OCA welcomes the new school year by exploring daily experiences students at NYU Shanghai have.
1. You get excited every time you hear the name Kant, Smith, Locke, and Miller, but somehow you can’t remember their oh-so-familiar theories because you spent all of GPS either falling asleep or asking your neighbor if they read the text and can give you a summary. Also, the incredible amount of GPS/GPC/POH/literature/social science courses you’ve had to take while at NYU Shanghai have effectively provided you with a new skill you wish you could highlight in your resume: professional BSing.
2. Breaks in between your classes usually involve either sleeping in beanbags around the AB or debating whether to go all the way back to the dorms because there are students literally every where and not a single beanbag, couch, or bench is free. By the time you’ve made a decision, your break is either already over or you have given up on life and decided to just head to your class early. For those of us who can’t even make it to a free classroom, passing out in the middle of the hallway is also an option. Who decided to make the AB this small anyway?
3. Somehow most of your nights out seem to involve Perry’s or Ellen’s, whether for pre-game or post-game or both, where you usually end up chugging buckets or taking a ridiculous amount of shots in an unhealthy amount of time. Yet you have learnt to fear the one building that lies in our favorite Huaihai Zhong Lu: Maya aka Pervert Place aka Violence Ville aka Dont-End-Up-There-No-Matter-How-Drunk-You-Are. Just don’t do it.
4. You live for street food and Halal restaurants, and have memorized the location of every Halal restaurant/skewer guy/noodle lady/shou zhua bing stall in the vicinity of places you regularly visit. Street food often serves as an entire meal, if not several during the day, and chances are your regular vendor knows your usual order by heart. It’s comfort food, it’s cheap food, it’s good food. Who has the time (OR THE MONEY) for actual restaurants anyway?
5. Food reminds me: you have ordered McDonald’s or gone hunting for street food after 2 a.m. at least once, regardless of whether you are up studying or partying. For some of us who are too lazy or hungry or either, food from the vending machine (in the rare occasions it is stocked) also often fulfills the NYU Shanghai ritual of food past midnight. But that’s also how you made a lot of your friends at NYU Shanghai, or how you found the friends you lost at Monkey Champagne four hours ago.
6. You have, at some point during the semester, camped out in the library – this includes, but is not limited to, spending over 12 hours there at a stretch; bringing supplies from your dorms that are *usually* not supposed to be in a library, like a kettle or shower necessities; sleeping there overnight while struggling to do homework; or, as some of our fellow school-mates have pointed out with disgust, literally reserving a room or table for days on end by placing your books/food/shoes/clothes everywhere. Academics at NYU Shanghai are hard, okay?
7. Speaking of the library, the majority of exam time is spent finding a place to study rather than actually preparing for said exams. You run from classroom to classroom trying to find a quiet, empty place, but it seems to be as impossible a job as getting an A in the class you have an exam for. And there is no better time to realize how big your class sizes actually are – who are these people anyway? Were there always so many students enrolled in the class? ARE THEY REALLY NYU SHANGHAI STUDENTS?
8. You have gone gift-hunting at a “fake market” before heading back home for vacation at least once, or have invested in something completely irregular or useless either through fake markets or Taobao. You have that one favorite fake market you always go to (and for some people that is the only address in Chinese they can actually pronounce) and have become a master at bargaining because one of the first phrases you learnt in Chinese was “Tai gui le! Tai gui le! Pian yi dian ba?” You have also invested in some form of Chinese traditional clothing or a qipao at least once. When was the last time you bought something from an actual mall?
9. WeChat has become your primary means of communication and is one of the most used apps on your phone. You constantly have to delete old stickers to make space for new ones, especially if they feature someone from NYU Shanghai, and these animated stickers somehow also seem to convey your message better than actual texts. What is Whatsapp again?
10. You hear the word “global” at least once every day during the school year. Global Network, NYU Global, global collaboration, global friendship, global issues, global summit – you name it. But because of the emphasis NYU Shanghai has place on this word and its different applications, you have realized how important it really is to travel the world, appreciate the beauty of different cultures, and really be a global citizen. You now have friends from different parts of the world and you know you can find a home anywhere. Also, your Instagram account is filled with travel pictures because of NYU Shanghai, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
This article was written by Lathika Chandra Mouli. Please send an email to email@example.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Savannah Billman