Is an East Coast school right for me?

<p>Hi, I'm a California girl born and raised, but I always wanted to attend a school on the East Coast.</p>

<p>Now, I'm not sure if I'll get in - this is definitely not about chances.</p>

<p>For example, I've heard that Columbia is in NYC and is very disconnected. I don't know if I'll fit in or be happy there.</p>

<p>What can you tell me about Columbia or another East Coast school, like Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell?</p>

<p>Should I just stay on the West Coast?</p>

<p>Well, I'm not attending any of those schools, although I looked at them closely, so I'm not sure how relevant you'll find my insight. That being said, I've lived on the East Coast for my entire life (CT), and have been virtually all over it. I can give you a general idea of the attitude of the East Coast, as well as the general attitude of East Coasters.</p>

<p>There is a stereotype that people on the East Coast are more rushed, less friendly, snobbier, and generally more cutthroat as a whole than people from other parts of the country. This is true to a degree - I feel like the people (and the attitude) as a whole are more harried and self-focused. The first time I ever left the East Coast, I was visiting relatives in Minnesota and I remember that I almost died of shock when I tripped and about six people immediately stopped and offered to help me. That hardly ever happens here.</p>

<p>That being said, I love the East Coast, and there are PLENTY of warm and friendly people here as well. The above references are stereotypes, and in New Englanders as a whole, you can usually find them. But there are just as many people here who are kind, caring, and friendly as there are who fit into the "snobbish and harried" category. No matter where you go, you'll always be able to find people who will help you out - you just have to look for them. We have great beaches and absolutely beautiful scenery, and nothing beats the fall colors in the Northeast. As a whole, the East Coast is definitely a lot preppier in terms of dress, but there are a ton of people (like me) who would wear jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt without a second thought. While I see where the "East Coast prep" and "snobby" reputations come from, I think that it's unfair to characterize all of us like that.</p>

<p>In terms of colleges, I think that a lot of the NE campuses are a lot less diverse than campuses elsewhere - there are a lot of white, preppy, and generally wealthy students, probably because so many applicants in the Northeast apply there in the first place. Amherst in particular struck me as particularly preppy, as did Dartmouth. However, just like the East Coast, there is enough diversity that everyone would probably find a place, especialy at ultra-selective places like Harvard and Yale. In addition, there are plenty of campuses that don't follow these trends - Wesleyan and Vassar come to mind, but I also think that you might like more urban schools like Hopkins as well. Basically, I think you should look at the East Coast entirely - maybe travel out here to visit schools if it is financially feasible, and get an idea whether or not it is the place for you.</p>

<p>Hope that helped! :)</p>

<p>I'm from New York and the biggest difference I could give you is that the East Coast, particularly the Northeast is "rushed." Moving, thinking, and speaking faster are all pretty common here. The stereotype for California is the laid-back type, which can be pretty incongruous with some parts of the Northeast.</p>

<p>As far as the "unfriendly" stereotype, I personally disagree with that. People are plenty friendly, but they are less likely to be cheerful and overly happy (major stereotyping, so don't think everyone is like this). You won't have what reecezpiecez103 said about Minnesota in a lot of places. Someone will say are you ok, but not an entire room. A lot simply mind their own business about certain things and if that means ignoring a potentially embarrassing situation for another, they'll ignore it. If you truly needed help, no one would ignore you then, but if you trpi no one's going to embarrass you further by rushing over like you're having a heart attack. </p>

<p>Note: my own perception of living in NY so don't take everything to heart.</p>

<p>Yeah, I'm from NY also and I'll be heading to Cali for school next month. I would say to really look into some East Coast schools because living there for 4 years can really change your perspective on how things are on the other side. Before visiting my college after I was admitted, I had never been to the West Coast and I absolutely fell in love. There was quite a big difference in the culture and the mood and that's what I was looking for - a difference.</p>

