Ivie Ani’s family were all born in Nigeria, except for her, but she carries the heritage in her name: Ivie means ‘jewel’ good in the Edo language. A senior at N.Y.U. double majoring in Journalism and Africana Studies, Ivie has spent her entire life in New York City and lives in Yonkers with her mother and two older sisters, who immigrated here more than 25 years ago. Ivie splits all her time between classes and a job, finding respite only on the long commutes to and from Manhattan.

Serious Studies: I went to middle school in the Bronx – MS118. They had divisions of academic levels called Pace, Spectrum, and General Education. I tested high and got into Pace. They had different resources, and I don’t actually think that was the best way to do that because it caused a lot of tension. There was a point in time when General Ed. kids were beating up Pace kids and people had to get escorted home. It was a pretty bad neighborhood!

I went to high school called The High School for Environmental Studies, on 56th Street around Columbus Circle. The ceilings were made out of seaweed. It was just an ongoing theme. Most of the clubs were environmentally focused. They stressed recycling and little things like that, making you more aware of these things. I don’t litter now!

New York University and Journalism: I went into N.Y.U. with journalism on my mind because I had always been a good writer. One thing I regret about choosing journalism, though, is that I didn’t really think about it–I just associated journalism with writing.

At N.Y.U., overall I’m enjoying my experience. I don’t get a real college feel from this school but I expected that. I kind of feel detached from campus life, and I don’t really have a lot of time to engage in campus activities, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. I’m going to get a lot out of this school afterwards.

The Elusive Second Major: I lingered with the second major for about two years and I didn’t pick one until my junior year. I took a class, didn’t like it, changed my major, took a class, didn’t like it, changed my major, took a class, liked it, and kept the major. I went from Journalism & Linguistics to Journalism & Music to Journalism & Africana Studies.

With choosing Africana Studies as a major, well, that was just luck. I ended up taking a bunch of classes under the major requirements. They were just classes I was just interested in. I took, for example, Cultures & Contexts: The Black Atlantic, Journalism & Society: Minorities in the Media, and Constitution and Communities of Color. I only took them because I was interested in them, and I realized they were under the Africana Studies major. By the time I chose that major, I was almost halfway done with it!

In and Of the City: First time I went out of New York was a couple of months ago when I went to Virginia Beach for a friend’s birthday. It was the first time I ever stepped out of New York, and it was interesting. It was different. The scenery was different. Things just felt different. I didn’t get to interact with many of the people there so I wish I could have stayed for longer.

Manhattan Life: When people think of New York, they think of Manhattan. That’s the last thing I think of when I think of New York. Because Manhattan is just so far detached from the rest of New York. I know a lot of people from New York refer to Manhattan as ‘The City,’ which irks me because all five boroughs are a part of N.Y.C. Most beautiful thing about New York is… I don’t know. Let’s revisit that. I don’t want to say anything cliché like its diversity!


Written by Luis Landas