Schools you should have gone to… Round Two
Written by Bwog Staff
This time last year, Bwog elder statesmen Marc Tracy and Avi Zenilman invited underformers to reconsider their college decisions. The verdict: in retrospect, most other places are just as weird as Columbia, but in different ways. (Except Yale, which is weird in ways all its own.) This year, Dan D’Addario opens the debate once more.
New York University
N.Y.who? NYU has a far greater social scene than Columbia’s manic-depressive party-study cycle; they also have the dubious benefit of being way downtown. The notable alumni indicate that this school actually cares about, like, the arts and stuff (unlike Columbia), but also leaves you largely to your own devices, with no main campus and little student-teacher interaction (much like Columbia, but more
shameless about it).
What they have that we don’t: Haley Joel Osment; Washington Square Park; Tisch School for the Arts; joie de vivre.
What we have that they don’t: Matthew Fox; Manhattanville [?]; GS; ennui.
Hookup factor: Boys like boys. Girls hold out hope. It’s all easier on Ecstasy.
University of Chicago
U.Chicago is to Columbia as Columbia is to Yale. It also indulges some of Columbia’s most admirable and most irritating qualities – the passion for theory that so easily becomes aggressive pretension. If you have ever thought at three A.M. during exam week, “This works,” perhaps you were meant to spend four years pounding your brain with theory on the shores of Lake Michigan.
What they have that we don’t: Oprah; deep dish pizza; pride in their academic work; endearingly widespread enthusiasm for the Core.
What we have that they don’t: Tiffany Patterson; edible pizza; pride in getting on Cobrasnake; relatively widespread sanity.
Hookup factor: Better than you’d think: imagine the Butler stacks if no one ever left (except the weak ones, to cry).
University of Iowa
The Jekyll and Hyde of midwestern schools, containing both a massive state school (and all that entails) with a small, intensely focused writing program credited as best in the nation. A classic Big Ten experience (football games, cornfields, frat houses, Charlotte Simmons-esque but with less shame about the whole thing), but with
better writing professors than Columbia, and a far more interesting
milieu for future Tom Wolfes to write about. Also, corn!
What they have that we don’t: Republicans; a writing program that actually teaches people how to write well and does so in an organized fashion; athletics worth cheering for; heartland values.
What we have that they don’t: “Political views: Other”; countless
emails from the writing program – but also top-flight departments in
the OTHER humanities; the ability to deconstruct why sports movies are
emotionally manipulative at best, citing Eisenstein and Sontag; calling our parents once a month.
Hookup factor: Missionary position, but plenty of it.
Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Home to approximately 400 high school dropouts (most Bard students matriculate at age sixteen). Students muse on the school’s blog whether “people are ethically obligated to give pigs handjobs all the time.” The perfect place to read Foucault and Nietzsche at a tenth-grade level, and an oasis for those who love the Oberlin Birks-and-granola scene but want to be a couple years of the curve.
What they have that we don’t: Impromptu acoustic guitar sessions; veganism as ethical rather than aesthetic decision; the tender blush of youth; morals.
What we have that they don’t: High school diplomas; hard-won wisdom/bitter cynicism; less social drama (maybe?); a healthy fear of dying alone.
Hookup factor: Chubby, sexually adventurous girls, meet effeminate, off-putting boys. You’ll go to second after an Amnesty International meeting. That’ll prove those assholes at your high school wrong.