Queens, NY: When I was in high school in Trinidad and Tobago, all I wanted was to go to college in the United States. Like a lot of my classmates, I knew that a degree from a U.S. college or university would be respected anywhere in the world. I also was confident that a U.S. school would have resources not available elsewhere. So everything came down to one question: which school should I go to?
Choosing St. John’s University was easy. It’s a university that everyone knows and respects, and though there are many excellent universities with good reputations, St. John’s has several pluses. First, it has a really wonderful location in New York City. The first time I visited, I was impressed with its green campus and beautiful buildings. I was also excited by how close it is to Manhattan. St. John’s really gives you the best of both worlds: it’s the kind of campus you see in American movies, but it’s a quick subway ride to the center of New York City.
Second, St. John’s has a very friendly atmosphere. People actually stop to hold doors for you. When I took a campus tour, students seemed interested in me. Also, I was amazed by how happy they were in their dorms. Not only are the residence halls modern and clean, but everyone goes out of their way to make you feel at home.
Finally, I loved all the majors that St. John’s offers. There really is something for everyone. All students, regardless of their major, take interesting core courses like “Discover New York,” which teaches you about history, art and culture with New York City as a model. You also can learn about the city by helping in the Academic Service-Learning Program, which is also an excellent way to get experience outside the classroom.
Of course, professors expect a lot of you. St. John’s is not the kind of place where you can coast - you need to work hard, and I’ve known some people who needed to get used to that. But everyone always seems happy in the end. St. John’s University is a place where you can make friends, have fun and grow. Being a freshman at St. John’s is everything I dreamed a college education in the U.S. would be, and more. Learn more at www.stjohns.edu.
Reviewed in 2005
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.