Ditch Those Preconceived Notions!

Imagine the green open spaces at your New York City campus…or, maybe not!

NYC TimesquareEven if you’ve never been to New York City, you probably have mental images of what it is like from movies, books, and TV.  Bright lights. Big city.  But going to college in New York can be surprising.  Keep your mind open to the possibilities and realities when you search for campuses.

Frank Sinatra’s seminal song, “New York, New York” says, “I want to be a part of it…New York, New York….I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep.”

If this appeals to you, check out some of the urban campuses like Parson’s School of Design, City College of New York, New York University, and Pace University. These urban campuses are often hard to distinguish from the businesses nearby and are integrated into the streets and buildings that surround them.  Billie Holiday and Harry Connick, Jr. sang, “New York is impossible not to love. Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds and canyons of steel are making me feel I’m home.”  Some people thrive in urban settings, you’ll know when you visit if it feels right for you.

Fordham Campus
Fordham University

But don’t be fooled into thinking the iconic movie images of busy streets and harried workers is all that there is to the Big Apple.  New York universities and colleges can be surprisingly beautiful and peaceful.  Walk across the lush, green, expansive Marytrs’ Lawn on your way to visit classrooms or on your way to the ball fields at Fordham University.

Fordham features two campuses, one near Lincoln Center and another in the north Bronx bordering the Botanic Gardens that lets you enjoy the classic experience of an old-style campus with ivy-covered buildings.  And when you visit Columbia University, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you go from city streets to green lawns, stately buildings, and a peaceful isolation.

In “Welcome to New York City,”  Cam’Ron and Jay-Z, etc. state it perfectly when they say “New York is what it is.”  It might take a visit to find out if it is right for you!  But make sure you visit both types of campus. This might be the perfect opportunity for a family vacation to go see the New York Yankees, see a Broadway show, tour The Cloisters, and stop in for a campus tour or two. “Come as you are. When you leave you’ll be changed.”  New York City by Among Savages. photo credit: cuellar via photopin cc

Gail Billingsley is a world traveler and COO of Smart College Visit. She frequently writes about travel, technology, and college life.