Queens is the most diverse borough in New York City. Needless to say, there are a lot of different kinds of people from all over living just outside the gates of campus.
Walk along Hillside Avenue and there are countless Halal trucks and Middle Eastern owned shops. Visit Jamaica Avenue and you’ll see Jamaican restaurants. Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights has some of the best Mexican food you can find. Steinway Street in Astoria has a plethora of Greek owned places with great bars, great food and stunning views of the city. If you walk down Main Street in Flushing, you see a myriad of Asian restaurants, businesses, supermarkets and everything in between. We could go on about all the different neighborhoods Queens has to offer and how each neighborhood has its own ethnicity informally affiliated with it. We could even go on about all the neighborhoods that are a complete melting pot and mixture of every ethnicity you could possibly think of.
As students of St. John’s, we have that amazing privilege to go to a school where all of that is located within a few minutes of campus. This gives us a unique view on the world. We get to experience a little corner of the world without ever stepping foot outside of one borough. We get to eat and smell food from every part of the world, hear different languages being spoken on every block and see different clothing styles.
Although New York City, in general, is known for being a diverse place, it is even more extreme in Queens. Having all of this in our backyard gives us a new perspectives on things, puts us in contact with people we may have never met had we not gone to St. John’s and lets us have new and unique experiences. Many of us on the Torch recognize the benefits of diversity and chose to be here because of that. For many students here, college is the first time they are exposed to the different cultures of Queens that they might not have back home. For a lot of people, it is a refreshing and exciting experience.
In the wake of recent events, the Torch feels that it is especially important to embrace this diversity. Diversity is what makes us, college students in Queens, unique in the workforce and in our own personal lives. Without experiencing new cultures , we would never be able to relate and connect to others. It would be a shame to not take advantage of and learn from all that Queens gives us, especially in our prime college years.