A Violet's Anatomy, Introducing "The Undergrad"

by CLAIRE WILLETT · February 12, 2008

the undergrad

Note from GofG: After a year and a half in Manhattan, our little undergrad still gets caught staring, and, often while walking around the villages, falls victim to sample sales and kitschy bookstores, while only occasionally showing up for classes at NYU (for creative non-fiction and foreign language). Eves and eyes-dropping are The U's favorite pastimes, preferably in dank dive bars or on the benches in Thompkins Square Park. The goal being to obtain an enlightened perspective of mankind, or, failing that, some good stories. If you have any, send them on over. The U will reward you with kisses and cocktails, or at least a nice email.

A Violet's Anatomy I chose NYU for New York first, and the University second. Most of us Violets do; the ones who don't, leave. New York is not a setting to be ignored, but, embraced, it makes for a great teacher. The city is our campus, and though the majority of our buildings huddle around Washington Park, our extra-curriculars, both wholesome and less-so, tend to sprawl all over Manhattan, and into Brooklyn. NYU is very different from the average university in that it's not a reality buffer, a four to ten year postponement. When you go to NYU, your world may be, and often is, a cosseted one, but it's real.

We walk to classes alongside moguls, models, single mothers, school children, and the clamoring cups of the homeless. Our days are long, not from studying, but from internships, jobs, and the ceaseless pull of the nightlife here. We do and see as much as we can; we know what's going on, where to go, and where to avoid. Money flees us; sometimes we kiss it goodbye. We haven't seen a keg since high school, but we can fill up a mixology chart in minutes. Our jeans are painted on, and we smoke, snort, and scurry down countless blocks to fit in to them. We aren't famous, or twenty-one, but you can find us dancing to Samantha and Leigh alongside Lindsay. When, after four years and $200,000, our college days are up, we segue seamlessly into full-time versions of our part-time pasts, with nary a need for wardrobe renovations.

[All Posts by The Undergrad]