Commencement Updates: October

With NYU Shanghai preparing for its first-ever graduation, Bishka Zareen Chand takes a moment to check in with the Class of 2017 and commencement planning progress.

This year marks two important milestones in the short journey of NYU Shanghai. It was the first time ever NYU Shanghai is a full university with four complete classes. Secondly, and perhaps the most important milestone of all, is the return of NYU Shanghai’s first graduating class . This particular class has gone through a wild ride with many ups and downs since they first dragged their suitcases into the halls of ECNU, and now graduation lies ahead.

Senior Jose Sanchez said, “Graduating still seems like a far step ahead. But when you think twice about it… it’s actually only a few months away. This has been an intense journey that I have been able to share with some of the most talented people I will have ever met.”

This year’s graduation will be in many ways the most significant one in NYU Shanghai’s history, setting the precedent for many years to come, in the true style of the inaugural class. However, with this milestone comes a lingering question. What exactly is planned for the first-ever Commencement Ceremony?

OCA reached out to Senior Class Representative Tyler Rhorick, who said that there are definitely plans and updates underway, but not all is ready to be released to the public just yet. Not to worry though, for those who want to get involved, graduation applications will be released soon and there is currently a site being made to have all of the information readily available to students.

Senior Fikret Halilov shared his thoughts, from fears to the excitement of starting a brand new chapter of his life. “I think I speak for many of the seniors when I say that I have major mixed feelings about graduating. On the one hand, I am so totally ready to spring out into this so-called ‘real world’ and start doing things on my own, especially after seventeen years of absorbing knowledge and sitting at a desk, listening to other people talk. The transition will definitely be easier for some people than others,” Halilov said.

“On the other hand… am I really ready? Like, no one with an NYU Shanghai degree has ever existed. Were all those years worth it? Can I take care of myself? I think a lot of us who have always had some kind of institution who had our backs have learned to take a lot of things for granted, and it will take some time to unlearn that. No one really knows what’s gonna happen, but we can only hope for the best.”

There definitely is an added pressure for members of the Class of 2017 to succeed, especially because they are setting the precedent for future NYU Shanghai graduates, and defining what an NYU Shanghai alumni looks and what skills they have. However, perhaps this is why they are the ones who have made it through this far.
Sanchez beamed with pride when he said, “I am so happy with how much I have learnt and how many amazing people I have met during my time at NYU Shanghai, and I can’t wait to keep in touch with my class and see how we all continue growing all over the world. We were true pioneers when we first came to this school, and now we’re about to conquer the world.” This just goes to show that if anyone can handle the scary and intimidating “real world,” it’s NYU Shanghai’s Class of 2017.

This article was written by Bishka Zareen Chand. Please send an email to to get in touch.

Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *