Summer Series: New York, New York


This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to New York City and participate in NYU Tisch’s Dramatic Writing summer program. Though many college programs aimed at anxious high school students have sprung up in recent years, Tisch’s is relatively unique in that you earn six college credits, and get to live in the center of Manhattan for a month with little supervision.

I was reminded several times that this wasn’t “camp,” and almost all of us agreed that the workload was more intense than anything we’d experienced in high school. Traditional sleep away camp tropes appeared – kids were homesick, curfews were enforced somewhat strictly, and one girl got food poisoning from the often lackluster dining hall.

But more often than not, we were treated as adults. I’ll spare you the intricacies of my schedule, but on most week nights, I had a good five hours where I was free to roam the city as I pleased. That might not seem like a lot, but I learned pretty quickly that five hours in New York City with an unlimited Metro card is a very long time. And on the weekends, we had the whole day to wander, as long as we were back in the dorms by 12.

In Weinstein Hall, we were housed with kids from the four other Tisch programs (Film, Photography, Recorded Music, and monolithic Drama). Our schedules varied wildly, but after curfew, the dorms would dissolve into an anarchic fervor of creativity. It was probably the most creative place I’ve ever been in my life, as well as the craziest (I walked in my room late one night to find 10 film students passed out on my floor for no apparent reason). I averaged about five hours of sleep a night, and loved every second of it.

Through my program and the dorms, we got free tickets to a lot of shows. I saw ten Broadway, Off Broadway, and Off Off Broadway shows this summer – including Hamilton, which  is worth whatever price tickets are currently selling for and more. I turned down a few others to take advantage of the benefits of having an NYU ID, which included free admission to almost every museum in the city. Cheap tickets to comedy shows at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, indie concerts in Brooklyn, and experimental theatre in Harlem filled any gaps in entertainment.

Some of my favorite nights were spent wandering Greenwich Village with the kids from my program. There’s a really weird bond that forms when you spend eighteen hours a day with someone for a month, and it’s even weirder to leave them behind at the end of the month with the understanding that you may never see each other again. I don’t know what crazy person came up with the idea of letting almost two hundred high school juniors loose in the city, but I would like to thank them, because while I’m sure it’s a logistical nightmare for the staff and RAs, it was absolutely the best month of my life.

Did you have an interesting experience over the summer that you want to share with the larger MCDS community? Contact Mrs. Gallup or Francess Dunbar to contribute to our Summer Series.