gulped down with lukewarm tap water.
I fell asleep to the sad sounds of Pvt. Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence suffering through boot camp. Twice I was jarred from my Kubrick-influenced dreams by a rush of people streaming into my room. “Cole! Coleeeeee! Is he asleep? Let’s wake him up!” Ultimately, I could not stop the attacks on my duvet, and wound up participating in everyone’s favorite college dorm game of “let’s sit on the floor and try not to fall back asleep.” I failed.
9:17 AM- In and out of the shower. That’s the warmest the water gets? Seriously? I shudder at the thought of this during frigid January mornings. Google-mapped directions to the Cantor Film Center. Locked and loaded.
9:28 AM - A leisurely (likely too leisurely) stroll down Washington Square South lands me several blocks from the Film Center with no time to spare. Suddenly, in my peripheral, is a sea of green shirts. This rolling mass of lime green-tinted people is apparently NYU’s Welcome Week team. My roommate says the color is green apple.
9:34 AM - A facade of white and grey horizontal stripes greets us. Only four minutes late to my first ever college event – not too shabby. A walk up the stairs leads us right into the welcoming arms of goodie bags. SWAG stuff we all get! Walking into a theater chock-full of arts students with a black nylon bag and a lime/apple green student handbook makes me pause: I’ve finally made it. About the lime/apple green colors: is this seriously our color trend?
9:45-11ish AM - Several speakers. Important, I think. Pretty sure. One guy talked for like an hour so he’s gotta be. I left my notebook at Hayden so I’m taking notes on my phone. I don’t want them to get the impression I’m texting so I slouch down really far in my seat. Kind of a lose-lose situation. Anyways, I’ll spare the nitty gritty and offer this cliff-noted version:
- New York City is awesome.
- Like really awesome. A lot of opportunities.
- New York isn’t the only city with an NYU campus.
- There’s actually a campus on every continent but Antarctica. (Get on it guys! How cool would it be to room with a penguin?)
- “You are extremely talented. And incredibly smart. (pause) And so is everybody else.”
1:30 PM - Lunch at a shitty pizza place. Seriously. Ordered two slices, barely made it through the first one. Cheesy cardboard and unreasonably greasy. Had the guy at the counter bag the second one. I need to hurry back to Hayden to get ready for a welcome week event called Presidential Welcome & Reality Show. Also, the grease is seeping through the bag and onto my hand. I throw it away instead of giving it to a homeless man.
3:30 PM - We are heading to the Beacon Theatre near Central Park to hear NYU President John Sexton and a celebrity guest. There is no cell phone signal in the subway station. It may be T-Mobile, though. Regardless, I hope the next innovation is a way to get cell signal down here. Then I walk past a sign stating there is now WiFi at this station.
4:24 PM – We arrive at the station near Beacon Theatre. I thank the gods that its not customary to tip the subway train driver. A line of what must be at least a thousand NYU freshmen snakes around multiple buildings waiting for admittance into the theatre. I see at least several hundred white NYU Class of 2016 t-shirts. I want one. I’ll trade my black bag for one. Please? What if I toss in a lime/apple green handbook?
4:50 PM – We stand in line for close to half an hour. Cursory glances at my facebook show statuses pointing towards Jerry O’Connell giving the guest keynote for tonight’s Presidential Welcome. That’d make sense; he graduated from Tisch (represent) with a BFA in film and television (represent!!). Someone mentioned the previous night that the guest was Stanley Tucci. This sets off a wild what if? scenario in my head. What if the fat kid from Stand By Me (O’Connell) met the creepy pedophile (Tucci) from The Lovely Bones in some bizarro film-uni-verse? I hold a sliver of hope for James Franco. Or the Sprouse twins. Or, like, Spike Lee or something.
Moments later – This place is gorgeous. Flanking both sides of the proscenium arch are two giant Greek goddesses. This place is lousy with Grecian d馗or. In a really good way. Not tacky at all. Props, Beacon Theatre. You have my approval. We all are seated and we wait for quite some time. Advertisements on the screen in the center of the stage range from opportunities to see museums and explore the city to a thing called Zombie Ball. Two questions spring to mind: 1)What the hell is Zombie Ball? and 2) Are we in danger?
5:30 (or showtime) - Bagpipes blare from the lobby, and soon enough a procession of Irish instruments and skirt-clad men march toward the stage. Following the skirts is another group of people, this time carrying a series of flags, each one representing the schools within the University. Bringing up the rear is the man himself, President of New York University John Sexton (affectionately referred to as J-Sexy).
A brief recap of the various speeches:
- An important guy states: “NYU: We are hot.” (Awwwwwwwwwhhhhhhh yeaaaaah)
- NYU was designated as a “New Ivy” and has ranked in the top five of Princeton Review’s Dream Schools every year of their rankings.
- Someone just said, “We all have swag” Yeah we do.
- And some got t-shirts while I got a bag. Wtf.
- John Sexton is a proud Brooklynite. 哲ew York is the center of the universe. Brooklyn is the center of New York. This garnered quite a bit of cheers from the home faithful.
- He goes on to add some inspiring remarks, challenging us to utilize our talents and to ask ourselves if we are leading a useful life. Seems like a good guy.
- He is a great guy. Told a story of walking through Washington Square Park and bumping into several women wearing buttons with his face on it and the words “Sexy and I know it.” Where can I score one of those bad boys? I’ll trade a black bag for one.
- It is Jerry O’Connell, and he gives us some ra-ra! about NYU and advice on where to get the best split pea soup (on Broadway, right off of Astor Place). Extra croutons are free. Score.