With college signing day now in the books and still no word from Malia Obama on whether or not she will attend NYU this fall, one might think the campus would be abuzz in anticipation of her decision. However, NYU students seem to have long gotten over the excitement of going to class with celebrities.
NYU consistently tops online roundups of universities with the most celebrities, but has often faced criticism for capitalizing on its famous students after publishing a 2015 Facebook video featuring Olympic gold medalist and SPS senior Nastia Liukin.
Yet NYU’s number of applicants seems to be unaffected by the many celebrities who enroll year after year. The University of St. Andrews received nearly double the applications after Prince William enrolled in the University of St. Andrews in 2001.
According to Liberal Studies freshman Juhi Dalal, the fact that some of her peers have household names has no effect on daily student life.
“I obviously knew Dylan and Cole Sprouse went here when I chose to come here, but the celebrities only got discussed when other people heard I was thinking about NYU and they shoved them in my face,” Dalal said. “The celebrities just don’t have a huge impact on our campus culture. I don’t want to discredit their accomplishments, but their fame just doesn’t seem to matter that much at NYU.”
Even students who have had classes with celebrities, such as Gallatin freshman Jonathan Ji — who took his Gallatin writing seminar alongside supermodel Karlie Kloss — said their influence doesn’t extend to campus
“I do not think having someone famous affected our class at all,” Ji said. “Most of the students did not know who she was at first, so we all treated her like she was a normal student. In the beginning it was like ‘woah’ and ‘cool,’ but then after the semester progressed we have gotten used to it, and realized that Karlie was just a normal student.”
In addition to getting no special treatment from peers, many of NYU’s celebrity students get the same treatment from professors and use the same university resources as the rest of the student body.
“The professor definitely acted like he did not know she was famous, as she was treated like the rest of the class,” Ji said. “Karlie was an active participater and didn’t miss a lot of classes, and I admire her for that. She would annotate our essays, we would annotate her essays, and we would walk with her after class. She was a very great person to be around.”
CAS freshman Evy Hall saw actress AnnaSophia Robb in Bobst during her first week of school.
“When I walked into Bobst for the first time, I was going to information desks on the side to inquire about where to find a specific article,” Hall said. “Little did I know, the small blonde girl who was a couple lines down was Anna Sophia Robb. We made eye contact, and I guess I stared too long because I couldn’t find out why she looked familiar and she gave me a weird look.”
While students might sometimes be starstruck by their famous classmates, they also understand that celebrities are also normal college students.
“I’d really like to have a conversation with every one of the celebrities that goes to NYU because I’m kind of in awe of them,” Dalal said. “But if I were famous I wouldn’t want a thousand people rushing me in the park trying to be my friend. I just let them do what they came here to do and I hope other people do too.”
Email Taylor Nicole Rogers at [email protected]