Rose Hill students love the Bronx. We live here, learn here and shop here. This is where many of us had our first love, our first chicken roll or our first drink. We love the Bronx because it is where many of us had our first taste of true independence. But not many students love the Bronx enough to stay here after graduation.
A few seniors interviewed said they intended to move to Upper Manhattan after graduation. For Tom Haskin, FCRH ’13, that means Washington Heights specifically. The neighborhood would be close to his likely workplace in the South Bronx. Haskin said he loves the Bronx, but “as an outer borough, a lot of the central New York things are hard to get to.” It takes 15 minutes just to walk to the D Train from his current apartment on Belmont Avenue. Washington Heights has pretty good train accessibility, Haskin said, and the housing fits a recent college grad’s budget. He stressed that recent grads have to be cognizant of gentrification: “It’s cool to live in areas that have different ethnic and racial backgrounds than you” — something he has gotten to experience over the last year living just off campus in the Bronx’s Belmont neighborhood.
Other seniors weren’t so sure of their plans. For Claire Cumberland, FCRH ’13, “It’s a whole lot of indecision right now.” She said she is happy that the lease for her apartment on Lorillard Place lasts through August because, “I don’t want to leave at all.” She doesn’t know where she’ll move when the lease is up, but she’d be open to living in the Bronx — or anywhere in the city. “There are cool neighborhoods in all the boroughs, even up in Westchester,” she said.
Tim Stahl, FCRH ’13, was in a similar state of indecision. He says where he’ll live after graduation “depends on what I’d be able to find and afford.”
As a psychology major, he has applied to a variety of research jobs and psychology programs in New York City. Manhattan would be the first option for the short commute, he said, but he would be open to staying in the borough he’s grown to love.
“[The Bronx] gets a really bad rap sometimes… but it’s amazing,” he said. “It’s just such a different environment and ambience than other areas in the city. It just has a different feel to it, which I’ve really grown attached to over the years. It definitely feels more like home.”
All the seniors interviewed praised the Bronx, but only one had firm plans to live here after graduation.
Matthew Novick, GSB ’13, was born and raised in the Bronx, and now lives in his own off-campus apartment. But, he plans to move back in with his mother at their house in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood. Novick is one of 457 Rose Hill undergrads from the Bronx. He is looking to get a marketing job in the city but is trying to be responsible about money. He will probably live with his family for two or three more years. He said that he is “being very realistic in terms of getting my finances ready.” Novick wants to remain in New York City, but he said he does intend to move out of the Bronx eventually. “Personally, I’ve been here my whole life, so it’s time to have a change of pace — in other words, another borough.”
Other seniors echoed Novick’s desires for a change of pace in another borough. Claudia Morell, FCRH ’12, GSAS ’13, would seem to think that’s a good idea. After earning her Bachelors degree last year, Morell decided to stay in the Bronx to attend the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and work in the WFUV news department.
“It feels strange being in the Bronx but not having any of my friends here,” she said. She lives in an off-campus apartment on Crotona, but plans to leave when her lease is up in August. Morell said she feels like the “college part” of her life is over, yet she hasn’t left. “Unless you’re going to school here or need to be around here I suggest leaving.”
Laura Buckley, FCRH ’13, seems to be taking that advice, moving cross-country to Oakland, California after graduation to take part in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She doesn’t have plans after her year with the JVC, but she would love to come back to New York City and live in the Bronx. After four years of exploring the borough, she said, “I feel lucky to have lived here.”
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