Life as an NYU student can get pretty busy, but life as a Film and Television student in particular is unique. Generally, NYU classes are one hour and fifteen minutes long and occur twice weekly. Most Film and Television classes are just under three hours with a break halfway through, and they occur once a week. This leads to days that feel a lot like running a marathon. 

Still, I have so much fun learning in each of my classes, and I’m happy to walk through a week in my life as an FTV student, Admissions Ambassador, and Resident Assistant all wrapped into one.


8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

On Mondays, I usually have a class from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM called Intermediate Television Bootcamp. This is a production class, so they generally go on for longer than other Tisch courses. In this class, we divide into two groups of around 10 students to produce two miniseries. We’ve been shooting every weekend this semester and sharing equipment, and today is the day we’re checking it all back into the Production Center!

12:00 - 3:00 PM

After check-in, we broke for an hour of lunch and then had a guest speaker come in and speak about his experience as a showrunner!

6:20 - 9:00 PM

After a short interlude for laundry, I returned to Tisch for my second class of the day, Music for Film and Television. This class gets into the history of scores and how different styles and genres of scores developed over time. It’s a really interesting lecture, but it only runs in the fall semester, so snag it when you can!

9:00 PM - 12:00 AM

When I come home from class, I usually give myself an hour to unwind and have dinner before finishing up some work I have due. This week, I already did my homework due Tuesday (yay me!) so I folded my laundry and hopped in the shower before bed.


5:30 - 10:00 AM

I decided that today was the day to get back in the gym. I’d had a pretty intense month and was unable to find time to work out, but I decided to head to 404 Fitness, an on-campus fitness center, bright and early at 6 AM! It was so rough, but I was so glad to have the rest of the morning to plan out the rest of my day. It wasn’t easy, though – I really fought the urge to take a power nap before class.

11:00 AM - 1:45 PM

My only Tuesday class is called Versailles: The Makings of a World Heritage Site and is offered through the College of Arts and Science for my French minor. This course is taught completely in French and takes us through the history of Versailles, from its conception to its collapse.

This class is unique because of the length – most courses outside of Tisch will be an hour and fifteen minutes long. This class, on the other hand, is two hours and forty-five minutes and only meets once a week.

5:00-6:30 PM

After lunch and a long-awaited nap, I started to finish my hour-long pilot for one of my Wednesday classes. I’m writing a fantasy pilot with five acts, and I decided to write the final portion in time for class tomorrow.

7:00 - 8:00 PM

This Tuesday was our New Hire Mixer in the Bonomi Admissions Center! We just welcomed more than 70 new Admissions Ambassadors to our program this semester, and had a great time getting to know everyone! I went to the mixer for a bit before heading back home to get some more work done.

9:30 PM - 12:00 AM

After watching a million episodes of The Nanny, I got back to work on finishing my pilot episode. We only have one week of class left, so I wanted to make sure I had time to revise my writing during my professor’s office hours so I could tighten my script over winter break. It was a long haul, but I finally finished.


9:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Wednesdays are a bit of a marathon when it comes to classes. In the mornings I have Legal Aspects of the Entertainment Industry, which is a part of my Producing minor. This lecture talks about all of the legal components of creating a film or television series and is taught by a working entertainment lawyer. This class is full of producers looking to learn how to draft contracts and directors who want to know how to protect themselves.

Today we received the assignment for our final project – wish me luck!

12:30 - 3:15 PM

Then I went to the long-awaited Writing for Television: The Hour class. I worked all week to finish my episode for this class and… unfortunately, I didn’t make it in the lineup to read today. Thankfully, that gives me more time to revise my script for next week.

In this class, we’ve been tracking our original hour-long pilots from conception to completion. In our first class back in September, we pitched our ideas to the class and since then we’ve been developing them. At this point, each week we turn in different acts to be read to the entire class. At the end of each reading, we receive feedback from our peers.

3:30 - 5:30 PM

This wouldn’t be a week in my life if I didn’t take another nap. I promise I don’t usually crash like this after my classes, I’ve just been adjusting to my early gym session on Tuesday. Speaking of which…


5:30 - 8:30 AM

I went back to the gym for an early morning session. I do feel great being productive before 8 AM, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard! Still, today I had a lot of fun grabbing a good breakfast from Downstein, one of our largest dining halls. On Thursdays I don’t have any classes, so I take this time to pick up shifts and finish some assignments.

10:00 - 11:00 AM

Then, I headed downstairs for a 1:1 with my RA supervisor, the Residence Hall Assistant Director. My supervisor will schedule a meeting with me every other week just to check in and see how everything is going. This is where I bring up questions about hall programming and anything that I might need additional support with. We had a great cumulative meeting where we talked about my goals for the spring.

12:30 - 5:00 PM

After a quick snack, I went to the Bonomi Family Admissions Center, where we dismiss campus tours! I gave a partner tour, took another snack break, and worked at the front desk, answering guest questions.

6:00 - 9:00 PM

I then submitted some essays and returned home to get ready for my Resource Center shift. Most RAs work shifts in the hall’s Resource Center, where residents access packages, get supplies, and reserve spaces. I work this shift every Thursday night, so I’m used to the activity levels and closing the Resource Center. It’s a great chance to get to know the building and the residents who live there!


8:45 - 11:00 AM

Unfortunately, we’re still getting up bright and early this morning. I picked up a shift working the reception desk at our new building! The other Ambassadors and I are so excited to be answering your admissions questions in a brand-new space! While I’m here, I try to get working on a lot of the final papers I have due next week – this is the busiest part of the semester, but we’re in the home stretch!

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM

I then head over to my only class of the day: Intermediate Television Bootcamp. This class tends to meet twice a week, six hours on Mondays and three hours on Fridays. Now that we’ve finished shooting our episodes, we’re developping new five-minute pilot episodes. Today, I’m sharing the beat sheet for my new show, On This Day.

9:00 PM

To close out my Friday night, I was on duty. Every single night two RAs are “at home,” which means that they’re on-call overnight and deal with things from noise complaints to late-night lock-outs. Two RAs are assigned to this, RA A and RA B. RA A is the first point of contact for any of these concerns, however, if RA A doesn’t respond, RA B is the backup. I did rounds with my RA partner in between bites of dinner before heading to bed.

Thank you so much for coming along with me throughout my week! NYU students often have hectic schedules. I’m glad to offer a glimpse into a film student’s weekly workload and on-campus responsibilities.

I will say, this semester is busy, even for me. Once you enter your third and fourth years as a film student, increased schedule flexibility will allow you to fill your days with other tasks, like I have. Don’t worry about figuring out how to manage everything so soon. Everyone has a learning curve, and NYU does a great job of supporting first-year students.

Cecily Johnson is a rising senior from the Philadelphia suburbs studying Film and TV Production, Producing, and French. While on campus she is an Admissions Ambassador, the Treasurer for Tisch-affiliated club The Collective, and a Resident Assistant in a first-year residence hall. Though Cecily loves living a busy lifestyle, she’s often making efforts to slow down a bit as she enjoys taking walks, photography, weightlifting at 404, and trying new foods. In the future, she hopes to work in the media and entertainment field, ideally as a television showrunner, and wants nothing more than to contribute to the creative sphere with her personal touch.