Fordham University (Lincoln Center Campus)

New York, NY: When I visited New York, I was prepared to fall in love with the city. I was also prepared to fall in love with at least one of the big-name universities I planned to ­visit.

The first of my expectations was completely fulfilled. I loved the fast pace of the city and the fact that, if I wanted, I could get Indian takeout at 3 a.m. Even though it was bitterly cold that weekend, I couldn’t wait to spend four years in the greatest city on Earth. However, when I visited schools, I was quite disappointed; I didn’t feel pulled by any of them.

That, however, changed when I did a quick Internet search to fill a free day and discovered Fordham ­University. I ­decided that even though it didn’t sound quite like my cup of tea, I’d give it a try. I wanted to see the Lincoln Center campus because of its ­location in the center of Manhattan. That, at least, sounded more than okay.

I was not prepared to love the school. But when I stepped through the doors, I was unexpectedly excited. This felt like a place I could call home. The people looked like they could be my friends. I had never felt this way at any school, and even ­before I found my way to the infor­mation session, I wanted to go to Fordham.

The information session only reinforced my desire. Even though it’s a Jesuit school, Fordham doesn’t push religion on its students. It’s an open-minded place that helps students ­explore the world and make their own choices (and not just with regard to religion). Fordham even helps students find a synagogue or mosque in the area if that is what they want.

Fordham challenges its students ­intellectually. They will learn not just to parrot information but to think. At Fordham intelligence is nurtured.

Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus isn’t what most people would call a real campus; it’s almost entirely contained within one tall building. The dorm rooms, classrooms, and cafeteria are all there, and it is a close-knit community. But when you step outside, you’re in the center of Manhattan. It’s a unique learning environment where you not only know your fellow students, but also form close relationships with professors, combined with the resources of a huge city.

So now, I’m waiting to hear if I’ll be spending the next four years in a place I already tentatively call my next home. But even if I’m not able to attend, I will still recommend this school wholeheartedly to anyone looking for an amazing, one-of-a-kind college experience.

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Editor’s note: Since this was written, Jocelyn has been accepted to Fordham.