favorite memories of first semester sophomore year. love and miss y’all!
What I’ve Learned in Stern
In college, honest students are overlapped. Hard working students finish last. Caring students are shot in the foot with a gun before the race even starts.
What is the point of studying when there are students that use others to do their work, load up on Adderall, and cheat on the exam? What is the point of putting in 100% when the way the system is set up is to reward those who can put as little in as possible? What’s the point of helping others, being considerate, or having an inkling of a heart if others will use you, wring out the last drops, and sabotage even your faintest success?
When I toured this “institution”, I couldn’t believe there were students who jumped from the top floor of the library. I thought they were dumb, selfish, and quitters. But last night, I realized something.
No one would jump if they haven’t tried their very hardest, exhausted every option no matter how unattractive, or hoped that the future would be better. This school is not made up of kids like that. This world is not made up of people like that. There’s just a point where everything is so unpredictable, inconsistent, and proven to continually disappoint that death seems so beautiful. The end, at least, is not an illusion.
Somehow, it’s the only comforting thing for me now. Knowing that at least my ultimate demise is waiting patiently for my arrival. It is frank and welcoming. It accepts me for the honest, hard working, and caring person that I am. No more disappointment…
I hope to God, that this is not the case for everyone else, or blessed be their souls.
so inexplicably excited for shanghai, spring 2013
so every time i look at this schedule, i have an anxiety meltdown-heart attack-panic seizure. four of some of the most work-intensive classes all stuffed into one semester and even worse, all in two days. and even worse than that, i don’t like any of them. good bye social life. good bye sanity. good bye lucy.
I haven’t written anything in a while. And that is because I’ve been doing less thinking, and more doing—a recent short-term goal that is ironically the opposite of my long-term goal.
NYU is so different from a traditional college experiences that it ceases to be a tangible institution and is simply an experience. The campus is more of a concrete jungle than a conglomeration of students with a unified soul. NYU is not unified. It is even more diverse than the college application information sessions suggest. We are a stream of light diverging at the prism, in the heart of New York City.
The one thing I do like about NYU is that it offers students a lot of alone time, which is a thought most college students fear. There is little group activities or influential organizations to be a part of. It is so hard to get involve, even for the highly active and spirited few like me. And I didn’t even realize that until I had to talk about it in an interview. But having time alone—away from the chaos that is parades, protests, paranormal activity—you can find yourself. And isn’t that what college is about?
What is important isn’t that I know how to find the individual supply and demand curve of a given industry, but that I know who I am.
That process is currently pending.
is the sacrifice made by not choosing the alternative.
By attending NYU, I’m not just spending over $60,000 a year to get continuously jew-ed. I’m losing the opportunity to make $20k-$30k at a low-income job.
By building new campuses, NYU is not just spending all the money students pay to expand. It’s losing money it would have otherwise used to improve our educational experiences.
Now that I am poor—and perhaps senile—I feel like I am weighing my options more than ever before. Should I go to the dining hall, spend less money and get a stomach ache, or should I go out, spend all my cash but be happy?
These basic economic theories seem to arise at every circumstance, not just monetary ones. Everything is a trade-off. GPA for enjoyment, fitness for calories, an experience for companionship, etc.
I need to figure out—what do I want? I guess that’s the only thing we’re really supposed to walk away with from college—our true desire. I just hope mine’s the right one.
I’ve been interning here for almost two weeks, and although I can’t boast that I do a lot (because interns don’t do that much) I can say that I’ve learned a lot. I now know things about the modelling industry—and many art and fashion industries in general— I never even thought about.
It never crossed my mind that the modelling industry was so vast, so powerful, so complex. Not that I ever thought lowly of it before. It was just that I was never exposed and TV shows such as America’s Next Top Model do glamorize it and make it seem so easy. These girls work hard, harder than many of you have ever even thought about working in your life.
Some of these girls are only 16. Most are from other countries, like Russia, and can’t speak very good English. Whether or not being a model was always in their dreams, they are here to support themselves and most likely their entire families. Many band together to rent small apartments in New York City because it’s too expensive to rent it by yourself. They get up early in the morning to train, book landings, etc. They’re hungry, but they can’t eat. With little energy, they still to go to interviews, fashion shoots, and all with a big smile on their beautiful faces.
Another things America’s Next Top Model does is make all these girls look like bitches. False. If there are any truly mean models out there, I have not met any. They are pleasant, kind, and hard-working. It’s unfair that just because they are attractive and born aesthetically pleasing that people jump to quick conclusions about their character. Models aren’t rude and they’re not stupid. Many are quite intelligent and are getting college degrees at the same time.
I wish people would put their own insecurities aside.
