In October 2018, “Portrait of Edmond de Belamy” sold for over 430,000. The piece was created using artificial intelligence and its high auction price sparked interest and debate in the art world. Creative technologist and NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program student, Guillermo Montecinos, discusses using AI in his own art. Artist and programmer Gene Kogan discusses his efforts to teach machine learning to other artists as well as some of the debates surrounding this new form of artistic expression.
It is a brisk Friday night in December at New York University. Despite the low temperature outside, students are buzzing around campus. Some are headed to Bobst Library to begin preparing for their finals. Others are walking to Weinstein dining hall to grab a quick bite for dinner. But very few students are making the 35-minute trek to watch their school’s ice hockey team play at Chelsea Piers Sky Rink.
Even with a population of over 60,000 students, NYU struggles to get students to attend the school’s athletic events. With sports teams that play at facilities that are far from NYU’s campus, athletics are not a central feature of NYU and often fall on the back burner. The NYU community’s lack of interest in sporting events has impacted both the student-athletes and the overall sense of community at NYU.
NYU’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Janice Quinn, said that one of the main reasons why games are poorly attended is because they are so far away. NYU’s Coles Sports and Recreation Center was demolished in 2016, as part of a renovation project, and many of NYU’s athletic fields are located outside of Manhattan.
“During the Coles era, we had really terrific attendance at Men’s and Women’s basketball games, volleyball games, wrestling matches, and events that actually took place at the facility, at Coles,” said Quinn. “Traditionally, our outdoor sports have always struggled a little bit because all of those facilities are off campus.”
As a result, the morale of student athletes has taken a hit. Olivia Mould, a senior on NYU’s softball team said that she thinks this bleak turnout has an effect on her performance on the field.
“The only fans we have are parents, the occasional friends, and the student staff at Palladium.” said Mould. “If we actually had fans, just knowing that people care, makes you feel better and makes you push yourself that extra little bit.”
NYU sophomore cross country and track athlete, Oliver Jacob, said as a runner, fan support would really help to enhance his performance.
“In track it helps not necessarily to know who’s cheering for you, but to hear a lot of cheering gets the adrenaline pumping,” said Jacob.
Quinn said the low attendance has also impacted the overall sense of community at NYU. Through her 37 years of involvement with NYU’s athletics department, beginning as a student athlete on the women’s basketball team in 1981, Quinn has seen a missed opportunity to establish a community through sports.
“Most people clamor and will report feeling less a part of a community, maybe than they would on other campuses,” said Quinn.“I think the NYU community is missing the boat on a real opportunity to build a community on campus through sports.”
Despite the current low level interest surrounding NYU’s athletic teams, Quinn believes that there is still the potential for sports to generate spirit, and create a greater sense of camaraderie and unity on campus.
“Athletics are a well-kept secret of the tremendous spirit of NYU. When other people come to athletic events, they feel a sense of pride in their own connection to NYU,” said Quinn. “Athletics can be serving the broader community by providing an opportunity for people to get together, free, in a wholesome, positive, healthy, wellness-generated atmosphere and feel good about what they are doing.”
Amidst the sea of regularly clothed students, bloody-axed teens and unicorns rush to class or stop for a bite to eat. Halloween at NYU has arrived, and students have delivered.
Lev Bernstein, a freshman, hung out casually in the 8th floor hallway of Bobst Library in a full body Shrek costume.
“I always wanted to dress up as Shrek, and this is the only socially acceptable day to do so,” Bernstein said, slightly muffled through the rubber mask. “Lots of people have been fans, lots of people have also been horrified.”
Several other students have similar fearless reasonings for dressing up in costumes ranging from cat ear headbands to an entire Spider-Man suit.
“I feel like most people our age don’t dress up anymore, and I just want to normalize that it’s okay,” Capri Christianson, the aforementioned Spider-Man, said.
Insecure teenagers often forego the costume tradition of halloween, especially in the harsh light of day. But these NYU students braved classrooms to spread the joy of Halloween. Christianson said her Abnormal Psychology professor called her out in front of a lecture hall of 200 students to comment on her costume, but she’s okay with that.
“I think it makes it a lot more fun when you get to be one of the people out there, making people smile,” she said. She also feels solidarity with other fellow costumed students. “It takes a lot of confidence to wear costumes because people our age don’t really do it.”
Sophomore Emily Brown, dressed as one-half of a Dolly the Sheep costume, the first animal to ever be cloned. She said she was initially insecure about dressing up, but is glad she did it.
