New Paltz is a town loved by all different kinds of people for all different reasons. Behind these reasons lies a connection so strong that many choose to stay here after finishing school.
“It’s a really dynamic place,” said electrical engineering major Andrew Morelli.
Born and raised in Cornwall, N.Y. located 30 minutes from New Paltz, Morelli used the town as his playland and safe-haven. Although Morelli has been part of the local New Paltz scene for 16 years, he is now focusing on attending SUNY New Paltz and is here to stay.
There are many differences between being a resident of New Paltz and a student at New Paltz.
“It’s harder to make friends with the college kids when you’re not attending the college. I was just seen as a townie,” said Morelli.
Some people, like Morelli, are accustomed to New Paltz and simply just feel at home while others are drawn into the options provided by the town that offers the best of both worlds.
Bryan Neilon, a 2007 radio/TV production graduate, is another example of those who just can’t seem to shake off the Paltz. Now working freelance at Hearst Corp Digital Media and teaching at SUNY New Paltz, Neilon describes his lifestyle in a different way than others who live in New Paltz.
“I live at 65 MPH, on I-87,” said Neilon.
After graduating from Brooklyn to get his masters at CUNY Brooklyn, Neilon chose to come back and continue working freelance as well as teaching at the school he received his degree from SUNY New Paltz.
“I don’t think I will be here forever,” said Neilon, “but my life is in a state of constant flux, and New Paltz is perfect for this.”
Caleb Bourg, a third-year music major at SUNY New Paltz, had an epiphany this year that life after graduation is going to be anything but ordinary. He plans to set off on a life full of pushing the unknown limits. He said he thinks New Paltz is the place for him.
“I think there is more beneath the surface here than people realize, and I’m going to figure out what it is, and then I’m not going to tell anyone,” said Bourg. “It’s a personal journey that everyone must take.”
Usually the word motivation is associated with leaving a place, but in the case of New Paltz it seems that people are more motivated to find reasons to stay. It could be the relationships built, the journeys to come or even something in the water, but whatever it is, it has students hooked.