On a happier note: I love it at NYMM. It’s really chill. I love the people I work under, the models I meet, and the friends I intern with. 17 hours a week suddenly seems a lot less demanding.
My weekday schedule for the 2012 spring semester: 14 hours of class and 17 hours of work every week. Extracurricular activities, mandatory meetings, and study time not included. I’m super booked this semester and I’m stoked. Can’t wait to reap the harvest of my achievements in May. Just hope I have enough time to sleep.
Change of Events
This morning, I checked NYU Albert (similar to infinite campus) and was pleasantly surprised. “Pleasant” is an understatement.
I wasn’t expecting my first semester GPA until mid-January, but they were out 4 days after my last final exam. I wasn’t doing so well earlier in the semester so I seriously cranked up my work ethic, working non-stop on weekdays and only pausing to breathe on weekends. Still, I expected my GPA to pretty low, even for a first semester college student. Not only was my actual GPA higher than I had expected, but it is very high. Period. There’s nothing like the feeling of exceeding expectations and feeling fulfilled—achievement! I hope no Stern kids are reading this, ‘cause they may slice my throat, and for that, I will not be revealing my actual GPA or sharing this good news with any of them.
So I ran into my parents bedroom this morning bearing great news. Growing up, my parents were always disappointed in me, no matter how well I performed. So it was heart-warming to see them finally proud of me. Elated, my dad googled “Wharton Transfer Rate”. Yup, you guessed it. He wants me to apply for transfer to University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
I feel like a high school first semester senior all over again. Except this time, I have a chance. Actually, I have a very good chance, considering my grades, extracurriculars, leadership positions, improved essay abilities, personal growth, etc. I never thought I’d have to be thinking “Why do I want to go to this College?” again. But here I am.
Why do I want to go to Wharton?
Truth is. I don’t. You might think I’m crazy for not dreaming about typing out W-H-A-R-T-O-N on my resume; not being able to say “I’m from Wharton Business School”. But there’s a reason why I never applied Early Decision or even at all senior year. I never wanted to go.
I know I complain about Stern a lot—monumental amounts. But deep down, I love it. I need it. There’s no right way to describe when something feels right; it’s ineffable. I know I always say that if I were at any other school, I’d be having so much more fun. But that’s not true. There really is too much good stuff to say about Stern. Perhaps I will save it for another post, after I graduate in 2015.
NYU Stern Computer Lab
Never thought I’d make this site. Fell asleep under a computer cubicle in the Stern computer lab at around 7 AM. Don’t ask how I got under there… can’t really remember. Dear Tim snapped a photo of me… But I did finish my two 8-page papers and handed them in on time. Yay semi-efficiency!
I’m Probably the only Freshman NOT studying right now.
So everyone has like 3 finals this week and I only have 1, on Friday. Most of my stuff was last week and now while everyone is pulling all-nighters, and losing 10 pounds from stress, then gaining it back in candy and Starbucks, I’m just chillin’: wakin’ up at 2:00 PM after NOT pulling an all-nighter, eating Black Hound cookies for breakfast.
By not studying I don’t mean I’m not opening a single book. No, I’m definitely at least doing my review sheets and touching up on things I suck at. I mean that I’m not over-stressing like I think a lot of people are doing. You don’t need to study 70 hours for one exam, aight? That is just unnecessary. Some people like to give themselves more trouble than they have and when really big, important, actually-stressful things come their way, they just have no way of handling it. Learn to appropriate your attention carefully. Or maybe they just place their importance on things I don’t deem important. Eh… that doesn’t mean I’m a failure, does it?
I’m making sure I still get A’s (already have 2 A-’s finalized) but I’m also making sure I take time out to be human. I need to sleep, cuddling with my stuffed animals, eat at the Kosher Cafe, down smoothies, waste time on Facebook, see the Museum of Sex, go shopping, etc. Yesterday I went to my New York Model Management interview and then to Zara’s, where I effectively and near-regretfully dropped a fortune on “business clothes”. Oh the hidden costs of NYU Stern…
I could get used to strutting down Broadway in a trendy business outfit though. Foreshadowing. I definitely can get used to this.
- how the hell am I supposed to over-achieve when everyone’s all ahead of me, overachieving before I do? I’m the only person that checks out books from the library to do research but all them Asians got to it before I did!!! Of course this only happens in East Asian Cultures class filled with Stern kids.
As I sit here in Bobst Library—reading, writing, typing, learning, creating, rotting— I can’t help but be reminded of my junior year of high school.
There was a time when writing weekly 15-page biology lab reports both frightened and exited me. Being one of the few juniors who took AP Biology, I had no one to turn to when I “didn’t get it”. I was forced to grasp it on my own, which was particularly rewarding when I got that 100 on my photosynthesis test after “failing” in my entire science career. In retrospect, I was thrust into the world of college two years early. But perhaps “thrust” is the wrong word—nudged.
