Great location, best "campus" ever, Administration is bloated a difficult to navigate
living in new york city rules
The best thing is the location. Living in new york is amazing. I'd change the advising. NYU has the worst advisers I've ever met. That might be because I'm in CAS, but the undergraduate advising is Horrible. There's a high turnover rate of advisers. After my first semester freshmen year my adviser left and I haven't had a set adviser since then. It's hard to try and plan your life out with someone who has no idea who you are or what you want to do with your career. And even if you explain to them they don't really guide as to what classes to take. I've wasted at least 4 courses doing things that I didn't need or want to do to get my major/minor/ or fulfill interests. That's a LOT of money wasted. I think the school is too big... because I went to a really small grade school (K-12th grade) and I liked that personalize interest given by the teachers. I came to NYU because I wanted a bigger school and to take advantage of the diversity fo the student body, which I didn't get in high school, but for me the school is just too big. I spend most of my time on campus because I live downtown and to get to and from school just takes too much time to do multiple times per day, usually. I also have a lot of extra-cirriculars, so I need to stay on campus to work on those after my classes are finished. Even though NYU is in the middle of the city, I still feel like we have a little bit of a "college town" feel, ust because around campus most of the people you do see are students... and there are a lot of activities geared toward just students/the NYU community specifically. There's not a lot of school pride. People who do go see games and such is usually because they know people on the teams, which is fine, but it's not my thing. Besides sports, I think there is some school pride, just because you tell other people, "I go to NYU." and they know the name and will probably be somewhat impressed... The experiences I'll remember about NYU mainly concern my involvement in extracurricular activities. The most frequent student complaints have to do with teachers who aren't interested in their teaching (but rather their research, considering this is a university) so they put none, or barely any effort into actually teaching their students. Also, advisers are a big complaint, as well, as I already demonstrated.
The greatest thing about NYU is the location! Where else can I see Mario Bertolli walking up and down 5th Ave. in his orange crocs? Or see Robert DeNiro pushing his kids in a stroller? Everything is so convenient, and I feel like I am being a good person because I walk everywhere instead of driving. One thing I would change is the cost! It's mad expensive here- not just attending, but living in the city, period. It's the perfect size for me. I know it's really like, what, 40,000 students or something? But I don't see them all- I have some really big classes, and then I have recitations and classes with like, 15 people. It's nice. People's eyes get big when I tell them I go to NYU. They ask me if I go into the city all the time...and I say yes. Because the school is in the city. As a matter of fact, NYU IS THE CITY, pretty much. I spend most of my time either in Weinstein (the residence hall with 2 dining options) or in my dorm studying, or at Kimmel where all of the student activities stuff happens. This isn't a college town by traditional definition. To me, college towns mean that the entire city knows when there is a football game, and all the kids grow up knowing everything about the university and wanting to go there all of their lives. Here, NYU just owns most of the property in the city, so it takes up a lot of space, but there is no sports team that all the families rally around. We're not really known for our sports, but we do all right. Administration I am skeptical of, since some people are friendly but many are not. Also, they don't like it when you point out their mistakes- especially financial aid! The biggest recent controversy? Well, there was the time that the politics department caught all these students cheating on a midterm, resulting in the "destruction" of over 250 student's tests. I don't know if there were other controversies, though. Maybe. There isn't much NYU pride as a whole, but that is because most people are busy cheering for their own "schools" within NYU. The business school is the most fanatic, but that is because they are all competing for jobs and such.
Most people think NYU is a great school, and an expensive one when it is mentioned. I spent most of my time in the dining hall or in the park if I was on campus. It looks like a college town during the 4 minutes between classes, when all the students are on the streets around Washington Square Park trying to get to lunch or their next class. But it is definitely a "college town" in the city. You dont just see professors and student around. There are residents, children, and a lot of squirrels around. NYU administration sucks. They are unorganized, slow, and not very helpful. The best thing about NYU is definitely its location in the heart of NYC. I didn't mind going to a very large school such as NYU but some people will find it overwhelming. NYC is pretty much the most wonderful town to be in if you are in your late teens and early twenties. You learn a lot of independence and you get to experience the diverse cultures that inhabit NYC. You also get to meet so many different types of people with different ideas, accents, backgrounds. You grow up and learn fast at the reality of how life is. You have homeless people on your campus. There are just so many people around you, rapidly going about their life around you. Yet you do not know any of them. There are a lot of opportunities for cultural events, you just have to seek them out. The Graduate Student Union strike dominated the news 2 years back and the administration has made it pretty clear that it will not negotiate with them. In the end, I believe that everything went back to the status quo. Most of the complaints are hear (some which I have made myself) is in regards to scheduling classes and housing. It is a mess. I tried to get in a class and I got in but could not get into a recitation that would fit my schedule so I couldnt get in. But one of my friends got in through the help of another professor. You have to have some connections sometimes and actively push for what you want, which I never really did.
