Couch Surfers

In this video series, two NYU students share their stories about their time couch surfing, experiencing New York through another lens.


Tisch senior Max Ferguson couch surfed over the summer while interning with a renowned filmmaker. (Photo by Claire Feng)

Claire Feng, UTA Video Producer

While the majority of NYU students live in dorms, their own apartments or commute, couch surfing is often overlooked as an alternate form of housing or considered a last resort. However, for some students, it’s not just economic and convenient. It’s their only choice. As a part of our “Couch Surf” series, we talked to two NYU students — Tisch senior Max Ferguson and Rory Meyers junior Sarah Brys — about their experiences with couch surfing as a form of short-term housing.

Over the summer, Ferguson had the opportunity to intern with a renowned filmmaker while also working other jobs to support himself. Unable to afford NYU summer housing, the only financially feasible way for him to stay in New York was to couch surf with friends. From finding ways to keep his restaurant uniform ironed to almost being robbed of all his belongings, Ferguson talks about the mental strain and stress that comes with having an unstable housing situation. He now lives in Lafayette Hall and though he couch surfed over the summer, he does not recommend doing it during the academic year.

For Brys, between juggling a pediatrics office job in Long Island and studying part-time at NYU, getting her own apartment was not a logistical or financially-wise option. Brys spent her past semester commuting from Long Island and staying at her boyfriend’s apartment in Chelsea, Manhattan. She now lives in her own place in Chinatown. In these video series, Brys speaks about the intricacies of living with her partner when there are other roommates involved.


Disclaimer: Guru Ramanathan is the 2019-2020 Under the Arch Managing Editor. Lucy Limanowski is the Under the Arch Executive Video Producer for Spring 2020.

Email Claire at [email protected] A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Feb. 20 print edition. Read more from Washington Square News’ “Housing Guide 2020.”