<p>And besides, this may be your only chance to live on the other side and you might not get it again. At least you can judge where you would like to live for the rest of your life based on experience and not things that you might have heard. When I visited my college, there were tons of people from Cali at the admit event who were deciding between East Coast schools and my school, and I wasn't surprised to find out that most of them went to the East Coast - the same goes for vice-versa. I think the differences on both sides are what make places attractive to prospective students.</p>

<p>Thanks guys! this helps a lot :)</p>

<p>You might think about applying to campuses in smaller towns vs. Columbia or NYU. Coming from the West Coast myself, I know how exciting it sounds to go to college in New York City, and while those colleges are great, the trouble and benefit of schools in New York is that you have the whole city as a playground. So people don't tend to stay on campus as much, they go out into the city. Which is great, except that you lose that close-knit "campus" feel that a lot of people are looking for in a college. Harvard is less like that because it's in Cambridge, technically outside of Boston proper, but you have some of the same issues. </p>

<p>So when considering East Coast schools, think about what kind of school you want. Maybe since you're moving to a whole new environment where you won't know many people, it's a good idea to try a liberal arts college or a university in a small town, so that you will have a campus community to fit into.</p>

<p>Hey, I'm a California girl too! :) I'm living in NYC for the summer doing a program.</p>

<p>I thought I would never consider the East Coast for college, but I am now. I visited some colleges - Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Yale, Amherst, and Columbia. I thought the East Coast would be a huge culture shock but it really wasn't that different. I love the city, which is why I'm considering Columbia very strongly. The only thing I wouldn't like about coming to the East Coast for college would be the cold weather and missing my family. But really, I am enjoying myself! I think you would too.</p>

<p>Try to visit if you can. If you can't, just apply to a couple of the East Coast schools that you like and see if you get in. If you get in, you can visit and weigh the pros/cons.</p>

<p>Good luck - I guess we'll be making the same decision within the next year :)</p>

<p>I agree with SmithieandProud</p>

<p>From what I've encountered (grew up in Wisconsin, moved to Florida six years ago, done a lot of East Coast travel since then) it is pretty different on the East Coast. The best word I can think of is anonymous. When you're walking down the street or using an elevator, don't expect to start that much of a conversation (there are always exceptions/really social people) because everyone's kind of in their own world. They mind their own business and give you a lot of space. Honestly I kind of prefer it that way, I'm not the most social around people I don't know. I always visit Wisconsin (and I'll be moving there soon) and I find it so odd how everyone talks to one another and they're like friends with their neighbors and stuff. </p>

<p>Perhaps that's just me, but I think anyone who's not used to that could be really put off.</p>

<p>Go to whatever school is most reputable for the intended major and has the highest average income after graduation. One goes to college to get money later, the more the better.</p>

<p>I can back up everything that's been said. I'm from New York and I can testify that we tend to run a little bit more self-focused, and we keep to ourselves.</p>

<p>As someone said before, we don't really reach out to others (if you fall, we'll most likely ignore you) as much as what I've experienced particularly in the Mid West, and we're not quite as relaxed as the west-coasters I've seen. These are serious generalizations, but I definitely see us East-Coasters as being more high-strong, more focused on ourselves and almost always in a rush to get things done. </p>

<p>Personally, I love it, just because I'm so accustomed to minding my own business and not really worrying about anyone else. I also really love east coast fashion ;]</p>

<p>
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In terms of colleges, I think that a lot of the NE campuses are a lot less diverse than campuses elsewhere - there are a lot of white, preppy, and generally wealthy students, probably because so many applicants in the Northeast apply there in the first place.

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<p>I disagree. You're not providing the stereotype for NE colleges, you're providing the stereotype for students of any major private university. Yes, the NE is a basin for the most prestigious private colleges and that might overwhelm the general perception of those students but it should in no way be used as a measure of the entire student population. </p>

<p>I agree with pretty much everything else reesezpiecez103 said, you'll find a warm group of people anywhere you go so you shouldn't necessarily worry about the social aspect. It's more about the lifestyle and as everyone else said, it's got a much quicker pace.</p>