I imagined a parity of nerves existed between myself and the seventh-grader whose family moved beyond district lines midsummer. The days were shortening with increasing haste, and we both knew what lay ahead: the first day of class. Fortunately, mine would not entail dodging bullies seasoned in the art of stealing lunch money. Nor would I encounter adolescent boys committed to applying Axe Body Spray instead of showering. Nonetheless, I was uprooting myself from the known and comfortable, a perilous business at any age. But as my first day, second day, and first week passed, I became reacquainted with a familiar lesson: The most challenging part of change often lies within its anticipation. My fears of experiencing a transfer stigma or of my classmates bearing a cliquey mentality proved chimerical. Instead, I found a welcoming student body, helpful professors, and a few unexpected gems that affirmed my decision to transfer.
The unflagging routine typical of a law student can be wearisome. One wakes up, eats, reads, attends class, eats more, reads way more, and falls asleep. Sporadic gym sessions might occur (where in my case, time is spent predominantly creating playlists), and yes, occasional Netflix binges are considered borderline-necessary for survival. But generally, a law student will be found in a library, a bed, or a kitchen. The flag football league, one of my favorite non-academic features of NYU, snaps that routine. As the clock strikes noon on Friday, students take over East River Park for kickoff. Participating in the league creates opportunities to make friends, exercise, and do something different.
I could dedicate an entire post to the free printing at NYU. Do I love it? Yes. More than that, though, I need it. My former school allotted $200 per semester for printing. At 10 cents per page, the ostensibly adequate allowance invariably ran dry before finals period. With exams looming and stratospheric stress levels settling in, withdrawing cash to print hundred-plus-page outlines felt wrong. The availability of free black-and-white printing relieves a pressure that otherwise feels almost unjust, considering the cost of law school.
Washington Square Park Characters
Washington Square Park is a theatre of expression and entertainment. The typical cast includes the fortune teller sporting his shiny wizard hat, the steel-drum percussionist playing The Little Mermaid’s “Under the Sea,” the street performers whose acrobatic expertise is eclipsed only by their ingenious maneuver of bestowing $20 upon an unsuspecting child before collecting donations for themselves—and oh, yes, there is Cage Guy. Honestly, I am not sure what Cage Guy’s deal is. What I can tell you is that intrigue never lies further than a stone’s throw away at NYU. When times are hectic, Washington Square Park is a gift. I might walk over to read heart-wrenching yet inspirational anonymous stories, thanks to the Strangers Project. Maybe I will sit back, put my world on pause, and appreciate the various cultures and personalities that call New York home. Or perhaps I will just continue my stroll while laughing, wondering what the heck Cage Guy is still doing locked away.