Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts - Comments and Student Experiences|
Here are my reasons as to why I am transferring out of this school as soon as fucking possible.
-First of all, if you are a normal person who wants to have interesting and mature conversations with other like-minded people, if you are politically active and want to experience new things, go somewhere else. People here are really hard to get along with. Kids seem to want to continue social aspects of high school that I am very ready to leave behind. People create cliques and refuse to be open minded about meeting new people.
-New School's entire atmosphere and mood set is overtaken by parsons students, who are annoying, ditsy, stupid, shallow and judgmental. A few Lang students in my dorm went to the main lounge to watch the democratic primary debates and got turned down by fashion students who insisted that watching a rerun of America's Next Top Model was far more important. It is ridiculous how fashion conscious students are...people are more interested in looking hipster and shopping at American Apparel than actually studying. It is also ridiculous how many aspiring models ( at lang!) I have had to sit with in class who moved to New York to simply get a modeling contract and have no desire to study- they just sit in class and pose.
-If you are a girl, straight or gay, and do not look like one of the models I mentioned above and have moderate standards, you will have no sex life/relationships. I can safely say that 80% of the boys who go here are gay and the one's who are straight are... just not that great. The few lesbians who go here have apparently resorted to writing women seeking women personal ads all over the bathroom stalls because that population is tiny and hard to find.
-There are a shit load of rich kids who do nothing but lines of coke and come to class wasted and unprepared.
- If there are any nice people here, it is really hard to find them because all of the dorms are spread out over the city and social life within the dorm is limited...you feel very much alone and not at all part of a community.
Eugene Lang should not cost as much as it does because there are no resources. Our library is small and in a basement that used to be a discount department store, so we are allowed to use the NYU library (but still! we should have a GOOD one of our own!) Our cafeterias all close really early and are really expensive so there's no cheap alternative for kids who don't want to spend money in NYC restaurants everyday.
-The dorms are OVERPRICED! Mine was in an amazing area, but there wasn't any proper maintenance. There are tons of mice, even if you're careful about not leaving food out and even after you fill in work orders and get holes sealed up ( I once counted 7 different looking mice running around in my room within 2 hours...I heard another student once woke up to a rat sitting on his chest). It was disgusting and disrespectful towards the students and my family should not have had to pay 13000 for that. Bullshit.
In conclusion: if you have heard anything positive about this school, it is because those positive words are probably about the Graduate school, which has a really good reputation and high standards and hardworking students and lots of international students and good professors. So if you really want to go to the New School, wait until grad school. But please please, for your own happiness, don't go to Lang.
Other aspects that I love about the New School:
-NYC is the greatest city in the world. The university really has created a presence in the West Village/Union Square area but it's not as overwhelming as NYU's presence in Greenwich Village. Classes really feed off of the city- celebrity lecturers come to the school and field trips are planned. You can sometimes even receive credit through school civic engagement programs that allow you to volunteer in the city. Unlike more traditional schools, students never feel trapped on campus. Easy access to bus/train stations and airports makes it easy to leave the city, too.
-Most students are involved in a lot of other activities outside of school. Especially as students get older, they hold several jobs and internships. These opportunities are hard to come by at other schools.
-People are extremely liberal and open minded. There are pretty much no cliques, although Parsons students have a reputation for being kind of snobby. If you feel like you don't fit in at your school, you probably will here. If you're a conservative Republican, it's probably a good idea not to come here, lol. There is a lot of diversity within the student body, too. Large GLBTQ population, racially diverse, and lots of international studies. Students who are not international hail from all areas of the U.S., although I have noticed a large group of students from NYC originally/surrounding East Coast states.
-The University is undergoing a re-branding. I really love the design of all of the buildings. The school is just really innovative in the way that it presents itself, i.e. marketing campaigns (like the Metrocard one), logo, social media and website, etc.
-The school offers a lot of free stuff through health services and discounted activities with the OSDA, but most students don't know about this/take advantage of it.
-The dorms are really expensive compared to other schools, but you get what you pay for, in a way. It is a lot cheaper to live off campus, but in order to get those lower rents you often have to move to other neighborhoods or other boroughs. Compared to rent in the East/West Village, the dorms are pretty inexpensive. From what I've heard, 13th St residences SUCK but the other three are pretty awesome. At the other three buildings, dorms are a suite with two or three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Most students don't go to the dining hall. There are tons of restaurants in the area. But the cafe food at the University Center is actually pretty good for school food.
