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Is NYC Unsafe? Overprotective Parents

snbay6snbay6 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited October 2016 in Columbia University
I have had my heart set on applying ED to Barnard for a long time (it's in the Columbia forum bc it's more popular and doesn't make a difference to the actual question). My parents were very hesitant at first but I think I have convinced them about how much it means to me. now, their argument is that they do not feel comfortable sending their 17 y/o child to New York City because it is a "nasty pressure cooker" and has high security threat. I don't really know how to respond to this, I have told them morningside heights is safe and residential but they are not budging. does anyone have anecdotal experience or advice about the pressure and safety of being in nyc? I really strongly want this and I don't have much time left until the early deadline.
Post edited by Chedva on

Replies to: Is NYC Unsafe? Overprotective Parents

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 2,554 Senior Member
    Not that bad, actually!

    How about if you look up statistics about the drop in crime? NYC is one of the top-ten safest cities in the world

    http://www.earthporm.com/safest-cities/
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 2,554 Senior Member
    edited October 2016
    That being said, you need to take reasonable precautions as you would any other place. Barnard and other schools provide escort services, campus shuttle buses, etc. In addition NYC itself offers relatively safe ways to travel. The subway is actually pretty crowded at night, making it fairly safe. Buses are also active and safe. If you feel you want more, then there's taxi services, radio car service, Via, uber, etc. Few people walk or jog in parks at night, except if there's an event like a free concert or fireworks or play, that sort of thing. The most common problems of crime, mainly pickpocketing, occur where there are groups of unsuspecting tourists, and very few local NYers, such as the Times Square area. You can tell your parents that NYC children often start going to and from school by themselves often several miles on public transportation as young as age 11.
  • Fishnlines29Fishnlines29 Registered User Posts: 1,547 Senior Member
    I am a parent and would send my child to school to Barnard in a heartbeat if she wanted to apply there. There are several colleges right around there and all have campus security, city police, etc that all overlap somewhat. What state are you from? I'm guessing you are not coming from an urban area now. I understand the concern, but as in any city, you have to have "street smarts" - use the buddy system at night, be aware of your surroundings etc. but as dustyfeathers mentions, if you are every concerned, use the campus escort services.
  • snbay6snbay6 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @Fishnlines29 I'm from the DC area and I spend a lot of time in the city but I guess NYC is another beast. @Dustyfeathers it's more the 'intensity' of the city and the one-off security threats like the Chelsea explosion that they are not comfortable with. I don't know how to kindly tell them that they should loosen up their grip a little bit and this is something i think I can handle
  • Fishnlines29Fishnlines29 Registered User Posts: 1,547 Senior Member
    Well I would argue that DC is just as much of a "high security threat" as NYC!! People are different but I do not let fear dictate my life. NYC is an amazing city with so much to offer and Barnard is a top college. Perhaps see if you get in and then make a fuss!
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,355 Senior Member
    Our DD2 has lived all over NYC (in sublet apartments) off and on over a few years. She said she always felt safer there than in some of the smaller areas she has lived, as there are always a lot of people out no matter what time of day. Of course you should always take common sense precautions no matter where you live- don't go to deserted areas by yourself, stay with groups at night, stay out of parks at night, etc. Terrorist events can take place anywhere and are just as likely in DC as in NYC or in any city. The only way you can avoid that threat is to retreat into a shell and never go out- not much of a way to live your life. Apply and see if you get in before you start worrying.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 20,715 Forum Champion
    edited October 2016
    My S went to college in the Bronx (Fordham) and my D is currently in grad school at Columbia. Yes, you do need to be careful...street-safe if you will (no walking around alone and drunk at 2AM waving your iPhone), but NYC is a great place to study. Have they visited the school? Perhaps if you agree to stay in Barnard's residence halls for your college years (which I would think have tight security) they will feel better.
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 2,554 Senior Member
    I was mugged twice in DC in 5 years and I was never even threatened for any crime in NYC in 17.
  • ecouter11ecouter11 Registered User Posts: 1,515 Senior Member
    NYC, at least Manhattan is super safe. People walk around Moho at 2 AM, myself included. MoHo is particularly safe because we have public safety as well as NYPD. You can always call and be escorted somewhere, but it's honestly fine. I have never felt unsafe.

    NYC and Barnard/Columbia are pressure cookers though, so please know if you truly, actually, want a college environment in which people always talk about how much work they have, load up on many clubs/ECs, internships, etc. If you can deal with that, Barnard should be lots of fun.
This discussion has been closed.