was a colossal waste of my time and money.
I picked it because the director of scholarship programs told
be my scholarship included a couple of trips to Europe
during school breaks. I got there to learn that
it was actually a different scholarship program that took those
trips, not mine. They did let me go on
the second of the two trips, but I felt like
an idiot, because the people in charge of the group
knew I had just gotten to go along because of
some administrator's mistake. While my own scholarship did cover
about half the tuition when I started, I am still
$80k in debt. They did not increase my financial
aid by one penny when my parents lost all ability
to contribute money toward my education (and my FAFSA form
verified that they were unable to contribute.) I was
a junior with excellent grades, writing awards, and no financial
support, but NYU did not care.
I had virtually no
guidance when it came to picking classes and majors.
I did not know which departments were excellent, and which
ones were disorganized messes. I picked English, and it
turned out that the English Department was a disorganized
mess. I did not learn anything in any of
my English classes. I read, and I learned a
bit through that, but the lectures and assignments were pointless.
They rarely challenged me or made me think.
The grade inflation was out of control. I
got A-'s when I wrote my papers hours before they
were due and failed to proofread them. I got
A's when I proofread. I love a challenge.
I like to work hard, especially on my writing, and
I like my hard work to be rewarded. But
there was no reward for a really good paper in
the English department. There were A's ... but they
were, ironically, cheap.
The lack of social life
I found at NYU was thoroughly depressing. I am
a quiet person, but also a smart, kind, and creative
one. Everywhere I have lived, worked, or studied, with
the exception of NYU, I have found plenty of friends.
I met plenty of people I liked at NYU,
but did not make the cut for any of the
cliques that I wanted to join, which I blame on
the fact that I was a few years older than
most of my peers, and ended up with very, very
few NYU friends.
The facilities were awful, especially the library.
It was the singular in its poor construction—it's loud,
heavy furniture and doors, it's carpet-less, echoing prison-like walls and
floors, it's lack of any of the books I needed,
it's loud, cell-phone-talking, crunchy-snack-eating students, and it's terrible lack of
seating. The dorms were dingy and tiny with paper-thin
walls, and the form to find a compatible roommate was
optional and hard to find on the housing website.
however, tops the rudeness of the administrators, their unwillingness to
discuss student problems in a direct manner, and their viciously
defensive attitudes. The worst interaction I had with one
of their hired idiots came at the end of my
junior year when I found an internship through their website
that turned out to be a complete violation of labor
laws. The employer was depending on my, profiting from
my long days sweating over her phones and files, not
paying me, and not allowing me to take lunch breaks.
Now, federal minimum wage laws (including FSLA) do not
allow for-profit companies to depend on or profit from unpaid
interns, and obviously being denied a lunch break is not
allowed. So after I quit, I thought, “Gee, why
don't I let NYU know that this person who is
adverting through their career center is breaking labor laws with
her interns?” The first person I spoke with chastised
me for “unprofessional behavior” because I had quit. When
I told her about FSLA she laughed and said, “Well,
that's a federal law, not our law.” When I
went to higher-level career center administrators, they dodged all my
questions, defended the first person I had talked to, and
told me not too politely that they were not legally
responsible for the content on their career center website.
When I brought the issue to the attention of the
deans of my college, all they did was reiterate the
fact that the university's policy of posting known FLSA violators
on their website had been vetted by their legal committee.
A month or two later they came out with
this statement saying that backing out on a position
obtained through the career center would be grounds for loss
of all career center services.
I could go on all
day with these stories. I did have a couple
of classes I liked, but that was it. Now
I just cringe when I see those ugly purple flags
flapping all over the city. Goddamn NYU, go on
cheating unsuspecting young people out of vast amounts of money
and out of their chance for a real college education
if you must—why didn't I go to University of Michigan??—but
don't flaunt your stupid purple victory flags in the face
of every poor sap of a graduate who still lives
in the city. Let me quietly hand over most
of each pay check to Sallie Mae and forget