What I don't like about The New School:
-It's expensive AF. I got a substantial amount of financial aid (both need and merit based), but I will still be close to $100k in debt at graduation, before interest. Plus the cost of living is really high in NYC. Either you need to have a rich family or be prepared to work at least one job + side hustle. I'm not really sure if the value of the degree is worth the price. Yes, you're going to school in the best city in the world and receiving an academically stimulating education. But the school's name is not super well-known. I feel like most graduates from Lang/The New School do go on to become successful, but that's because of the connections that they form in NYC, rather than through the school. The financial aid office can often be frustrating to deal with. They're unsympathetic and largely unhelpful with offering advice on budgeting and such. Also there seem to be a lot of complications with financial holds that prevent students from registering for classes on time. (Tip: registration is cutthroat here- it's like the Hunger games.)
-Really the main frustration with the school stems from the lack of community and social life. On one hand, most students choose the school because it's atraditional in an urban setting. I like that it's not cliquey and students are pretty liberal. But I sometimes feel like I'm missing out on the college experience. There's no school spirit, no sports games, definitely no Greek life, etc. I feel like most of us don't need all of those things, but it would be nice to have some sort of community. It's very difficult to make new friends. Most of my friends I already knew before I moved to the school or met outside of school. At TNS there's barely any orientation (most students skip anyway) and because there's no official campus and a lot of kids live outside of dorms, class is really the only way to meet people. The seminar style courses offer some opportunity for conversation, but it's sometimes difficult to continue that outside of the classroom. Students become really independent in this setting, but also very lonely. A lot of people I've talked to admit to having less friends than they did at home and feeling anxious/depressed about it. There are some school clubs but not a huge selection. They don't seem to be very popular. The office of student activities sponsors a lot of field trips/discounts, but I don't think many people take advantage of them. The Lang courtyard is really the only place where people can convene and be social. Most students bond over bumming cigs off of each other.
-In terms of nightlife/partying, it can go either way. In NYC, there are a lot of opportunities to go to bars/clubs and there are always a lot of concerts. Students who party take advantage of these opportunities. In a way this can be kind of awesome (who wouldn't want to say they partied with Travis Scott at a club on a Thursday night?), but at the same time it's very expensive, you need to have a fake, and it's kind of hard to find your niche, especially as a freshman. If you don't have friends to go out with, it won't be very fun. It's not like you can just go to a house party or frat party alone like at other schools and meet random people. The club scene can be great, but like I said, it's expensive and sometimes hard to get into if you don't have a good fake + a hookup with a promoter. It's also a bit shallow- I feel like you really get judged on your outfit/appearance/etc. The bar scene can be fun too, but there aren't as many college/laidback bars, unless you go to Brooklyn. Gentrification has made drink prices crazy high and most bars, even in the East Village area, are frequented by people in their late 20's & up. Most students at TNS do drink at least minimally. Everyone is pretty liberal and open minded. But very few students are heavy drinkers like those at typical college campuses. Partying stays pretty regulated to weekend nights. In terms of drugs, a lot of people smoke weed/occasionally do other recreational drugs. We probably have more cigarette smokers than other schools though. For students who don't like to party, there's still a lot of opportunities for nightlife in the city, like comedy shows, 24-hour restaurants, or art shows.
-If you're a straight female, it's probably going to be pretty difficult to date. There are few straight guys at the school and most of them don't seem too interested in dating anyway. A lot of girls at our school end up dating NYU guys or older guys who have finished college and just live & work in the city.
-It's awesome that the students are so progressive and diverse, but sometimes it seems a little too hipster. Like you would get judged pretty easily if you listen to a mainstream artist or wear a mainstream brand.
---Ultimately, the New School is what you make of it. It's certainly not for everyone, but there is a certain niche of university students that it seeks to accommodate. The academics are really incredible, they nurture students without holding their hands. But the social life and high cost can be a bit frustrating. All in all, if you put yourself out there and try to make the best of your opportunities, you will probably do well.
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