With finals ending this week, I’ve realized that every day could be the one in which I visit NYU’s Bobst library for the last time.
Some students have successfully made it to graduation without stepping inside once or even borrowing a book. Others live here for most of the school year. I’ve gone in about once a week.
In these halls I’ve heard students complaining about schoolwork, girls talking about boys, sometimes boys talking about girls, students holding Skype interviews for internships or jobs, and people speaking in foreign languages on the cellphone as they pace the corridor. The voices from all parts of the building rise up as one murmur of students suffering and sometimes enjoying the intensity of the academic life. Solidarity comes from the environment.
Students often say that few outside the school circle understand the overwhelming pressure they face from the lack of sleep, the multitude of assignments and anxiety about the future. But once finals are over, it’s very hard to remember that exhaustion. Even in the midst of such a taxing schedule, the reality of death and breakup and poverty can suddenly reemerge and put school into context.
Anything can happen on a given day, but it’s likely that my last time in Bobst will happen this week.