“Halloween is the day where I can go out and be like, yeah, I’m wearing a sheep hoodie, fight me about it,” she said. “It’s Halloween, I’m gonna do what I want.”
Sebastian Abreu chose to rep the gory aspect of Halloween with an axe headband, but said he hadn’t seen many costumes on campus.
“But, I don’t care, I love Halloween,” he said. He plans to transition to a scarier version later in the night, with fake blood and a hockey mask. “It’s gonna get real spooky.”
Emery Whiteman didn’t dress up, but said that when she sees students on campus in costume it puts her in the Halloween spirit.
“I think it’s bold to dress up for halloween, in class, and I appreciate it because I don’t have the guts to do it.” she said.
Brown loves Halloween because it makes no pretenses to be about anything other than candy, a good time, and costumes. She also referenced the inclusivity of halloween, because for the most part it isn’t associated with any religion, history, or culture.
“Anyone can celebrate Halloween, there’s no barrier to entry.” she said. “It also kind of brings back that nostalgic experience.”
Hannah Whitaker, a sophomore and unicorn for the day, said Halloween is an opportunity for stressed out students to have fun, plain and simple.
“It’s removed from the world, almost, that we live in,” she said. “It’s a fun night to just feel like a kid.”
Marseja Cardwell went as a Martian due to her nickname, “Mars”. She said that wearing and seeing costumes was almost like comic relief from the sometimes overwhelming academic environment of NYU.
The rest of her plans for Halloween?
“More classes,” she said.
A crowd of over 200 filled NYU’s Gould Plaza yesterday, to protest the university’s decision to host former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Stern School of Business.
Students and activists screamed chants of “War and occupation will never bring liberation,” and “Hey, Kissinger, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?” while holding signs that called out Kissinger’s legacy and US intervention in foreign countries.
Kissinger was Secretary of State during the Nixon and Ford administrations in the mid to late 70s. He is known for his controversial foreign policy initiatives, including US military intervention is Latin America and South East Asia. Most notably, Kissinger was integral to the decision to bomb Cambodia.
“Henry Kissinger is like the [original] war criminal,” said Tory Smith, the national campaigner for anti-war activist group the War Resisters League who took part in the protest. “[His legacy] still continues to have an effect, like there’s still unexploded bombs that are in Cambodia and kill people occasionally, from the saturated bombing of that country. I feel like if you do that to a country you do deserve to be followed around for the rest of your life by people telling you you’re a [bad person].”
Smith was joined by Yoni Chang, a field organizer for the War Resisters League.
“The fact that [Kissinger’s] still being invited to gigs, and he’s still being invited you know as somebody whose perspective is meaningful or valuable for the direction we want society to go in, that’s ridiculous,” said Chang.
Kissinger was asked to speak at Stern as a part of the school’s “In Conversation with Mervyn King” series. The series, which started in 2016, invites influential figures in economics and politics to engage in conversation with Stern Professor Lord Mervyn King.
Twenty-seven activist groups signed a public statement asking NYU to cancel the event.
“We had no expectation of [NYU cancelling],” said Aeslyn Valhos, an NYU junior involved in organizing the protest. “He’s a very well-known person who’s been involved with the government. It was just to let them know that we weren’t happy about it.”
Protestors were invited to speak to the crowd to on behalf of an organization or themselves about the effects of Kissinger’s policies.
“I speak today as a Southeast Asian woman, and a daughter of a refugee family,” said Areerat Worawongwasu, an NYU student activist from the Asian American Political Activism Coalition. “Kissinger personally planned and presided over the dropping of 500,000 explosives over Cambodia, and 2.5 million tons of explosives on Lao, killing at least 10,000 civilians. To this very day, the genocide is hurting us.”
Worawongwasu called upon NYU to listen to its students.
“While NYU continue to market itself as a global network university and perpetuate the rhetoric of neoliberal multiculturalism, we demand accountability in regards to inviting war mongers such as Kissinger onto campus valuing the so-called marketplace of ideas over the lives imperialists such as him have destroyed.” said Worawongwasu.
NYU Tisch Freshman Simon Cadel spoke to the crowd about Kissinger’s statements regarding the Jewish community.
“When discussing the Soviet Union, he said, ‘if they put Jews in gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern.’” said Cadel. “He also said ‘if it were not for the accident of my birth, I would be anti-Semitic.’ However, being the pragmatic that he is, he managed to find a way.”
Cadel recalled that Kissinger’s only positive acknowledgement of his Jewish identity occurred in his defense of Israel.
