Sunday, September 21, 2008

NYU: Remembering

Last night, when A and I got back from dinner and grocery shopping (and, unintentionally, waiting for the bus for a half hour), there was a sheet of paper on our entryway floor. We overlooked it at first, but later when I was turning off the hall light, I noticed it and saw that it had a lot of text on it. All those words signified either big trouble or big news to me. When I picked it up to read it, I found that it really meant both.

A boy from our building was struck by a car and killed the other night, walking along the road after partying in Brooklyn. It was shocking to read this horrible news, because he was only a sophomore. I didn't know him, but it brought up a lot of thoughts about similar incidents. I'm not very emotional about people I don't personally know, but I did experience a brief but intense wave of what I guess was anger when I read about this boy's unfortunate passing. How completely unnecessary and unfair it is, and how sudden.

NYU is known for its high suicide rate. I was not aware of this gruesome fact until I came here, but it is definitely part of our school culture, as awful as that is. The school even rigged all dorm windows to open a mere three inches when suicides spiked a few years ago. Last Fall, there were about four suicides within the first month, if I remember correctly. The details were obviously and wisely concealed, but everyone speculated that it was the classic reactions of freshmen unaccustomed to the one-small-face-in-a-huge-crowd atmosphere of NYU. It is hard to make yourself seen or heard here. And it is hard to grow into yourself when the community is so spread out - NYU stretches from the Financial District up to Gramercy and Murray Hill now, and it can be hard to find friends in this housing situation, not to mention in the multiple schools of NYU. But there is no sense in generalizing these insignificant facts to the lives and deaths of such unique students.

NYU tries a lot of things to bring this enormous community together and offer year-round emotional support for those who need it, but there are a lot of variables they simply can't control. This latest death has really accentuated such limitations - the accident occurred in a totally different borough, and it was not connected with NYU or academics at all.

I just hope the boy from Gramercy Green was able to do the things he wanted and enjoyed in the short time he lived on this earth, and that maybe this unfortunate event will inspire others to make the most of their experiences, not just at NYU but in life.

Thanks to Wikimedia for the image.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: