Mary Peyton Brown: Life in the City that Never Sleeps

What going to college in New York City is really like.

Most Magnet seniors graduate and head off to colleges such as Clemson or Carolina, where they live in big dorms with other freshmen, trek across well-manicured lawns to class, and tailgate every fall Saturday before the big game. But this isn’t the case for every AMHS alum. Some take gap years, others study abroad, and some find themselves immersed in the bright lights and fast moving city lifestyle. Mary Peyton Brown falls in the latter of that list. During her sophomore year, she is studying at NYU’s downtown campus, where she lives right across from the FDNY and walks on the city blocks every day to class among businessmen from Wall Street and by famous landmarks of the Big Apple.

Although the university does not have a traditional campus environment, Mary Peyton said, “being in the city is why [she] chose NYU.”

There is no barrier between college life and the adult world in New York at NYU. One minute you’re walking out of a school building from a morning class and next you’re listening to street performers in Washington Square Park. You’re constantly surrounded by tiny coffee shops, the newest restaurants,  the greatest sporting events, and all of the top notch Broadway shows. Instead of just going to frat parties and football games, you get to enjoy campus amenities and everything else the city has to offer. You get to experience life in New York and life as a college student at the same time.

This is her first semester living in the city that never sleeps. She spent her freshman year abroad, studying in London, and exploring other countries such as the Netherlands, France, and even Singapore. NYU lets students in her chosen major to live and learn abroad in their first years to become more global students. In addition to global liberal studies, Mary Peyton also plans to major in environmental studies and minor in business of entertainment, music, and technology.

Although she hasn’t had much time to explore New York City, she already discovered some neat places around campus. If you’re ever in the area and looking for some new additions to your wardrobe, check out Beacon’s Closet, which Mary Peyton says is her favorite. With so many top notch eateries in the city, it can be overwhelming when choosing a place to go. She suggested the vegan sushi restaurant that is near her dorm. Also, her favorite coffee shop near campus is Ancolie, which she loves because it is a “zero-waste cafe where they serve everything in glass jars and everything else can be composted.”

Everyday unique and crazy things are happening in New York City. Celebrities walk the streets in between filming; professional athletes dine in Little Italy; fashion photographers shut down a block for a shoot, and hundreds of incredible shows, performances, and games take place every evening. While attending NYU, experiencing these things are inevitable. Mary Peyton said that the craziest thing that she’s experienced is “getting free tickets to The Meadows” which is an arts and music festival in New York. Her friends were able to race down to campus to get these free tickets too. They saw many great performers over the course of the three-day festival, but getting to see Jay-Z made it “one of the best concerts of [her] life.”

With two and a half years left at NYU, there are an endless number of experiences ahead for Mary Peyton. Whether she is studying at the New York campus or abroad at one of the many other locations, she will be able to learn and grow as a global student.

Even though completing a double major plus a minor will be many hours of hard work, Mary Peyton will also be able to have a lot of fun during it too because she’s able to “identify with being a New Yorker” instead of “just being an NYU student.” That’s the beauty of going to school in the city that never sleeps.