NYU is super gay, which means our theater groups are awesome and our sports teams are sort of irrelevant. Sometimes stereotypes are true.
If you are a single, heterosexual female at NYU, expect to not find a boyfriend in class. Some girls do, but they are few and far between. The ratio of straight boys to straight girls is terrifying. Factor in the amount of boys that come to college with girlfriends back home, and that Beach Boys song "Two girls for every boy" starts sounding like a really welcome change. Because your odds are, in actuality, much, much worse.
On the other hand, if you are a single, heterosexual male at NYU, take your pick buddy. There are seriously thousands of girls who will date you. Your odds just shot through the roof.
The most popular organizations on campus are the Milk and Cookies Club, NYU Democrats, and a couple Jewish organizations. I'm involved in Model UN, which is very popular when the school year starts, but then people begin to stop coming because there are only 2 conferences a year. I'm also part of residence hall government, which is popular depending on the residence hall. It's also very rewarding because you get to decide what programs happen and you get to know all the details and get first dibs. Students don't usually leave their doors open in dorms. Some dorms don't let you open your door because of fire safety. Others don't stay open very well. Athletic events are unpopular. However, people still go because they are always sending emails advertising free food, t-shirts, and other goodies in order to intice people to come. Guest speakers and theater are very popular. NYU offers discounts on Broadway shows, off-Broadway shows and other events in the city. It's definitely one of the best perks it offers. NYU has a very dominating gay/lesbian scene. However, while there isn't a lot of dating going on within the school, people go out to clubs and parties to meet people and that's usually where dating starts for NYU students. I met my closest friends on my floor in my dorm. I also met some in my classes as well as when I studied abroad in London. If I'm awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, I'm probably reading because I'm unable to sleep. The traditions that happen every year are StrawberryFest in the spring, the dance on the boat that goes around Manhattan in the spring, graduation in Washington Square Park in the spring, Halloween parade, Chinese New Year in Chinatown. People party every weekend starting on Thursday because students don't usually have class on Fridays. Fraternities and sororities are not that important. There aren't even that many. I went to a Broadway show and studied last weekend. I also did a little shopping. You can go to a show, a play, a comedy club, the ballet, a restaurant, the Empire State building, shopping (stores are open very late in New York). I do all the things I just listed off campus because there isn't really an off and on campus. There's just New York City.
I don't really know what the popular clubs, teams are. Yes,students do leave thier door open and it really helps when making friends. Athletic events, especially the Tear It Up events, are actually relevant and important.
I didn't have a chance to partake in too many school activities. I did rent an apartment right near campus and generally 5-6 days a week a small group of friends that I met in my art classes came over to eat, drink, study, relax, make art, etc. Definitely a strong bond as we were all involved in some kind of art making and shared some of the same classes. saturday nights often included movies, walks, seeing our friend VJ at clubs downtown. I don't know anyone who was involved in a sorority or fraternity.
Students in dorms left their doors open in the freshman dorms. In the upperclass dorms, most rooms were apartment style, and thus kept private. I only lived in a dorm my freshman year (NYU is short on housing, and many students move to apartments). I didnt really date in school, but most of the people I did date, were older, and not NYU graduates.
I was ALWAYS awake at 2am on a Tuesday, usually studying. Most people up at 2am on a Tuesday were either at their place, or the library, studying, or drunk. What cant you do on a saturday night that doesnt involve drinking?! Bowling, ping-pong, movies, billiards, concerts, theatre, opera, ballet, jazz bars, ice skating, gallery openings, parties, dinner, clubs! (You can always go to a bar and hang with your friend without drinking.). No matter what you do or where you go at NYU will you feel pressure to drink or do drugs. People dont sit around in dorm rooms drinking, because there is so much else to do outside! Fraternities and Sororities make up less than 10% of the student body. If you're looking for that experience, its available to you, but it is so minimal. In all my years at NYU i've only met two people who were in Greek Life.
