Urban Campus Perks

The following entry was written by Anna Lindgren, Class of 2014.

When considering my college options, I gave real thought to whether I wanted a traditional, closed college campus with sprawling green and a football field. I knew immediately after my tour of Emerson that “traditional” was not a priority for me. But it may surprise you to hear that we can offer a lot of the same advantages as a classic campus while also racking up the benefits of being centrally located in one of America’s major metropolitan cities. Here are my top three reasons for loving our urban campus.

Boston Common

A beautiful day in the Boston Common

1. The Boston Common. We may not have a quad, but who needs one when our campus hugs the historic Boston Common? Especially in the spring when the snow starts to melt, the Common becomes an extension of Emerson. There are Emerson students all over the place: reading for class, listening to music, throwing a frisbee around, or even playing a little Quidditch. If you tire of the Common’s sprawling lawns, right across Charles Street is The Boston Public Garden full of winding walking paths, beautiful flowers, stately statues, and a pond with swan boats and ducks. Although we are in the midst of downtown Boston, it’s easy to enjoy the outdoors (weather permitting!).

2. Local Flavor. Emerson is within walking distance from dim sum in Chinatown, bistros on Beacon Hill, Newbury Street cafes, and the North End’s Italian eats. We all need a break from the dining hall every once in a while, and it couldn’t be easier to find affordable restaurants and explore different kinds of cuisine. Think about it: if you were living on traditional campus, you might be limited to on-campus facilities or driving completely off-campus for some nearby fast food. But we have access to tons of the city’s best restaurants — even right on our block of Boylston Street where several of the Emerson buildings sit.


Boston’s Chinatown

3. Avoiding the “College Bubble.” The college experience on a whole exists in a kind of bubble that is slightly removed from the real world. You have four years to learn and prepare for your future, yet you hang in the balance of being a full-fledged independent adult. That idea is the same at any college. But the Emerson experience physically immerses us in the heart of downtown Boston. You can walk out of any Emerson building, and there you are, right in the middle of the theatre district. When you walk down the street it’s not just Emerson students walking by but businesspeople in suits, or tourists here to see whatever is currently playing at the Colonial Theater. For young professionals, adjusting to an urban setting in their first job out of college can be a pretty big jolt into the world. But the experience of living on Emerson’s campus in a busy downtown area makes me feel adaptable and prepared to live just about anywhere. The best part? During my time at Emerson, I have felt not only like a student at Emerson College, but also a resident of Boston.

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