Why Geneseo?: A Round Table

Oh Geneseo, we love you so. We love our spunky squirrels, Emmeline the bear and our Seuss Spruce.  We love our ivy leaves, rolling hills, sunsets and the valley.  We love our classes (sometimes), our professors and our closest friends. But that doesn't mean choosing you was easy. We all took very different (and sometimes difficult) paths to end up where we are now, but it's safe to say that we're never looking back!


Rebecca Williamson

As the days counted down towards one of the biggest decisions I would have to make, I was torn between Geneseo and a private school that had practically matched the price of a SUNY school. Geneseo had made my top two list because it had everything I wanted. I did a lot of research on the clubs, academics, finances and even the food. Geneseo has a reputation of being the best SUNY school—the “Harvard on the hill”—which meant it had great academics. Geneseo had all the clubs I wanted and a few more that I could explore. I had heard great things about the English major, which I am loving. What made me finally make up my mind was seeing the campus for the first time. I had visited several schools, and I was told that you get this feeling when you know, almost like choosing a wedding dress. I had that feeling as I saw the campus for the first time on a beautiful sunny day. I had this feeling in my gut that told me I was where I belonged. Honestly, I did not think that I could feel something like that, but as I stared out at the valley, I just knew. I could sit here and write a list of all the reasons why I love Geneseo and why a student should come here, but I genuinely feel that you will just know whether or not this is the school for you.


Hannah Fahy

I remember sitting in my guidance counselor’s office as he scoffed at every college that I named. He kept telling me that these expensive private schools just weren’t for me. Over and over he told me that he doesn’t want to tell me where to go, but I should go to SUNY Geneseo. In my mind, public school was not as good as the pricey private schools. I didn’t understand what he meant about the culture of Geneseo being my perfect fit. However, I toured my fancy private schools and hated them. I was already accepted to Geneseo, so I decided on Geneseo with the mindset that I could always just transfer later. It was the second week of my fall freshman semester when I knew that I was exactly where I needed to be. I already had met my two girls who are still my best friends today, I auditioned and got into Musical Theater Club, and I loved the class structure. Geneseo is where I belong. I know what my guidance counselor meant by this school being my best fit. The students here have the same mindset that I do; we all work hard at what we are passionate about. I’ve always been really grateful that I ended up hating my top choice school and following my guidance counselor’s advice. Geneseo is the school to go to for any passionate, hardworking individual.


Megan Kelly

I had visited a couple of schools prior to visiting Geneseo, and actually, upon first setting foot on the campus, I hated it. I didn’t like the hills, and I was just in a general bad mood from going to so many colleges. All I really wanted was to go back home and pretend that I would never have to go to college. It just seemed scary to me, especially being so far away from my family in a place where I didn’t have any friends. As my mom and I finished walking up the hill, I began to realize I was wrong. I found that all of the people on campus were really nice, and it seems dumb, but it made an impression on me that everyone I passed by said “Hi.” It wasn’t  a behavior I’d seen at other colleges, so it was very refreshing and welcoming. Additionally, the overall prestige and challenge of the school was appealing to me, since I’ve always liked to challenge myself. Of course, the deciding factor was after we went back home and I learned there was a writer’s dorm. I knew I had to pick SUNY Geneseo as my college.


Kayla Glennon

I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go for the longest time. My dad told me his friend went to Geneseo for about a semester, so I started looking into the school. After looking all through junior and part of senior year, I finally found a school I might be interested in. I went on a tour and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the campus. After that, I was sure of it. This was the only school that I applied to, and I applied early decision. I knew if I didn’t get in, I’d have enough time to apply somewhere else (not sure where). Some people said this wasn’t the best decision, but here I am! I liked that there wasn’t exactly a focus for the entire school, even though a lot of people majored in the sciences. I wanted to major in STEM at the time, so it made sense to me but it was nice to keep my options open.


I liked that the school was away from home (I’m from Buffalo), but it’s close enough that I could go home on the weekends. Just from the tour, I could tell this would be a place where I could be myself and feel accepted. The people seemed really nice, and so far the people and the school have definitely lived up to my expectations.


Rebecca Gennes

I had been thinking about college since fall of my junior year, when my parents started bringing me on day-long road trips just to spend several hours at a school and then turn around and go back home.  At first, I was dead-set on not going to a SUNY school.  Both of my parents had gone to SUNY Binghamton, had met there, and the rest was history.  My view of college was always somewhere out of New York State, far but not too far.  For awhile, my top choice was the University of Vermont, and it still topped my list when my mom brought me to see Geneseo for the first time.  I liked the school as one of my backup choices, so we scheduled a second visit so I could shadow a current student.  This student turned out to be an education major and part of Tesla House, a living-learning community where everyone seemed to be friends.  I was hooked, and decided from that day that I would be going to Geneseo and be part of Tesla House myself.  I ended up applying early decision, was accepted in December of my senior year, and never looked back.


