Academics and Relationship Building at Nyack College

Caroline Dos Santos is a business major. We spoke to her about being a commuter student, the importance of community, and the life-changing connections she’s made at Nyack College.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in New Jersey in a town called Kearny. You can see the city from there.

How did you decide to come to Nyack?

I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. My parents forced me to go straight to college, so I started going to a community college in Jersey. I was getting towards the end, and I needed to figure out what I was going to do next. Around the same time that this was all happening, I started volunteering more at my church and ended up getting hired. I realized that I really liked ministry, and I felt like there was a call on my life in ministry. I was studying business at my other school. I thought it would be cool if I could continue that and also do ministry. I considered other schools, but I wanted to stay near home. I had a friend who was going here, so I decided to look into it, applied, and got in. I could commute. Nyack was a good fit.

What do you value most about Nyack College?

I feel like this becomes a big community. I was able to make new friends and different connections when I got here. It’s not an overcrowded place, so you can actually make good connections.

How has being a student at Nyack College affected you?

Academically, Nyack helped me to step up a little bit in the quality of the work that I was producing. At my other school, I was just trying to get a grade. Here, there’s more to it. There’s a sense of accountability that you get with the professors. They don’t just care about giving you a grade, they care about you as a person as well.

What words come to mind when you think of Nyack College?

It’s a family. I definitely feel like Nyack is a little family that you have away from home.

What is the best part of being a Nyack College student?

It’s close to home. It’s close to everything. Also, I feel like they put an effort into doing fun stuff. It’s not just a monotonous routine of coming into school, taking your class, and leaving. They do things that can be fun throughout the semester for the holidays—Valentine’s Day, Christmas, whatever holiday it is.

How have you been impacted by your fellow Nyack College students?

The relationships have been super beneficial. They’ve challenged me. I remember opening up to a friend about how I was facing an overwhelming time where I was just kind of lost and I didn’t know what my next step was going to be. My friend encouraged me to fast and pray, and it was very encouraging. It’s knowing that you’re not at a school where it’s just a bunch of random people who live their lives. They also have a walk with God, and so they can encourage you. They can give you advice. It’s not a friendship where you come into school, you see this person once a week, and then when the semester’s over you’re done. You make connections that you’re probably going to carry throughout the rest of your life.

Has any part of your Nyack College experience inspired you in terms of your future?

I think that being here has opened my eyes a little bit more to what my options are.