Hey! Interested in Loving College? Join The Commentator.
You’re going to love your time at YU, but it won’t take you long to figure out that not every day of college plays out like the glossy photo-narratives of a YU brochure. You’ve seen the shots: swelling, smiling waves of blue and white dancing about YU’s float in the Israel Day Parade, or the relaxed laughter of supine students, perhaps of both genders, enjoying Wilf Campus’s perennial Astroturf. Students who experience these moments recall the thrill, the satisfaction, and the fun, but you might find yourself disappointed if you expect such mind-blow daily. Like most great things, you’ve got to work long, hard days to earn them—to make them great.
But among many students, there’s an unfortunate tendency to grow discouraged by the intensity of effort required to make YU life so memorable. Our curricula are huge, our pressures numerous and unfair, and our shuttle times not always sufficiently frequent. In too many students, the resultant mental exhaustion breeds apathy.
The communal mental buildup of years of widespread apathy might discourage the typical newcomer (or senior), who may have been advised not to get caught up in YU’s community opportunities, but rather do his or her own thing, quietly, pre-professionally, absently. It’s easy to feel paralyzed by the all-pervasive stigmas; this glorified complacency may be hard to shake. Such mired and miring mindsets can immobilize even the most motivated men and women. For instance, people quiver at the possibility of joining certain groups, lest they get baselessly branded as less than cool, smart, or frum (or some combination thereof). Don’t fall prey to these absurd and embarrassing fears. The structure is in place for you to shape and live your most fulfilling possible collegiate life, and the only failures are those who shy away.
As hundreds of upperclassmen will reassure you, there is simply no college experience comparable to YU done right. That’s not to say, of course, that there is only one right way to live YU. Rather, for the right college experience, figure out what you want to pursue here, what you want to accomplish, and get started right away. (Cliché sentence, but true nonetheless:) The opportunities are endless. Ignore the misguided misinformation of those who will tell you otherwise, the cookie-cutting, self-professed pundits whose guidance you may have sought previously. YU student life boasts an amazingly vibrant culture, and the cynical voices instructing one and all to sink beneath the radar, to separate from our grand community, should be allowed to quickly fade from your mind.
How do you make this happen? There are many different avenues through which to join, celebrate, and lead our community. Shockingly diverse clubs abound, allowing you not just to pursue your goals, but meet and engage other students who will push you to achieve them. Additionally, be sure not to contract the debilitating Heights Syndrome, a stultifying mental illness whose victims view anything south of Belfer as impossibly distant. While we’ve forged a first-rate family here, and spending time in the Heights grows increasingly fun, many other parts of one of the greatest cities in the world deserve your subway fare. On top of that, you may have heard that YU has two undergraduate campuses, and you should make a point to acquaint yourself with both.
One of the best ways to take control of your college life is to join The Commentator. People on the Commentator staff live at the core of the action. Whether it’s breaking, making, or critiquing YU news, illuminating New York City opportunities, or helping you maximize your YU social life, The Commentator concretizes YU culture. We voice the critical thoughts and feelings of just about any community member who cares enough to speak up.
The Commentator is undergoing some serious re-imagining. Where are we headed? We can’t quite say at this point. Temporarily, we’re practicing the crunch-time postulate coined by University President Richard M. Joel: “Ready, Fire, Aim.” We are thrilled that the school year has begun, and we can’t wait to figure out where it’s going.
You’re encouraged to join The Commentator, for it’s one of the most reliable ways to ensure that you won’t miss out. But whether or not you join our staff, be sure to join—and lead—those around you. You’ll make us even prouder to represent YU.