There are many things I don’t understand about Vassar College. I don’t understand why chili is only served on Wednesdays, why Shipping and Receiving is situated at such an inconvenient spot on campus or why it seems like just about everyone here goes abroad for a semester, or maybe even two. Even though I am only a sophomore, I am preemptively suffering from feelings of FOMO, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. If you are staying on campus for the entirety of your junior year for whatever reason, despair not! I have compiled some advice for my fellow peers who are JY-staying at Vassar.
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Poughkeepsie. A simple Google search of “things to do in Poughkeepsie, NY” yielded a surplus of fascinating destinations that I am eager to explore. At the top of my list is the historic Poughkeepsie post office. AJ, a patron of TripAdvisor, declares that the post office is definitely “worth a stop.” Her review received twenty “thumbs up,” so obviously I trust her judgement completely. Another local destination that I am looking forward to visiting is the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum. Their website declares that they are the “Hudson Valley’s BEST PLACE for (Little) Kids.” One of the many things that drew me to this establishment is the fact that they offer themed birthday parties. Themes include “Down on the Farm,” “Ahoy, Pirates!” and “Make your own ice cream.” However, I must warn you, these birthday parties are intended for children ages two to six, so you may receive some judgemental stares from the other patrons of the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, but don’t let them ruin your fun!
If the charms of Poughkeepsie are not enough to quench your thirst for wanderlust, try downloading the app “Instagram” on your mobile device if you haven’t already. The app contains a marvelous feature called the “explore page,” through which you have the opportunity to access the posts of users from all around the globe. Instagram does a fantastic job of giving you a delightful smorgasbord of all the latest fashions, memes and slime videos. You can scroll down the page for ages (it constantly refreshes!), making for not only an excellent form of procrastination, but also a valuable opportunity to learn about internet culture.
While they are abroad, students have the opportunity to sample cuisine from different cultures. Lucky for JY-stayers, you don’t have to hop on a plane to sate your taste buds! Simply make the trek to the Deece and eat exclusively at the “global kitchen” station in order to satisfy your cravings for adventure. I highly encourage you to bring a tablecloth and perhaps a candle or two to the Deece in order to fully replicate the experience of eating dinner at a fancy, foreign restaurant.
To simulate the experience of acquiring new friendships while abroad, make an effort to befriend the students of Marist College and/or Dutchess Community College. You have probably never taken the time to venture outside of the Vassar bubble, so this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Perhaps you could invite your new friends to come with you to visit the historic Poughkeepsie post office or even the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum. This gives you a chance to brush up on your social skills without ever leaving the scenic Hudson Valley!
Hopefully I have assuaged any feelings of regret that may have arisen from not doing JYA. There is no need to go abroad if you don’t want to; you too can become a cultured citizen of the world without ever leaving the comfort of Poughkeepsie!