Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Life at NYU?

[Editor’s Note: A friend of mine sent me the full text to this article about what life is really like for a freshman at New York University from the New York Post. It was a little too funny not to post in it’s entirety. Hope you all enjoy — especially those of you who are also NYU alum.]


Confessions of an NYU Freshman – The Sex, Drugs and Poker that Tempt One City College Kid

By Anonymous

COLLEGE is exactly like it is in the movies. Well, movies like “Animal House”
and “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.” Less like “Mona Lisa Smile.”

I realized this after watching a red-faced New York University senior
stuffing a keg in a computer box in hopes of smuggling it past dorm security.

That was last week, my first as a freshman in the Stern School of Business at
NYU. It’s been a time of excitement, stress – pure joy and pure fear. I’m
overwhelmed by how many distractions there are here, going to college with
39,000 other students in the middle of Manhattan. I’m amazed, but not
necessarily surprised, by the alcohol, sex and drugs on campus.

Yet I’m also thrilled to be here, a university that was my first choice
growing up in Rockland County. This was the place I had always wanted to go to.
It’s a chance to party, date and, yes, study in a village made up of my peers.
And I’ve already learned the most important lesson:

I really need a fake ID.


I live in Hayden Hall, a building right on Washington Square Park, with a
well-founded reputation as a party dorm.

I have friends who live in University Hall uptown, and it’s pretty boring.
Everyone has their doors shut, and no one really socializes. I also have friends
who live in Weinstein, the other freshman dorm, and they kind of hate it, too.
It’s more like a prison block than a dorm.

In Hayden we all keep our doors open all the time, and people room-hop all
day and pretty much all night. My three roommates and I have met a ton of people
this past week. I think everyone is much more social because we’ve all been
drinking our faces off.

I didn’t know my roommates, and that made me kind of nervous. Four guys in
two adjoining rooms is a lot of testosterone. But, thank God, I was pleasantly
surprised. We get along really well, and it’s been fun so far. The mess? That’s
a whole other issue.

A lot of people have fake IDs, so they get the liquor and then we all share.
Vodka, Captain Morgan’s and beer are the dorm favorites. When I first got here,
I really feared meeting new people and hoped that getting comfortable with my
chaotic surrounding wouldn’t be too difficult. It turns out it was much easier
than I thought.

One of the first things I did when I moved in was sign up for Facebook
(facebook.com), an online student directory. It’s the greatest thing ever –
Cliffs Notes for your classmates – where you post your name, hobbies and
picture; a virtual extension of yourself. You can also post your schedule, which
is helpful when you want to know the name of the hot redhead who was sitting
next to you in Bio 101.

Most of the upperclassmen use Facebook, also known as the “hook-up book” the
“hooker booker” and the “get face book” to get a look at the hot freshman girls.
It works both ways. If the hot redhead from bio is much more into the
upperclassmen, my chances are slimmer.

As if we need more distractions, every room is linked to a high-speed
computer network. I haven’t quite figured out how it all works but, despite
anti-piracy efforts, it’s an endless supply of free and very illegal music and
movie sharing. There’s also plenty of porn, supposedly even one made here in the
dorms and a video going around of some poor shmuck professing his love for some


Yes. We go to class. For now, pretty much everyone is making it to the
lectures and discussions. I have a feeling that all this is going to change
soon. There’s a lot going on around here, and class could end up becoming a side
act for some people.

It’s not so much the bars and drinking that is as distracting as the idea of
just lounging around all day hanging out with friends. You can play chess in the
park, head over to Broadway and do some shopping or just sit at home and watch
hours of television. Plus, most classes don’t have mandatory attendance, so no
one would really miss you.

At first, I was really intimidated by the library; I mean so many people
killed themselves there last year. But now I think it’s a good place to go and
study and get away from the insanity of the dorms. I love dorm life, but it’s
really not the most productive place to pore over lecture notes and do finance


Drugs are not hard to get in the dorms. They’re readily available, and
although I don’t know anyone personally who deals, I’ve heard plenty of stories.

I have a friend who’s a sophomore, a photography major, who lives in the
Palladium. Palladium is mostly apartment-style housing for upperclassmen and an
awesome place to live. There’s a guy who runs a poker room, and there are
parties three or four nights a week. People do lines in the bathrooms, some kid
makes like 700 bucks a week dealing and you can pretty much get any drug you
want without ever leaving the dorms.

Ritalin is no longer the drug of choice for studying. It’s Adderall, and it’s
really easy to buy. It’s only like $5 a pill, and people love it. People buy
Vicodin and Perks, too, from kids who have had muscle strains and stuff. They’re
not dealers, they’re just NYU entrepreneurs.

What blows my mind is that I heard someone paid $50 for two Vicodin pills.
Some of these people just have so much money. I mean, people probably spend an
average of $250 to $300 a week in restaurants and buying alcohol. It’s difficult
being a student who doesn’t have a lot of disposable income or a trust fund.


My cousin is a senior at NYU, and he’s told me some wild stories about what
he did his freshman year at Hayden.

You know that Red Hot Chili Peppers poster, the one with just a sock? They
did the same thing, a strategically placed sock, some towels and they ran around
flashing people. They didn’t even get caught.

There are tales of drinking gone awry, of tasteless pranks played on
unsuspecting New Yorkers, of failed tests and all-night crash study sessions.

I don’t tell these stories to my parents. I’m pretty confident that I’m going
to be fine. This place is like Las Vegas and Sodom rolled into one, and the best
advice I’ve heard is to not get sucked into a 24-hour party lifestyle.

I’m sure it will work out. But for now I’m kind of scared s—less.

Update (9/19/05): NYU’s Washington Square News responds.

Update (5/18/06): Due to a site improperly crediting me as the article’s author I added the extra warning at the top.

September 19, 2005