Write | Inspire | Dream
Like so many of us are told when we’re growing up, your college experience is supposed to be some of the best years of your life. My time at Marymount Manhattan College were some of the best moments, memories, and experiences of my life. It brought some of the most incredible and compassionate people into my life. I am forever grateful for the lessons, friendships, and relationships I walked away with. So, today on La.Rue, I want to share a significant part of my past. During my time at Marymount, I learned so much about who I was and who I could be, but most importantly, who I wanted to become.
My college experience wasn’t typical to the normal. I attended college in one of the greatest cities in the world. Not only does attending college in New York City mean that the opportunities were more abundant, but the city became my classroom. I attended classes in museums, guest lectures at universities, and the absolute best internship opportunities at my disposal. New York City is a pool for culture and learning. So, when I moved there on my 18th birthday, I was enthralled and excited by the city, but I was truly in for a surprise at the amount of opportunity and knowledge Manhattan had to offer.
My College Experience
During my time at Marymount Manhattan College, I studied and earned my degree in English. I minored in Creative Writing and Photography, two things I’m very passionate about. As an English major, you can imagine that a lot of my learning was centered around reading and deconstructing literature. Literature, I believe, is at the center of all art. Everything we do, painting, singing, dancing, photography, all of it tells a story; but, what really does that better than a book? Getting an education in New York City meant exploring a novel and its story outside of the pages of the book. We studied Romeo & Juliet and then attended “Shakespeare in the Park” in Central Park’s Shakespeare Theatre. When the learning moves beyond the classroom, the knowledge and understanding of the material grows significantly.
Manhattan as a Classroom
One of my professors in college usually offered a Shakespeare class almost every semester. As a part of that class, we were often prompted to go on explorations in the city on our own to experience Shakespeare. As you may know, New York City is a capital for arts and theatre, and Shakespeare is a beacon in that genre, so the options are endless. One of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in New York is from a live, interactive version of Macbeth, known as Sleep No More. If you’re familiar with Gossip Girl, you may have seen this in the later seasons. Sleep No More is an INCREDIBLE modern edition of Macbeth. You enter a five-story hotel, and for three hours, you follow around the characters, explore the scenes, and watch the story of Macbeth unfold.
As a Photography Minor, I also took numerous art classes. I traveled through many museums as a part of class, learning about art in places like the MET, MOMA, The Whitney, and so many more. Our education was moved beyond a classroom into real-world experiences, seeing the art come to life. As part of my 17th or 18th-century literature classes, we would go to the MET or The Cloisters to study medieval art. This was such an amazing part of my education; I was able to learn in environments that brought the literature and the material to life.
Calling New York City Home
Not only was my education something I value greatly. But it was the people that made the experience and those four years some of the best of my life. Through those four years, I had two best friends that stuck with me through everything. The three of us made the journey of our senior thesis, teaching assistants, and an honors thesis, together. Not only were these two women a part of the journey in school. But, outside of college, we created some of my absolute favorite memories together. A weekend trip to DC, Friday night outings, boy drama, and brunching, they are some amazing friends. They were also a big reason I got through losing my brother my freshman year. And for that, I love them dearly.
There were also the professors I’ve told you so much about. They gave me an incredible gift of knowledge and a greater understanding of the world and culture around me. Sometimes I feel I can’t put into words how truly grateful I am to this group of men and women. Not only did they give me a truly wonderful sense of literature, but they taught me lessons of respect, the values of equality, and the importance of understanding cultures that are not your own.
To My College Experience
Going to a small private school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I was able to grow and gain invaluable relationships with these professors that still last today. The value of a small classroom and the intimacy of the small group meant that your voice was heard and attention was given. I soon realized that this was much more important than the appeal of a large college, in my opinion. My college experience at Marymount was truly incredible, and I value that time greatly. My professors and friends made the experience collaborative and exciting. I will always remember my four years at Marymount Manhattan as some of the best in my life.