An Unofficial Student Guide to Surviving Juilliard

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
Matthew Pearce
Juilliard Journal
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Matthew Pearce

Advice for Students

Your time at Juilliard tends to be a whirlwind of information about resources the school has to offer and what it’s like to be a student in NYC, and they’re all very official and helpful. That said, there are some things about life at Juilliard that can only be learned through experience. To give you a head start, here are some tips.

1. Pack the essentials when you’re out and about: Bare minimum? Deodorant, something minty, hand sanitizer, and a water bottle.

2. Find discounts: There are tons of fun things to do in NYC but you probably aren’t made of money. Discounts are everywhere if you just take the time to dig for them. #OfficeofStudentAffairs

3. Naps are inevitable: For a dorm resident, a two-hour gap in your schedule means that you can just head back to your comfy bed and have a snooze. For those who live off-campus, a two-hour gap is probably too short to go home but too long to do nothing. Sure, you could study—or you could head up to the fourth floor by the McClelland Theater and pass out on those surprisingly cozy couch-bed things.

4. Make friends with the security staff: They do everything and anything to keep us safe and comfortable, and they’re some of the sweetest and most genuine people ever, so say hello and get to know them. You’ll be especially grateful you did when you forget your ID.

5. My favorite places nearby to eat: Old John’s Luncheonette, Wok City (cash only), Indie, Gourmet Garage, and anything up around 72nd St.

6. Don’t forget the sun: You’ll spend entire spans of daylight inside the school, but keep in mind that Central Park is only two blocks away and a great way to fill smaller gaps in your day. Time in the sun will keep you refreshed and healthier.

7. Haircuts: Most popular place among all genders is our very own Wig Shop. You have to make an appointment but they do an incredible job for a fair price. Another option: the tiny Boutique Barbershop on 72nd St. You can just walk in, it’s quick and cheap, and the staff is lovely.

8. Become a regular at restaurants and shops: People knowing your name and your favorite order can add a homey feel to life in NYC, and being really friendly may lead to some discounts and free things.

9. Make/find time to socialize: It’s very easy to get caught up in your work and only socialize in the classroom. You’re in the most diverse city in the world with the greatest density of activities in the world. Make friends, take advantage of being in an incredibly diverse city with an unbelievable density of activities, and forget about being a top-drawer artist for a few hours.

10. You really do belong here! When you walk into the building for the first time as an official student, it can be very easy to ask, “What on earth am I doing?” Know that you belong and are deserving of every magical moment that you will experience in these walls. You made it! Now take advantage of the time you have here.

Matthew Pearce is a second-year master's tenor