88 Days ‘Til Graduation for the Class of ‘23!
Commencement is fast approaching! This year’s graduating class will be the first class to graduate together in Shanghai since the start of the pandemic. On March 10, NYU Shanghai’s annual 88 Days celebration brought many of the Class of 2023 together for the first time since their first year to pose for graduation photos, toast each other’s achievements, and enjoy live performances as they counted down the days to commencement.
There were plenty of photo opps throughout the day to get everyone in a celebratory mood. Before the countdown ceremony, students were invited to walk down the purple carpet and take photos together.
Students took polaroid selfies with their friends and then stuck them on a giant world map with messages to their fellow classmates. Lines crisscrossed the map, showing all the NYU campuses the Class of 2023 has traveled during their college careers. Seniors also donned their purple caps and gowns for the first time to take photos. “It felt so surreal, said Ariana Alvarez ’23, director of the Student Events Committee. “People tell you the four years go by so quickly, but wow, putting on the purple gown and the cap really made it real.”
Left: the completed signing board, right: Jarah Romero '23 signing his name on the board.
The class of 2023 gathered in the New Bund campus auditorium to get in the 88 Days spirit.
The stage performances reflected the Class of 2023’s diversity and talent, and included performances by two K-pop dance troupes, a classical piano performance, singers, and dancers performing traditional Chinese dance.
Emcees Dhruv Vaishnav ’23 and Stephanie Anderson ’23 threw giant dice into the crowd and led the audience in interactive games. They called on their fellow senior class members to share their favorite class, their biggest regret, and dream careers.
There were moments of reflection as well. The emcees united the audience by contemplating on their shared experiences, despite not being physically together for most of their college experience. “But that's what is beautiful about our class,” said Vaishnav. “We got an entirely different world perspective than any other class-- truly making the world our major.” He congratulated his Class of 2023 classmates for showing “resilience and determination to power through the toughest moments,” adding that comedy and humor have helped them along the way. “Through jokes and comedy we were able to create a jovial outlook on the past four years,” he said.
Then the seniors turned their attention to the future.
As the clock approached 8:23pm (20:23), the seniors counted down from 10 and shot confetti in the air. It was a moment of mixed emotions, said seniors who attended. “I felt so many things at the same time: excitement, nostalgia, a tinge of sadness, ”Alvarez said, but she added, “another part of me was like ‘what are you doing weren’t you just a first year?!’” In less than 88 days, she and her classmates will walk the stage, and then move on to the next phase of their lives. But in that brief moment, they reunited to bask in the thrill of being able to spend their senior spring together.