The Pro-Con List

If you have yet to do so, you are bound to eventually.  Old school or digital, you will sit down with a blank piece of paper and draw a couple of columns or open up an Excel spreadsheet.  You will then label the columns “Pro” and “Con.” Perhaps you have a separate sheet of paper for each school or a separate tab for each school in Excel.  Decision time. The clock to the deposit deadline is ticking.

You will then diligently begin to fill in the columns with what you see to be the pros and cons of each school you have received an offer from.  Or perhaps you just received one offer and it is a matter of either accepting the offer or choosing a different path.

I thought I would take an opportunity to help you fill in the pro list in regard to SIPA.  Yes, I am biased.  A native New Yorker I am not, but a converted New York lover I am.  I have lived in New York City for eight years and whenever I leave  for travel, I always miss it.

Instead of focusing on topics like world class faculty and a robust curriculum that every policy school can most likely boast about, I will focus on the experience of living in New York City.  The diversity, the energy, the attitude, the people, the events, the culture . . . the sound!  Not many schools offer a backdrop like New York City for your educational and professional development.

I would venture to guess that by the time I help you with the pros of attending school in New York City, your pros column will require you to either go on to a second piece of paper or scroll down on your Excel sheet because more rows are going to be filled than you can view on the screen.

I lived in California before moving to New York and I was trying to make the decision as to whether or not I should move east.  I had never lived on the east coast before and it was a big decision for me at the time, and I remember my pro – con list as well.  I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a very well traveled friend.  He said something along the line of the following:

“Matt, you would be crazy NOT to move to New York City.  I believe that everyone should live in New York City once in their lifetime.  It has an energy you just can’t describe.  Don’t let this chance pass.”

I took his advice, and boy am I glad I did.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the unique attributes and flavor of NYC.

The following facts are from Wikipedia . . .

Over 900 songs have been written about NYC (think about the inspiration you will get living here).  Think about this, you could listen to a different song about New York every day for well over two years!  A recent favorite song of mine that you can play in a separate window while reading is here – warning, addictive chorus alert.

NYC has two professional football teams, two professional hockey teams, two professional baseball teams (although Yankee fans will debate whether the METS can be considered a “pro” team), a professional soccer (sorry rest of the world, that’s what we call it) team, a professional women’s basketball team, and a professional men’s basketball team.  There will soon be two basketball teams when the Nets move to Brooklyn soon.

The subway runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is the largest rapid system in the world when measured by stations in operation, with 468.

You may not think of nature when you think NYC, however New York City has over 28,000 acres (110 km2) of municipal parkland and 14 miles (23 km) of public beaches.

NYC has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries of all sizes.

Care to cross pollinate with other students?  There are close to 600,000 university students in New York City.

. . .  and how about some famous quotes related to New York City.

“Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather.”  – Tom Wolfe

“I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, ‘There’s no place like New York.  It’s the most exciting city in the world now.  That’s the way it is.  That’s it.”   – Robert Deniro

“I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street – just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket.” – Madonna

“When its 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When it’s 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.” –  Neil Simon

“At night… the streets become rhythmical perspectives of glowing dotted lines, reflections hung upon them in the streets as the wistaria hangs its violet racemes on its trellis. The buildings are shimmering verticality, a gossamer veil, a festive scene-prop hanging there against the black sky to dazzle, entertain, amaze.”  – Frank Lloyd Wright

“You come to New York to find the ambiance that will evoke your best. You do not necessarily know precisely what that might be, but you come to New York to discover it.” – Dr. James Hillman

“New York is a galaxy of adventure at once elegant, exciting and bizarre. It’s a city that moves so fast, it takes energy just to stand still.”  – Barbara Walters

Can you feel the excitement!?  Not only will you find inspiration at SIPA . . . NYC is a basically an inspiration or great moment waiting to happen.  That’s my quote and I’ll leave it at that.