The Struggles of Being a Go Local Student

Amid this pandemic, online classes have now become the new norm. The inescapable new norm that we all dread about – and yet, here an opportunity presents itself – a splendid way for us to connect and engage with each other in-person. No more fretting, or so I thought.

When I first heard the prospect of in-person classes at a study abroad location this fall semester, boy was I absolutely thrilled. How can it not? Amid this pandemic, online classes have now become the new norm. The inescapable new norm that we all dread about – and yet, here an opportunity presents itself – a splendid way for us to connect and engage with each other in-person. No more fretting, or so I thought.

       Now for those who are not familiar with the term ‘go local,’ a simple explanation can be found here. But to sum it up, the go local option is a unique program that allows students who are ‘unable to travel to their home campus’ to have access and enrollment privileges at a local NYU location.

Time differences

The first that comes to mind is undoubtedly the time differences between my go local site and online classes. Even before the semester commenced, NYU Albert took the liberty to thrust me on such an exciting roller coaster. Up and down goes the stress levels, as Albert had me disarray between the time-zones between classes from my home campus and at my go local site. Oh Albert, you cheeky little bugger!

The madness of student interest groups

Upon entering the first few weeks of the fall semester, I was particularly startled by the number of student interest groups available to join. Environmental, sports, fashion, vegan club – you name it – and across different campuses too. The opportunity to find yourself and passion becomes overwhelming: What should I join? And where will I make the most of my experience?

Holidays?

No. No holidays. When the renowned Golden Week rolled into our NYU Shanghai academic calendar, boy, was I excited to dedicate these few days to blow off steam. Alas, these days were filled with online classes from my home campus with relentless assignments, readings, and tests to finish. Vice versa, this similarly occurred during holidays such as the UAE’s National Holiday, fall breaks – NYUSH go local students, we soldier on.

Emails, emails, endless emails.

How I wish I could share my lovely inbox with all of you – all these fan mails just constantly pour in! Jokes aside, the abundance of emails from New York, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi accumulated can be rather shocking. When concerning academic, career development, and wellness department emails, in fact, you receive three times the amount from all campuses. So, a fine tip? Just check those emails, so you don’t receive fifty.  

Nonetheless, my experiences in these past few months have also been filled with unforgettable memories – scrambling in between in-person classes, jumping onto zoom calls, frivolous dancing, and very poor excuses for late assignments. I get the fortunate comfort of home sweet home too. But most importantly, the friendships I have made will stay with me when I depart on my next journey. So, am I missing any more struggles? Of course. I realize that my list is flawed in the sense that it is skewed to my experiences. Feel free to send me your thoughts and let me know what I have missed out.

This article was written by Shu Min Tan currently based in Shanghai, China Please send an email to shumin.tan@nyu.edu to get in touch.

Photo Credit: Eli Yurman via https://nyulocal.com/nyu-announces-study-away-and-move-in-updates-remains-vague-on-details-2904ee98f3f5

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