I'm part of the NYU Program Board, which is a student run organization in charge of providing entertainment to NYU students. Being part of Program Board is great. You can get free tickets to concerts, movies, and lectures, and many times, you get to work with up and coming musicians. (We've had Sufjan Stevens, Andrew W.K. and Talib Kweli perform). Athletic events aren't very popular, although we do have Tear It Up, which are events where students get free food and tshirts. Guest speakers are very popular; we've had Natalie Portman and John Nash come this year. In terms of stuff to do, the possibilities are endless. NYU's Ticket Central provides us with cheaper tickets to Knicks games, movies, Broadway shows, off-Broadway shows, almost anything you can imagine. Frats and sororities play a very small role in the social life. People leave their doors open for the most part in the dorms.
Most popular: there are so many one can't say. I'm involved in hall council in which we try to coordinate fun events but due to the tremendous bureaucracy in hall council we are only allowed to put on watered down events. Dorm rooms are generally kept closed depending on the hall. Athletic events are not popular, nearly non-existent. Many guest speakers. Tremendous amount of theater experiences available, broadway or NYU. People here don't date, they hook up. I don't feel as though I have any close friends here, due to the independence level of students here. I'm always awake at 2am on Tuesdays studying for Calculus. Traditions/Events: mystery concert, UltraViolet Live (#1 program in the nation), FYRE (First Year Residential Experience) programs such as sexstravaganza, and moktoberfest. People are ALWAYS out at bars/clubs/sake bombing. Sororities and fraternities are small. Last weekend I went home, as do most students here every weekend (especially if they're from Jersey or Long Island). You can sit in your room alone because every social outing here involves drinking. We are ALWAYS off campus so being in the city is not that special when you're always there. You end up spending way too much money and time this way.
Students in dorms generally leave their dorms open, but cliques on each floor form quickly. That being said, many of your friends freshman year will be those that you met in your dorm. It just comes with the territory of seeing people in their rooms, in the elevators, and in the halls 24/7. NYU is huge on partying, though there are not too many gigantic house parties that are typical to other colleges. They usually occur in a person's dorm and only friends can attend; random people do not wander in. Thursday night is a huge night, as NYU students regard having no class on Friday as a God given right. 18+ club events tend to be on Thursdays. It's general knowledge which bars card and which don't, although it is getting more difficult to get into places. Many people have fakes, and they often split their groups into those who have fake ids, and those who don't, to make it easier to get into bars and clubs. Something I had to get used to when I came here was how everything was pushed back several hours. Because you don't eat dinner until 8 or 9, you don't get dressed to go out until 11, and you won't leave until after 12. Nights out often become early mornings out, and it isn't unusual to come back after the sun has risen. Fraternities and sororities aren't very important, although those who have joined are very active. Because the fraternities and sororities are located in the Lafayette dorm, in Chinatown, it is often inconvenient for students to go there. There are usually better things to do anyway. There is excellent eating in New York for very cheap prices. Spice is a favorite of NYU students, located on University and 10th right by campus. New York, of course, has the best pizza in the world and most places are delicious. Little Italy and Chinatown are favorites; their food is probably the cheapest in the city. During Restaurant Week, when expensive restaurants had prix-fixe menus, a lot of people went to get a taste of these fancy places at a fraction of their original price.
It's hard to say what the most popular groups on campus are because so much of it depends on what you are into. Music groups and the dance teams tend to be really big. Also NYU is trying to promote team sports by doing what they call "Tear It Up". This consists of free food and things like shirts if you go to see a team gym. It seems to be a thriving promotional plan. NYU has had a great and prominent list of speakers come in. This year I know Natalie Portman was at an event and during my freshman year Bono had come to speak at our theater. In addition I think it was at this year's Welcome Week picnic, the cast of Spring Awakening was present. A big yearly event at NYU is also Relay for Life which happens at one of the gyms, it always had a huge turn-out. I wouldn't say that fraternities and sororities have a huge presence, but NYU does have them, if you are looking for that kind of thing. A lot of them live in the Lafayette Chinatown dorm, but since there's not really a campus, parties can happen anywhere in the city. Dorms are also a mix bag. Many freshman dorms seemed to keep an open door policy. I think that once you start hitting your junior and senior year and live further away that tends to change a bit.
You're in Mahattan! There's everything to do. Just don't look for stuff on campus. Oh, wait, we don't have a campus.
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