Other students spoke about upheaval in Chile, Ecuador, and Yemen.
While the majority of the speakers were students, the crowd varied in age. Mark Woodcock was involved in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War era.
“It’s important to keep protesting, especially in this era,” said Woodcock. “It’s really important that everybody get involved.”
Woodcock attended the protest with his sister Elspeth Woodcock-Macdonald and her husband, whom he noted were “lot more active than I am.”
“It’s ten times worse [now] than it was,” said Woodcock-Macdonald. “Back then we could count on some kind of standard of law, and now this ridiculous agent orange, or our supreme leader, is just unspeakable. It’s practically a part-time job, demonstrating.”
While protests occurred outside the Stern School building, other students disrupted Kissinger’s speech from the inside. NYU sophomore Clayton Farris attended Kissinger’s lecture, in which he and other students stood up at integrals throughout the hour to address Kissinger face to face.
“Basically, we’re just making the event just a living hell for Kissinger and everyone in there who’s supporting him for whatever reason,” said Farris. “It was crazy. My adrenaline’s going right now.”
Farris and other students were thrown out of the auditorium by security after making comments about Kissinger’s past.
NYU Stern released a statement following the protests, referencing NYU’s commitment to “the free exchange of diverse ideas and viewpoints,” while also acknowledging the “the importance of dissent.”
Protesters stayed for the duration of the speech. A few braved the cold to stay until Kissinger left the building. Shouting followed Kissinger’s car as he drove away.
Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority leader and a focal point of much Republican wrath, spoke at NYU Monday on the role of women in politics, just a few weeks away from the pivotal midterm elections .
About 250 NYU students and community members attended a Q & A with Marianne Schnall, author of “What Will it Take to Make a Woman President?”
They spoke about the increased presence of women at all political levels and Pelosi’s personal experiences.
“You have to have diversity at the table,” Pelosi said during the appearance. “It is essential.”
A record 256 women won Congressional primaries this fall, of which a majority are Democrats. Currently, less than 20 percent of Congress members are women, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House. She recalled a meeting early in her political career with former president George W. Bush and other prominent political figures.
“I remember thinking, ‘it’s not like any other meeting that any other women in history have been to,’” Pelosi said. “Finally we have a seat at the table – and we want more.”
Pelosi said that she wants women to be involved in politics starting at younger ages, because that will give them the opportunity to occupy leadership positions earlier and increase their influence.
Kristen Gonzalez, a 2018 Columbia University alumna, attended the talk. She is a Queens native who works for a nonprofit called Ignite that empowers women to run for public office. Gonzalez said that she plans to run for City Council in 2021.
“I thought it was really incredible hearing someone who has trail blazed,” Gonzalez said. “She doesn’t do many of these. I think that’s important to note. I think she’s making a conscious effort to get into spaces like this, with a younger crowd, to give us really good advice. And we appreciate that.”
After Pelosi left the stage, there was a panel discussion with four other women involved in politics, including Alessandra Biaggi, the Democratic candidate for State Senate in New York’s 34th District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester.
Gonzalez said that Pelosi’s talk and the panel discussion resonated with her personally.
“You’re going to hear a lot of people tell you no, and you don’t hear enough women say that you are ready, that you are competent,” Gonzalez said. “Our experiences as women, or women of color, women from marginalized backgrounds, those experiences prepare us and give us a perspective that is so valuable in positions of leadership. I think it was really inspiring seeing those women on the stage acknowledge that.”
Many of Pelosi’s remarks were words of advice for young women, specifically those planning to be involved in politics. She emphasized the importance of knowing arguments inside out, focusing on the future and being loud enough – particularly in the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
“You can’t get down on what’s happening,” Pelosi said. “That’s just a victory for the other side.”
Near the end, she offered one particularly direct piece of advice.
“Be confident,” Pelosi said. “The world is waiting for you. Be ready.”
Gonzalez, for one, is ready.
“I think it’s time for our generation to take the wheel,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve come a long way, but definitely not far enough.”
At New York University, students cope with tragedy and ongoing stress through a unique source – memes.
Following the harrowing news of a student suicide on Tuesday, Oct. 2, the student administrators of NYU’s meme page decided to spread messages of hope and awareness to the 11,500 and counting, members of the Facebook group.
What if we let people know that there’s networks of support that they can access here?” said Sebastian Paine, a sophomore NYU student. “Whether it’s the wellness center, or their friends, or the admins on the f—ing meme page.”
