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City vs. Suburbs, Who Wins When it Comes to Colleges

Andrea Deignan

New York has always been a diverse state, so it is not surprising that our colleges reflect that diversity. Typically there are two divisions of all these schools, city and suburbs. This division provides a completely different feeling from college to college for students. Our own school is smack in the middle of suburbia, yet we are able to boast many of the same programs and activities as big city schools. So what is it really, that sets the big city schools apart from us?

Whether you’re a commuter or a resident, there is no doubt that you have explored parts of Brookville and the areas surrounding our campus. In just a ten-mile radius we have shopping malls, restaurants, parks, movie theaters, and bars. Senior Business Administration major Annalisa Crecco says, “The biggest difference is the atmosphere that a school in the suburbs creates.” Post has that small town feel, yet is close to all the big city amenities. In contrast, some schools in New York City are spread out over blocks, making it harder for students to get the community feeling that our campus offers. Even if Post is situated between gated communities, it really does not feel that way. Once you drive onto campus, it feels as if we are in our own (very small) town. There are places all around campus that everyone knows, but also there are other little hidden places that you just happen to discover one day. Did you know about the dollhouse on campus? It was built as a playhouse for Marjorie Post’s daughters, when the Post family lived here. It was built as a miniature version of the mansion on campus. You would discover similar treasures in a small town as well. It probably will not happen to you on a big city campus.

Of course if you go to college in a city, you will be close to museums and all different kinds of historical sites. Students at Boston University or Harvard are steps away from the sites of the American Revolution. At Georgetown, students can walk to the Capitol, and even check out the White House. Even in our own city of New York, students are able to visit countless museums on their own time, or even during class time. Just because our school is in the suburbs does not mean that we are excluded from these things. Our campus sits on a piece of history; it is a museum itself. Our students can say they worked in a mansion, or they took classes in what used to be a barn or a garage.

Every school is different, and every school will have a different feeling to it. There are schools that sit in the heart of the city that can still create a small town feeling among their students. The town built around the college and formed its own community. The city vs. suburbs debate really comes down to a personal decision. There are activities that can only be offered to you by a college that is located in a city, such as access to the hottest clubs, world-class restaurants, and a thriving city life.  The same goes for a college in the suburbs. You can go into the neighborhood deli and they know your order. Choosing a college in the city versus a suburban college also has to do with where you live and what you are comfortable with. If you have lived in the suburbs all your life, you may want to experience that big city lifestyle, or you may want to stay with what you know. Crecco wants to stay with what she knows; “I’m a homebody, so for me, living at home and going to school is a better fit. I do sometimes wish I did go to school in the city, since there is always something going on.”  The thing to remember is that suburbs exist for a reason. They were meant to be a place where people who work in cities can live and still have a backyard, but not be far from their jobs. Even if we go to school in the heart of suburbia, the big city is never too far away, 25.8 miles to be exact.

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