Senior Reflections: Going to College in New York City

Senior Reflections: Going to College in New York City

Hey! Welcome to the part of the blog where I, a seasoned Barnard senior, offer up some insights into the Barnard experience. In this post, I’m going to reflect on attending school in New York City and how it shaped my college career.

When it came time for me to think about putting together a list of colleges, New York City was a big requirement. I had traveled to NYC many times with my family and I just loved how the city was teeming with culture in every corner. I specifically remember walking through the Upper West Side neighborhood one warm summer weekend, and my family happened upon a pop up street fair that stretched for blocks and blocks! I had never seen anything like this. There were food vendors, and people selling everything from giant rugs to small souvenir trinkets. It was here that I knew I wanted to be part of the NYC atmosphere.

Now that I’ve been living in NYC for three and a half years, the city has weaved its way into my everyday life. I think one of the most rewarding parts of being a student in the city is that your professors will turn the city into a classroom. During my first year introductory environmental science course which focused a lot on the Hudson River, our lab section consisted of different trips throughout the city. We went to the American Museum of Natural History to check out the different plants and animals living along the Hudson, the Metropolitan Museum of Art to learn about the paintings and sculptures inspired by the river, and we even got to join a research cruise on the Hudson River to take water samples. In my geology class a year later, our labs were purely field trips throughout the city to check out the different rock formations. Some of the highlights were a “rock tour” of Central Park and a trip up to Inwood Park on the tip of Manhattan to learn about the glaciers that once stood on top of it. It was one thing to learn about these ideas through a textbook, but then being able to actually go out and see these concepts in action really helped to reinforce what I was learning.    

A picture from the "rock tour" through Central Park!

A picture from the "rock tour" through Central Park!

Outside the classroom, the city offers so many new places and experiences to explore. One thing I love about NYC is that every time you get off the subway, you’re in a new neighborhood that has a completely different vibe than the last one you were just in. Sometimes I’ll spend free nights exploring different neighborhoods with friends or checking out cool comedy shows downtown. When you’re in NYC, you can never run out of things to do and see.

My friends and I went to see 1 World Trade Center and I snapped this view from below!

My friends and I went to see 1 World Trade Center and I snapped this view from below!

Going to college in NYC makes for a truly unique college experience and it has definitely made my time at Barnard all the more enjoyable. If you have any questions about living in NYC or just Barnard in general, feel free to email me at hes2142@barnard.edu!

First Year Reflection: Transitioning from Living in a Small Town to Living in the Big Apple

Senior Reflections: How Barnard Prepared Me to Write a Thesis