Anyway, I have to read a collection of essays for my Writing the Essay class. After wikipedia-ing the extensive list of books, I chose The Lives of a Cell, by Lewis Thomas. It’s an amazing book for those of you who, the very few like me, actually love biology. There’s one passage that particularly stuck out to me: “we live in a dancing matrix of viruses; they dart, rather like bees, from organism to organism… tugging along pieces of this genome, strings of genes… passing around heredity as though a great party.”
Bees sting and they hurt. No one thinks of a bee positively, at least not at first. They inject poison into our bodies via unsanitary needle and leave a swelling welt that demands the attention of our finger nails during the most inconvenient times. But without bees, we cannot enjoy the most cliche of beauties—flowers. They buzz from stigma to stigma pollinating daisies, lilacs, etc.
Similarly, we can look at viruses this way. We were taught to think of viruses as brainless corpses that inject foreign genetic material into our most basic components—cells, altering the very essence of what we are—DNA. Another one-sided ideal the educational institution has instilled into our very souls. Perhaps we should not fear the virus, for it pollinates this world like the bee. It introduces new pieces of genetic code to our somewhat monotone one. They’re spicing it up. They’re introducing new pieces of technology that may benefit us ultimately or at least potentially. A party favor?
If even the oh-so-detrimental virus isn’t so bad, even beneficial, then what in this world deserves fear and resentment? A bad grade on a midterm is only a small warning that a career in mathematics is not for me. A grandparent passing away is finally getting their opportunity to rest. A lover who moves on is only making way for greater fortunes to come. If life is a dancing matrix of viruses, then life isn’t so bad.
On My Mind
- Koreans are so sick. I haven’t been able to get the movie Old Boy out of my head for weeks. Holy shit that shit is sick. I guess that also means they’re sick at making movies. Props.
- Just realized how little calculus I learned in high school— none.
- There seems to be a negative correlation (r=-1) between my age and how spontaneous I am. I’m starting to think about everything I do and that scares me. That is why I am encouraging myself to do some [slightly] reckless things while I’m still capable.
- Adding o’s to the end of all my words to make them “Spanish” is a lot harder than actually speaking Spanish.
- Different regions of the US have extremely interesting tastes in snacks. One guy in my hall, Andrew, is from this place in Texas that is “basically Mexico” he says. They eat hot, lime cheetos with a million sweet and sour sauces. Interested indeed.
- I cannot believe Lady Gaga sang You and I. Still can’t.
- I don’t know how it’s like at your school, but at NYU all the Korean Fobs like to take the best seats in the library during prime study time and just scream at each other in Korean. Finally when you decide to leave, they seem to leave with you, get to the elevator first, and stand outside the exits smoking so you can’t even get out. What a double fire hazard. Maybe it’s just me.
- It’s always appropriate to blast Beach Boys.
- Been so stressed lately that I’ve been losing my hair. I strangely like being stressed ‘cause it makes me feel important and productive. But I hate losing my hair. I think I’m getting cynical.
- We are the Disney generation. I’m going to Disney with the family for Christmas! <3 At least hopefully.
- Okay, finally watching Lord of the Rings. Yes, I’m a decade behind, I know. It’s pretty good, damn.
- In ten years I might have kids— HOLY SHIT.
After my Calculus I Midterm, I walked out of Weaver Hall and right onto Gould Plaza. And guess what I see?
Student Protesters in front of NYU Stern School of Business (courtesy of my cute friend, Tim Spencer)
I have sympathy for the 1% of protesters that have a brain but seriously. WHAT A JOKE. Blocking the entrance of a school building isn’t going to make the national debt disappear or feed the homeless. Come on, America. Because of this useless protesting, NYU kids have even more police than normal stationed everywhere. As if we need more distractions. Go occupy the NBA, please and thank you.
Let me copy and paste a few NYU Student FaceBook Statuses/Tweets:
“lol Occupy Stern… I have nothing against the protests (except their lack of goals) but yelling at business students for being “future 1%ers” won’t help”
“I wonder if half of the occupy wall street protestors even know what they’re actually protesting about…”
“Why are people occupying Stern? Don’t you have better things to do with your time?”
“WTF are these broke-ass niggas doing at my school lmaoooooo”
“kim kardashian’s marriage lasted longer than the occupy wall st protesters did in the park. that’s really sad :(”
“DONT GO TO A SCHOOL YOU CANT AFFORD IF YOU DONT WANT TO PAY IT BACK!!! HOLY SHIT ITS YOUR OWN FUCKING FAULT!!!”
“Occupy Wall Street protesters in front of Stern. Can you move? The 1% is trying to get to class.”