Building a Home Away From Home

NYU students share how they’re adjusting to life in their hometowns and reminding themselves of New York.

The Brooklyn Bridge shines brightly in the night. Since leaving the city when remote learning began, many students are thinking of their experiences in the city, such as witnessing views such as these. (Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

Although NYU has prematurely closed its doors for the remainder of the academic year due to the coronavirus outbreak, its students are not letting that stop them from continuing their lives in New York City — regardless of whether they’re in the city or not.

For Steinhardt junior Sam Winslow, life in New York City was filled with business events,  concerts and live DJ sets. But with the abrupt move out of the city, Winslow has found ways to bring these facets of his city life to his stay at his summer home in New Hampshire.

“A big reason I enjoy living in NYC (besides bagels) is that everyone around me seems to be working on cool projects,” he told WSN through Facebook Messenger. “In my case, I usually attend a lot of entrepreneurial workshops and enjoy growing my network that way.”  

While Winslow admits that being away from the live New York music scene is hard, he has managed to connect his entrepreneurial passions with his love for music by launching his new music-sharing app, Tunestack

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“I think this was a great time to launch this service, because it replicates the experience of sharing album recommendations or ‘passing the aux’ in a virtual space,” he said. “By building something my friends and I want to use, I’ve started to feel less isolated.” 

Similarly, Steinhardt first-year Sirena Beard-Galati leads a music-centric life in New York and has found solace in creating a songwriting challenge while staying in Connecticut. 

“I’ve started this songwriting challenge for 30 days and have also been nominating people to pass it on,” Beard-Galati said. “This challenge is to write a song every day (it could be a melody or some lyrics) and really just exercise the brain to keep focused and achieve a goal everyday (even if it’s just some ideas you’d write down).” 

Beard-Galati remains optimistic that life in the city will begin again and is compiling a list of things that she wants to do when the city reopens. In fact, she has even created a community on Zoom where friends can meet to share their quarantine experiences over hot chocolate. 

“I […] have started ‘hot chocolate time’ which is a zoom group call that I’ve organized of friends and newer friends to make connections, speak about their experiences in quarantine, how they are staying healthy and productive during this time,” she said. “This space is more focused on support and making connections for the future when these hard times clear. You of course have to bring hot chocolate!”

Meanwhile, Steinhardt second year Master’s student Jessica Chertock has been able to experience her city life in doses from her Long Island hometown by watching livestream concerts hosted by her friends. Watching Instagram and Snapchat stories of friends based in the city has made her feel connected with the networks she’s created. 

“I’ve spent my whole life in and out of the city so I didn’t really have to adjust to being away from the city,” Chertock told WSN through Facebook Messenger.

However, she acknowledges that staying at home has been an adjustment, since she lives alone in the city and misses the convenience of walking everywhere. 

“I mostly wish I had the freedom to just walk outside and go to a coffee shop,” Chertock said. “I have the ability to do this both on Long Island and in the city but I miss the independence of living in the city.”

New York City may be far away, but the energy and ambition that it cultivates lives on in NYU students.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, May 4, 2020 e-print edition. Email Sara Miranda at [email protected]

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