Paine, a double major in GLS and Public Policy, is one of a handful of administrators of NYU Memes for Slightly Bankrupt Teens, a Facebook page dedicated to memes. Memes are defined as images, text, and videos that are generally humorous and spread throughout the internet with various modifications
While internet memes are usually a fairly inane topic, the motivation behind Wholesome Wednesday was solemn and sincere. Paine referenced the painful news of a NYU student’s suicide as the primary reason. The lack of immediate response from NYU authorities concerned him, so they decided to preemptively spread awareness and positivity in the wake of the tragic news.
“It actually started because someone made an insensitive meme about the suicide,” Paine said. “We were like, this is unacceptable.”
The admins discussed the issue and decided to turn a thoughtless action into an opportunity for connection within the NYU community. A complete rebranding was done. The title of the page was changed to NYU Memes for Wholesome Teens, “Wholesome Wednesday” news was spread, and only “wholesome” posts were approved.
But going further than just feel-good images, they decided to spread awareness and provide important contact information for the mental health services offered at NYU.
“I expressed that I wanted to address this issue along the lines of reaching out for help,” wrote admin and NYU student, Arystan Tatishev, via email.
Several posts and memes included phone numbers and emails for NYU’s wellness center and hotline, as well as encouraging words to others to check in on loved ones and reach out for help if needed.
“I think that things that are based in student efforts are, a lot of the time, better and more accessible and more immediate than admin stuff,” Paine said. “We got an email about [the suicide] from the wellness center when we’d already finished the day of wholesome stuff. So it was like, well, we kind of beat y’all to the punch.”
Students have expressed frustration with the lack of response from NYU, however an email from Wellness Services was sent out on Thursday, with no mention of the suicide.
Paine referenced suicide clusters, a belief that one suicide can trigger others. There is research that suggests that young people are most affected by suicide clusters, according to the New York Times. Paine’s concern was for the student population not having information to aid them, if necessary, after hearing of the news.
The creator of the page, Tatishev, also stressed how important it was to the admins not to trivialize what happened.
“We talked about making a week long commitment of only posting wholesome content and calling it Wholesome Week,” Tatishev wrote. “However as some of my team members pointed out, that could be misinterpreted as us ‘milking’ the situation and it would send the wrong message.”
They decided on a single day theme, and an outpouring of wholesome content followed.
“The overwhelming positive response to Wholesome Wednesday was comforting because I’ve dealt with mental health issues in the past and the news of the suicide hit me pretty hard,” Jinny Hwang, a sophomore NYU student at Shanghai and meme page admin, wrote via Facebook message. “It taught me that the NYU community may not have a physical or enclosed campus, but when s–t hits the fan, we’re all here for each other to spread love and positivity.”
NYU sophomore Emery Whiteman is a member of the meme page and felt like the mission of Wholesome Wednesday had a positive impact.
“It reminds you of the friends and family you have, and that you can reach out for support,” she said.
That sentiment is emphasized by the flood of comments and likes on the multitude of posts created on Wednesday. Other admins praised member’s contributions and responses in a time of sadness for the NYU community.
“I saw the community come together and express their kindness and understanding to each other,” Tatishev wrote. “I saw people being informed of what happened and I saw what people had to say about the state of university’s mental wellness program. This is a heavy topic and people pointed out all the flaws with how university is dealing with it.”
The mental health services at NYU have been a point of contention and disagreement among students, who say that the services aren’t widespread enough. Comments on Wholesome Wednesday posts detailed flaws in NYU’s system and student’s frustration with their experiences.
“There’s not enough counselors at all,” Paine said, speaking of his own experiences with the NYU Wellness Center. “With the amount that students are paying, we could have more counselors.”
Paine also cited disappointing interactions with counselors, outsourcing, and unexpected costs.
John Stanley, NYU Junior and meme page admin, emphasized student advocacy in order to encourage changes.
“As a society, we have a long way to go before we fully legitimize mental health issues, and in a competitive school such as NYU, it’s doubtful that these changes will come without a more specific, vocal demand from students,” Stanley wrote via email.
As NYU and students grapple with the realities of mental health at the largest private university in America, online communities like the NYU Meme page hope to be a source of support and positivity.
“It was heartwarming to see the page be a safe place, a place to grieve for the fellow student,” Tatishev wrote. “I have received several messages thanking me for doing it, but in all honesty, it’s the community that really made it happen.”
Please contact these services if you or someone you know is having mental health troubles or experiencing thoughts of suicide: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Hotline at 1-800-783-2433. For NYU Students or faculty, you can also contact the 24-hour Wellness Exchange hotline at 212-443-9999 or 24-hour chat via the Wellness Exchange app.
