On Campus for the Holidays

How students coped with staying at NYU over break.


Hannah Shulman

A jazz show performing in Greenwich Village. One of the many winter activities favored by NYU students. (Photo by Hannah Shulman)

Anna de la Rosa, Deputy Culture Editor

As fall semester drew to a close, many students rushed to leave NYU in favor of family time, fun and relaxation. For others, staying on campus seemed like the obvious choice.

Some students remained in their dorms and apartments during the five-week-long hiatus even though they weren’t taking J-term classes. Tisch first-year Victoria DelValle decided to stay to pursue opportunities in the city.

I wanted to save money on transportation, and I also got a job in New York so I wanted to work as much as possible in order to pay for the upcoming semester,” DelValle said in a Facebook message.

For others, like Steinhardt first-year Sam Kim, the decision was much simpler.

“I was too lazy to go back [to Seattle],” Kim said. “I wanted to experience a winter here because I heard it’s cold as sh*t, and I’ve never been that cold before.”

Despite being independent in New York City, Kim found it was easy to spend time with friends who lived close by in New Jersey and Brooklyn.

But being away from home during the holidays meant that some pangs of loneliness were inevitable. DelValle found ways not only to cope but to grow from the isolation.

“I found solidarity in solitude,” DelValle said. “None of my friends stayed over break so I really had to figure out how to be okay with being by myself.”

Whether they roamed the streets of New York City alone or with friends, students who stayed over break were able to enjoy their days without classes on their minds. CAS first-year Sean Nesmith spent his time exploring new parts of the city.

“I never had much time to be a tourist, so I did end up seeing a jazz show through NYU Skirball and bought seven dollar movie tickets on Tuesdays,” he said in an email.

He also emphasized the joy he found in just doing nothing.

I did end up reading a lot and played a lot of Candy Crush levels — 283 to be exact — so my brain wouldn’t be totally fried,” Nesmith said.

Steinhardt junior Viola Mai was able to find the perfect balance of staying in and going out.

“I stayed home and watched a bunch of movies, learned to cook a bit and went to museums,” Mai said in a Facebook message. “I also went to several Broadway shows and read a couple books.”

Finding food seemed to be the biggest challenge students faced. Kim claimed he would only stay over J-term again if the dining halls were open.

“It’s actually so hard to go out,” Kim said. “That’s what everyone complained about, even kids who were taking J-term [classes].”

With the beloved and convenient Kimmel Center for University Life closed, students were faced with the option to either brave the cold outside in search of food or spend precious dollars on Postmates. Nesmith took this as a challenge.

I definitely gained a better grasp on how to manage a budget especially when the dining halls had limited hours,” he said.

It may not be an ideal holiday situation, but Nesmith encourages those who can to try and stay in New York over break.

“If you have a decent ability to cook or know how to grocery shop — another formidable skill to have — and you know how to research cheap fun things to do, I would definitely recommend it,” he said.

Note: Viola Mai was WSN’s video editor for the fall 2016 semester. 

Email Anna de la Rosa at [email protected].