At first, Marist College seems like the perfect school to attend for the standard college experience. It has a beautiful campus located right on the Hudson River, it’s a great size and the buildings look like modern-day castles. But while it does offer the textbook aesthetics, Marist doesn’t really offer the textbook college experience: There’s not really much to do. So instead of offering a list of all of the things to do around Marist College’s campus (like many others are doing here at Study Breaks), here’s a list of all of the things that you can’t do if you attend the home of the Red Foxes.
Join a Good Fraternity or Sorority
One of the main attractions of college is the chance to join a large group of people that you can get blackout drunk with every weekend while wearing matching shirts with stupid Greek letters on them. Unfortunately, joining a fraternity or sorority isn’t really an option at Marist. Without school-sanctioned Greek life, all that’s left that even resembles that aspect of the college experience is a few measly student-run organizations that are basically the antithesis of a standard Greek society. For one, they lack the funding for on-campus or even off-campus housing.
So if you want to get wasted every weekend with 30 of your closest friends, you have to do so without a designated location. Additionally, the few encounters I’ve had with the fraternities at Marist have been pretty repulsive. Rather than seeming like a fun organization to join for the college experience, joining one of these gives you a taste of something more befitting a nonprofit. It’s basically all mandatory events and community service since the partying that goes on would be a joke to any school with actual Greek life.
Get Into Bars With A Fake ID
Every dream college has its own local bars for students to waste thousands of their parents’ hard-earned dollars on. And while Marist is a total bar school since there’s no Greek life, don’t expect to have any more fun at one of the local bars than you would doing community service with the “fraternities” mentioned above. The main reason for this is that there’s now only one bar worth going to, and they don’t let you in without a real ID. So for all of the freshmen out there, you’re stuck with two options. Either you drink with your friends in your rooms (a practice that gets sour fast), or you go to one of the really disgusting bars that you can only willingly go to once. Either way, you’ll miss out on the actual fun of going to a college bar since the only one around worth going to actually requires a real ID.
Partake in Creative Intramurals
Aside from getting wasted at a fraternity house or in a bar, one of the other main things to do at a college is to spend your days playing intramural sports. Typically, a campus will offer the standard intramurals like flag football, dodgeball, etc. while leaving the option to play some ridiculous game that a bunch of college kids came up with while they were intoxicated. But once again, at Marist, you only have the opportunity to play the former. Of all the intramural sports, the strangest one is Ping-Pong. There’s no canoe battleship, no underwater basket weaving or chariot races. Instead, you’re stuck with the same boring games that you played in your time before college.
Aside from being on the Hudson River, there’s not much to see on Marist’s campus. Poughkeepsie is perhaps the only city in New York that you actually don’t want to see at least once. The only thing remotely interesting around the area are the hiking trails but they’re all at least a 30-minute drive away.
Go Into Town
One of the most annoying aspects of Marist College’s campus is that outside of its small community, there is basically no college town whatsoever. Instead, all that surrounds the school is a few measly shopping strips and the city of Poughkeepsie. And it’s not like there couldn’t be a town built around the school either: Vassar, which is only around a 15-minute drive away, has one of the coolest college towns you could imagine. So, if you want to walk around exploring, you’d have to drive all the way out to Vassar to do so. Additionally, without a town to walk around, there are very few local restaurants that are linked to the school. The only one that comes to mind is Red Fox Eatery located across the street from the campus, and while delicious, it’s not a full-sized restaurant to bring your parents to on parents’ weekend.
If you attend Marist College, just know you won’t have much to do. If you join a sport or club then you might have a standard college experience filled with activities, but if you’re like me and prefer to do your own thing, then you’re out of luck. That is, of course, if you actually want to do anything. If you’re the type of person who’s just going to be in their room all day playing video games and watching movies, then maybe you’ll keep yourself entertained for all your years in the Hudson Valley. But if all you’re going to do is study and stay inside doing nothing all day, then what’s the point of going to college? Might as well just stay home, where at least you probably have air conditioning.