- Class: Senior
- Major: Other
- Gender: M
- High School: Bethpage High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Stony Brook is the diversity. It goes beyond just ethnicity. You experience different cultures, ways of thinking and perceptions. You'll meet people with opinions and views you've never encountered anywhere else. One thing I would like the school to do more of is promote more bonding and interaction among entering freshmen. The housing setup for freshmen is centered on academics and doesn't allow for the most development of relationships. Stony Brook is a big school, as far as schools go, but I don't think thats a bad thing. It doesn't come with the same comfortable feel that small schools have, but it allows for students to experience so much more. When I tell people that I go to Stony Brook often they will tell me that they went there too or they know someone who went there. It just shows me how many people have passed through here and that a lot of them stay in the area. I spend most of my time on campus in my room because it's where I can concentrate on my work the best, but there is an endless list of places on campus to go for peace and quiet. It's really not a college town because it's in the middle of highly populated area. The campus itself is like its own little town. The administration is like any that of any other school. