On the weekends, when many clubs stay open well past dawn, your marathon nights might run all the way to the next afternoon. Youth isn’t wasted on the young, as George Bernard Shaw once sniffed; it’s something Lang students, living in New York, know how to enjoy.
Stay in university housing and you’ll be in a vibrant neighborhood like Greenwich Village or Chelsea with students from all over The New School, not just Lang. Your roommate could be the next Jackson Pollock, Charlie Parker, Zac Posen, Joan Didion, or Anne Hathaway.
"I’ve made a conscious effort to be out two nights a week,” said Alex Yellen, a current Lang student. “I’ll go to a jazz club or poetry slam. I started playing capture the flag in the city, and made a lot of friends through that."
You can easily strike a balance between having fun and being studious. Being in New York means having the freedom to pursue anything you want. Nothing constrains what you do, where you go, who you are. There are so many groups to support your interests, so many places to find culture, art, politics, and sports.
Contrary to reports that your classmates are the country’s leading dodge ball targets, last year many of them played fierce games of volleyball and basketball. Not exactly wimpy activities.
You can fight hard on and off the court. You can be an activist. Instead of joining a student chapter of Amnesty International or Greenpeace, you can work in their New York headquarters.
You can be a journalist. The New School Free Press (formerly Inprint), the bi-weekly Lang newspaper, is supervised by New York Times cultural critic Margo Jefferson. You can build an impressive portfolio of clips under her guidance.
You can hear experimental performance and maybe jump on stage, too, at funky spots like The Bowery Poetry Club, Nuyorican Poets Café, Galapagos, ABC NO RIO, and Halcyon.
You can go to literary readings every night, often right here at The New School, where captivating authors like Francine Prose and Joyce Carol Oates come for short stints and long residencies. There are also many independent bookstores and cultural institutions that offer readings. Among them are 192 Books, Spoonbill and Sugartown, Housing Works Used Book Café, The New York Public Library, and Cornelia Street Café.
You can get lost in the labyrinthine world of contemporary art at such galleries and spaces as Rivington Arms, White Columns, Roebling Hall, Pierogi 2000, Mathew Marks, Gigantic Art Space, and Deitch Projects. You can also curate an exhibit in one of many art spaces at The New School.
You can visit museums of everything: the American Museum of Natural History, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Paley Center for Media, The Museum of the American Indian, even the Museum of Sex.
You can watch the best dance performed by the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and the New York City Ballet.
You can listen to live music. All genres—hip-hop, indie rock, jazz, folk, avant-garde, punk, grime, screamo, classical—can be heard at venues like the Blue Note, Bowery Ballroom, Irving Plaza, Joe's Pub, Mercury Lounge, Sweet Rhythm, Webster Hall, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall.
You can catch off-beat and popular films at celebrated theaters like the Angelika, Anthology Film Archives, Cinema Village, Film Forum, Landmark Sunshine Cinema, and the Quad Cinema.
You can see the best alternative and classic drama at the Public Theater, SoHo Playhouse, 45 Bleecker, and Theater for the New City.
If you make the most of your time, you really can do anything as a student at Lang.