How did Tulane and Sarah Lawrence compare to each other?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

I went to two really cool schools (not bragging or anything…not my style) that were incredibly different from one another, and I was in a totally different place in my life when I attended each, so that definitely informed my experience a lot.

Q: How did Tulane and Sarah Lawrence compare to each other?

A: Tulane was a lot bigger is the first thing that comes to mind. Which is kind of funny because Tulane isn’t considered a big school at all. And you’d think given my social anxiety, especially in classroom settings, that I’d opt for bigger schools, not two fairly small ones. Go figure. Tulane was especially awesome because, I mean, it’s in New Orleans! There is no place like New Orleans and there never will be, even if some places might kind of remind people/me of New Orleans, like maybe Charleston or Savannah, while cool in their own rite—still not New Orleans. It is just such a fun city, all year round, not just during Mardi Gras. There’s tons of culture and fun things to do, which would’ve been really inspiring as a writer, but unfortunately this was during my tennis phase (read more about that here). I attended Tulane for the tennis team, and I feel like that aspect of my life caused me to miss out on a lot of what New Orleans had to offer, but I did spend four years there so I still got to experience plenty of the city that I will always feel a strong connection to, and I wouldn’t have traded that for anything.

When I moved on from Tulane to Sarah Lawrence, it was when I was first transitioning from my tennis phase to my writing phase. I really hadn’t written much before entering the program and I was SO intimidated. I thought I’d be sharing the classroom with people who had written multiple books already and had the whole writing thing figured out and would just be in the program to “refine their craft” and get publication-ready. This wasn’t quite the case but I still ended up feeling underprepared, made worse by my social anxiety in the tiny classroom settings. Sarah Lawrence is a very intimate college. Which is great on many levels, but I didn’t see it that way at the time. The one-on-one attention from professors is super beneficial and even if I often wanted to get lost in the crowd, that isn’t possible at Sarah Lawrence, and as you are trying to grow as a writer and learn, that’s a good thing. Bronxville is also a cool town, quaint and New Englandy feeling, or even Englandy, which I quite enjoy. Lots of cobblestone…cobblestone is great. It was nice being close to home on Long Island too and being able to head there any weekend without having to take a flight.

They are two very different campuses and cities, but equally amazing and both have contributed greatly to my experiences and my writing career! (I’ve also been told green is my color.) So…Props, TU and SLC. Roll Wave and Go Gryphons.

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Shay SiegelComment