Jessica Bansbach

My choice to attend Geneseo was largely a matter of circumstance. I had above-average grades in high school, but nothing Ivy League worthy. I was well off financially, but not enough that going to private school was an option. SUNY was my go to, but many of their psychology programs focused exclusively on psychiatry, a field that I knew even then I was not interested in. In search of a high-ranking, public, and career-appropriate college, I was left with two options: Stony Brook or Geneseo. Stony Brook was thirty minutes from my house. Geneseo was seven hours from my house. Geneseo won.


That being said, Geneseo is a school I loved—and continue to love.  Coming here wasn’t a jail sentence, and even though I’ve been enrolled here for nearly two years now, I have never seen this place as my “safety school.” I love the learning environment. I love the students (well, mostly!). I love the campus community at large. I love that I am an appropriate distance from school, but not far enough that if anything bad happened, I couldn’t count on support from my home. I love that my set of circumstances brought me here.


Plus, have you ever tried Stony Brook’s food? Complain about CAS (Geneseo’s food provider) all you want, but at least I know I’m not eating straight-up cardboard. #GoKnights #BooSeaWolves


Victoria Cooke

When talking about why we chose Geneseo, many of my friends tell me that Geneseo was their safety school, or chosen out of financial necessity. For me, this was not the case. I had good grades in high school, but not spectacular, so besides Geneseo and Binghamton, I was positive I could get into any SUNY school. Out of state schools and private schools were not options considering I didn’t have the grades to receive a big enough scholarship. When it came time to apply for college, I’m pretty sure I always knew I wanted to go to Geneseo. It looked and felt exactly like the colleges in 1960s movies that featured intelligent coeds in tweed blazers with elbow patches. And when I would tell adults that I applied to Geneseo they always replied, “That’s a great school!”. But I wasn’t actually positive I would get in, so I couldn’t admit to myself that Geneseo was my top choice in case I was rejected. When I got that blue Geneseo acceptance letter, you’d think it would be obvious to me right away where I should go. But it was more complicated than that.  Even public school is far out of my family’s financial capability. And SUNY Oswego offered me a pretty big scholarship and a spot in their honors program—privileges I was not offered at Geneseo. So, the question became whether I would go to the school I felt was right and be a little fish in a big pond (with bigger student loans) or go to my second choice and be a big fish in a smaller pond, with some financial flexibility.  


The answer seemed clear: for the sake of my future and my family I had to choose Oswego.  I was already insisting on dorming instead of staying home and saving money by going to UB, so it felt selfish to choose Geneseo when I had a better option.  I put in my deposit for Oswego and announced my decision and everything before I got a sick feeling.  I just couldn’t go to Oswego. Maybe my final decision to go to Geneseo was selfish, but in the end it all worked out.  I now receive Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship which reduced the price of Geneseo, and I’ve managed to get better grades than I ever could have imagined (so maybe the pond isn’t that big after all).  But in the end, I think the real reason I chose Geneseo was those damn ivy leaves on all the buildings.  Seriously, they really got me.


Sydney Julien

Honestly, Geneseo wasn’t my first choice. I really wanted to go to Saint Lawrence. I was drawn to the prestige of private schools, and while there was nothing objectively wrong with Geneseo, I just thought I was above the SUNY system. Now, I know better. I ultimately found myself sending in my deposit and accepting my place in the Geneseo Class of 2020 because I realized it was my best option if I didn’t want to graduate in a crippling amount of debt. I am so glad I chose Geneseo. The campus culture here, which is something that is hard to determine while on tours, is excellent. The overwhelming majority of students at Geneseo are friendly and kind. It’s easy to find friends whether you’re the type of college student who’s focused on earning the highest GPA possible and building an incredible resume, or whether you’re looking to have a lot of fun in college. The overall campus culture is very “work hard, play hard”, more so than other schools from what I’ve observed. This means everyone is deeply immersed in their studies from Sunday-Thursday and the library is packed, but the library feels like a ghost town past 7 p.m. on Fridays until Sunday morning. Personally, I like this. I’m definitely the type of person who wants to experience all life has to offer, but school definitely comes first. Also, the food here is really good. Food is another thing that’s hard to accurately judge before coming to a school, but I got lucky with Geneseo. The food isn’t gourmet or anything, but compared to what my friends at other schools have shown me of their food, it’s excellent. My boyfriend goes to a private school nearby, and while he may be paying a lot more for his education, the food he has to choose from is unappetizing at best. I always try to eat a big meal here before I go to visit him so I can put off eating the food there for as long as possible. Another random thing about Geneseo I’ve come to love is the incredible view of the valley we all get on campus. I’m a real big fan of scenic views of the great outdoors and it’s incredible to be able to step outside or gaze out the windows on the top floor of Milne library and see this amazing view. I love seeing it change with the seasons and the sunsets still have me in awe even after going here for almost two years.


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