This story is featured in the Washington Square News
Long before Christine Blasey Ford became a household name for accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, she was simply Aunt Chrissy to her niece, Haley Peters.
“Chrissy was definitely the aunt I was closest to,” Peters, a CAS sophomore, said. “She’s always someone I’ve been able to trust and rely on, and out of everyone, she has been the most supportive through the different phases of my life. She taught me how to surf when I was younger and helped me with the whole college selection process.”
The last few weeks have completely altered Ford’s life. She has been lauded as a hero by some and sent death threats by others. Since coming forward in a Washington Post article, she has been forced to move from her home and hire private security.
Peters, whose mother is Ford’s sister-in-law, says her family has felt the effects as well.
“We all found out about [the allegations] at the same time as everyone else — in the news,” Peters said. “I got a random news notification saying someone is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. I clicked on it and I read ‘Christine Blasey Ford,’ and it didn’t really register, especially because I always call her Chrissy. And then I scrolled down, and they had her picture. I immediately called my mom and my dad.”
In a tense hearing on Thursday, Ford testified before 21 senators, saying she is “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.
Kavanaugh, who testified later in the day, vehemently and emotionally denied the allegations.
After a Friday morning filled with confusion in the Senate Judiciary Committee, members decided to delay a Senate-wide vote to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice pending an FBI investigation into the matter.
In Peters’ mind, there is no question as to whether or not her aunt is telling the truth.
“There’s the whole argument in the last two weeks that the left has orchestrated this political attack,” Peters said. “Since June or July, she’s been trying to reach several different people, so that automatically disproves that. She was reaching out before he was the nominee.”
Not long after the allegations came to light, Ford contacted Peters and her whole family, urging them to keep their names out of it and not to speak to the press.
“She said she’s obviously very happy and grateful for the support, but she told me not to insert myself into the public eye for safety reasons,” Peters said. “Everyone she knows who has spoken publicly about it has gotten extremely harassed and publically endangered themselves.”
The family heeded the warning at first, but over the last week, her mother and her aunt have both defended Ford on national television. The family even released a letter of support for Ford that Peters signed.
But even after being directly contacted by several media outlets, Peters has been more reserved. Her fear for her own safety has kept her from the spotlight.
“I know [Ford] has received various death threats and constant harassment, along with my cousins and her husband,” Peters said. “When my mom started doing interviews and posting on Facebook, [she got] a lot of hate messages, which can easily be translated into something dangerous. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re all in physical danger.”
NYU’s campus was abuzz with news of the hearings on Thursday and Friday. Peters described the oddity of listening to students and professors talk about a family member. NYU School of Law classes were even canceled so students and professors could watch.
“It’s been very, very frustrating,” she said. “Like trying to just focus in class and trying to check my Facebook for actual news and seeing all these people talking about it. Even my friends don’t know that she’s my aunt.”
Nikta Daijavad and Cara Hume are co-presidents of Law Women, an NYU Law student group aimed at promoting women in the legal field. They are trying to provide safe spaces for people to talk about the hearings and the effect Kavanaugh could have if confirmed to the Supreme Court.
“Even before the allegations of sexual assault, I think it was really clear to us that Brett Kavanaugh posed a threat to women,” Daijavad said. “He looked like a very different threat to women a couple of weeks ago than he does now. Our thinking was [that] women will literally die if this man gets on the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade gets overturned.”
They say the last few weeks have revealed the pain within the NYU Law community.
“Even for women that might not have had experiences like Dr. Blasey Ford had, it was still incredibly personal to watch this hearing,” Hume said. “It was very removed from politics because of the way women innately live with this sense of vulnerability of potentially being the victim of something like that.”
Multiple NYU names have been connected to the hearings throughout the last few weeks. NYU Law Professor Melissa Murray gave scathing testimony against Kavanaugh on the fourth day of the hearings. Meanwhile, Law Professor Richard Epstein spoke to the opposite side of the issue, writing that Ford’s accusations are a political move.
Politics Professor Christine Harrington expressed her frustration with the way the hearing was handled.
“To see general basic norms being just trashed,” said Harrington, who specializes in public law, “it prevents a dialogue from happening and it was just a flat-out political show. There’s something called judicial temperament and manner, and this was just out of bounds. The conspiracy theory that [Kavanaugh] put forward was just so Fox News-ish and so out of it.”
