by Alexandra Cohen
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
NYU is a global institution, which means students hail from one of three places: Los Angeles, New Jersey and the Bay Area. Upon meeting someone, you’ll typically ask their name, their major and where they’re from.
A student from Los Angeles will tell you exactly what part of LA they’re from, unless they’re not actually from LA — then they’ll tell you quietly that they grew up in Pasadena or Orange County. They’ll also tell you exactly how close they are to the beach or Rodeo Drive and which nepotism baby they went to high school with. The Crossroads kids will tell you all about their nights with the Apatows, the Harvard-Westlake kids will go on about Apple Martin and any Oakwood kid will tell you about how they smoked weed with Lily-Rose Depp.
Jersey kids will tell you the name of their town that ends in “-town” or “-wood,” then clarify with South, North or the mythical Central, and finally explain to you their distance from the beach or the city. Adorably, students from New Jersey think that the average NYU student knows what their small town is; pretentiously, students from the Bay Area assume they don’t. And that’s my beef.
A real conversation with a student from the Bay Area:
“Nice to meet you. Where are you from?” I ask innocently, expecting the name of a major city or a suburb of [insert major city].
“I’m from this really underground galaxy called the Milky Way, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it,” they respond.
“Oh, I actually have heard of it, where in the Milky Way are you from?” I ask, stupidly expecting more specificity.
“Planet Earth, it’s the third one from the sun,” they say, demonstrating the sort of knowledge one can only receive from an ultra-competitive Bay Area high school.
“Yes, I know it well. Where on Earth?” I ask. I’m now three questions into this conversation and still haven’t gotten a crumb of an answer yet.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.