As this time of the year comes up, when high school seniors are about to make their decision on where they are going to spend the next four years, I often get the question: Why did you pick Nazareth? In short, here’s why:
The Overall Feeling of Home: As soon as I walked on campus, I felt comfortable; I immediately thought that I could live here, this could be my new “home away from home”. That was my goal when I was visiting colleges. Of course I wanted to pick a school with a great program for my major, but I ultimately needed to see myself having fun and not feeling like an outsider.
The Acceptance: On my visits to Nazareth, everyone was helpful and approachable with a friendly face. Naz is full of helpful, approachable, and diverse students who are there to guide you. On the day of Experience Naz, the same day I put down my deposit, both my parents were with me and proceeded to ask our tour guide numerous questions about the school and about her personal experience with the college after the tour was over. On top of this, my parents showed the tour guide a video of me singing in middle school (how embarrassing!!). I was beside myself and running away in embarrassment, but the student tour guide was practically cheering me on! As a student now, I can say that we cheer each other on and pick each other up. It’s a great place to be.
My Major (of course): There are not too many options for getting a music therapy degree in New York State from an accredited college, especially undergrad. I heard of Naz through one of my friends who graduated ahead of me and still goes to Naz. When I looked into the school, I noticed that they were in the process of building a new building that would include a clinical suite just for Music Therapy which is now the Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute that officially opened this past fall. From seeing the huge advancements they were making in the program, I knew I couldn’t go wrong picking this school!
Freshman Opportunities: As a first year student on campus, I never felt limited. There are alternative breaks that freshmen can go on, academic conferences that are offered and other programs that are offered through our school like the leadership program. Wherever you go to school, I encourage you to go to conferences and join clubs as soon as possible; I regret not being more involved my freshmen year. When I talked to music therapy students at Naz, I found out that we start on and off campus observations in our field as early as our first semester. You don’t see this very often, so I jumped on the opportunity! There are also plenty of work study jobs freshmen can have.
Picking your Classes: At Naz, we have what we call the Uncommon Core. Through this, each student gets to pick a cluster of about 3 upper level classes that either don’t have anything to do with your major, or do have a slight connection with your major. With these classes, you would pick a question of your own choosing and write a paper or do a project on how you can integrate these 3 classes you take with your major. It sounds very confusing, but the best part is picking classes that are not involved in your major that you are interested in. My cluster is biomedical psychology. I hope to take a few more psychology classes to get a psych minor, and with my major I also take fundamentals of anatomy and physiology which I can tie into my question. You can learn more about the possible questions/clusters (aka: Integrative Studies) you could pick here.
Not being a number: When I had my audition here, it was nice to be known by professors by my name. I wasn’t #18 on a list of students auditioning; I was Taylor from Scotia, New York who written her college essay on field hockey. After my audition, the head of the music therapy department pulled me aside to ask me if I wanted to be in touch with the field hockey coach because she had noticed that I played. This was so surprising to be because I didn’t actually think they read the essays and she went out of her way to ask me personally. Being a student now I can honestly say that I am not treated like number- and it’s fantastic.
Free Laundry: No quarters required!
Since I have been here, I have made such close friends, have had dedicated, hard working professors, and lived in residence halls that I always felt comfortable and safe in. Since choosing Naz to be my home for college life, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.
Taylor’s post marks the beginning of a series we’re doing this spring surrounding this idea of Why Naz?. Keep your eyes open for further installments on the blog and our Instagram account, @mylifeasaflyer, in about two weeks.