The best thing about NYU is, of course, the city. It's a very different experience and it requires independence and a willingness to make your own way, but if you dedicate yourself to all your efforts, you will enjoy the NYU experience. Being right in the middle of the Village, NYU is very close to the East Village, West Village, Soho, Chinatown, and Little Italy - all very fun places that are perfect for a college student. Other neighborhoods are just a short walk or a subway ride away. Everything in New York is easily accessible and it is good to know that there is always something to do. Each neighborhood has such a different personality that there is something for everyone. The lack of campus that everybody talked about is really not that bad. I run into plenty of people on the streets and in dining halls. Especially in Kimmel (the student life center), there are always plenty of students and friends around. It would be nice if the upperclassmen dorms were closer to campus to prolong this sense of community beyond freshmen year, but that is the tradeoff of being in fun places like Soho and Chinatown. If you make the effort, maintaining relationships is easy. In such a large school, there is never a single thing going on. Each weekend, everyone has different plans. Other than the occasional club, there isn't a party that all of NYU is expected to show up to. However, you make your own communities - in dorms, in classes, and in clubs. There are so many groups at NYU, with most people being a part of more than one, that it is very easy to make friends. There is a lot of red tape to get to the administration. Making an appointment with your advisor isn't easy, and even then, they aren't too useful. They just give general guidance that the NYU website could, and probably does, provide. Trying to pay bills or register for something is annoyingly difficult too. In general, NYU needs to update its technology so that NYU Home and Albert are more user friendly.
I think NYU's size is one of its greatest attributes. There are 16,000 undergrads, yet no matter where I go I run into people I know. On the other hand, it's great knowing that you won't be sick of all the same people by junior year, because up until the day you graduate, you are constantly meeting new people (including those in your own class). And believe me, there are so many different types of people here that you wish you could find a way to know all of them. Nonetheless, the wide range and diversity provides an incredibly exciting (not to mention refreshing) opportunity to connect with people on so many different levels. The size also makes it so that if you don't like someone, it's easier not to see them. There are less chances that you'll have mutual friends, be in the same class together, etc. Another great thing about NYU is that you'll never feel claustrophobic. The campus is not an isolated dome, separated from the real world. NYU, instead, is integrated into the outside world so that students can feel more like adults and have the freedom and breadth to be around new things, people and environments whenever they feel like it. This isn't to say that NYU has no campus, though. The library, student center, several dining halls, and most academic buildings where classes are held are located right around the perimeter of Washington Square Park. In addition, most of the deli's and coffee shops right around campus are basically primarily NYU student-filled - so much so that almost all of them offer discounts to NYU students or the option for students to pay via their meal plans. The underlying concept here - and one of the best things about NYU - is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. It can be very campus-like, anti-campus, or anywhere in between. It all depends on how you choose to look at it and what type of dynamic you prefer.
Best/worst thing: trading in the traditional American college campus experience for the NYC experience. The distinction between NYU and NYC is minimal, as is the one between campus and City. The campus (aka Washington Square Park) is open to students and everybody else. City dwellers soaking up the rare good weather, tourists snapping photos of the Arch just because it's a big thing in the middle of a park, vendors overcharging for water because snap-happy tourists will buy them, street performers sharing their talent or atrocious lack there of, crazies making others feel surprisingly sane, dogs trying to escape their Burberry vests and wondering why their owners spent so much money to make them so uncomfortable, and finally, fanatics using lightsabers to recreate scenes from the trilogy that changed their lives, . Initially, finding a sense of community can be pretty difficult because much like the City, the population is dense but the distance among individuals can be great. But no worries, sooner or later everyone finds people who tickle her/his fancy. Some social groups are composed of people baked from the same dough while other groups are composed of people who couldn't be more different from each other. You got the same-colored M&M's, the rainbow Jelly Beans, the trail mix, etc.
The best thing about being an NYU student is living in New York City and constantly seeing so many different kinds of people. In terms of size, it's hard to remember that there are 19,000 undergrads. I've met a lot of people through my classes and clubs that I'm in, and so far, almost everyone I've met has a connection with someone I already know. That makes the student population seem a lot smaller than it actually is. I'm not a fan of NYU's administration. They refuse to disclose the details of their budget, and I wouldn't mind seeing where my $52,000 a year is going and how it's being spent. If you're looking for a school with a lot of school spirit and cheerleaders and pep rallies, NYU is not the place to be. That said, there are sports/school pride related events. We have the All-University Games, for example, which is where representatives from each school (CAS, Stern, Gallatin, etc) compete against each other in basketball, foosball, sumo-wrestling, and ping pong. The biggest controversy on campus right now is probably the renovation of Washington Square Park. I have yet to meet someone who supports the construction.