Harrington doesn’t want to make predictions about whether or not Kavanaugh will be confirmed, but she is very clear on what the effect will be if he gets on the Court.
“It will be horrific,” she said.
Peters watched the hearings through a busy class schedule.
“It was amazing how elegantly she could speak about something so painful,” Peters said. “I was really proud of her. I just can’t believe it because we’re regular people. We’re not people that are used to being in the public eye or under scrutiny like that. There’s no reason we should be experts in dealing with the press or dealing with assault publicly.”
She was shocked for a different reason when watching Kavanaugh’s testimony.
“He was so aggressive,” Peters said. “He called her testimony — which is the hardest thing she’s ever had to do — a national disgrace. I can’t believe how it was handled. How the Senate handled it was kind of an amazing thing and not in the good sense of the word.”
Peters hopes that Kavanaugh will withdraw his name from consideration, but she is doubtful that will happen.
“If he was suspected of a different crime that didn’t involve sex, like if he was suspected of murder or even a lesser white collar crime, I can say certainly that there would be way less of a stigma around how it was handled,” Peters said. “People would take it seriously.”
For her aunt and her family, Peters just wants a return to normalcy.
“I don’t know what the ideal is for my aunt moving forward and my other family that has been in the public eye,” she said. “I don’t know how they would go back to their normal life. I’m not sure what the fix is, but I know that something needs to happen or it will just be painful and uncomfortable for the rest of her life and our life. His confirmation would obviously make that so much worse.”
Every chair on the Lower Level 2 of Bobst Library yesterday, was occupied by a student hunched over their laptops with eyes fixated on their screens and fingers glued to their keyboards. Every study room was booked and every outlet was in use.
Papers were sprawled across the floor as students sat on the sides of the hallway, barely making room for passersby. Some study groups were even assembling on the couches of the main lobby. This was not just a snapshot of a day in Bobst Library—this is Bobst Library 24-7. It’s finals season.
“It’s been a time of suffering,” Zahra Watson, a second-year Marketing major, said.
Watson, like many other students at New York University, are beyond stressed about their finals, sacrificing their physical health for a letter grade. Some stay at the library until 3 a.m., or keep working until they go to their 8 a.m. class the next morning.
“I haven’t slept in the past couple of days,” Watson said. “I’ve been living off of Red Bull and Starbucks.”
According to a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, college students are more likely to have erratic sleep schedules, poor quality sleep and are highly at risk for major mood and substance abuse disorders. But sleep is not the only thing college students miss out on during this stressful time of year.
“I forget to eat… a lot,” Noah Kim, 20, said. “I’m always so into my projects and always thinking about ideas.”
Kim, a film major at Tisch, has been stressing about thinking of ideas for his final film project. According to Kim, most students at NYU don’t believe that Tisch kids have finals, but Tisch final projects are just as, or even more than, stressful as finals at other schools.
“This final project shows everything that you’ve learned throughout the semester and how much you’ve improved,” Kim said. “I just feel stressed and sick.”
Others feel as if finals season is affecting their entire wellbeing beyond their sleep schedule.
“I would label myself as an active person, but during finals season, my body cannot recover the same way,” Nicholas Tong, a student on the pre-med track, said. “I’m lethargic.”
While the immense stress of finals season may simply be a rite of passage in college, high stress levels for a prolonged period of time can cause poor cardiovascular health and lowered immunity, according to the Vaden Health Center at Stanford University. Some students believe that professors can take measures to ameliorate the pressure on the general health of the student body.
“Perhaps professors should space out the tests even more, but I can imagine that navigating those logistics would be pretty hard,” Tong said.
But coping with the madness of finals season is not a lost cause. Some students are taking measures into their own hands to destress.
“I don’t stress as much because I realize one bad grade won’t kill you,” Sally Wu, a freshman at Gallatin, said. “I also take lots of naps.”
When final exams and paper deadlines are quickly creeping around the corner, it can be difficult to balance academic effort with physical wellbeing. According to USA Today, experts recommend some helpful tips such as reaching out to counselors, communicating with professors, and of course, an adequate amount of sleep.
“We often look at mind and body as two different things,” Tong said. “But it’s actually one thing. if we take care of our bodies, we take care of our minds.”
At a university that tends to hold the arts in a higher standing than sports, student-athletes deal with low interest and travel challenges. Through it all, though, those who compete for the Violets take pride in decades of history and accolades.
Parsons School of Design student Koko Clarke uses her senior thesis to examine the intersection of fashion, technology, and efficiency. By Alexandra Delyanis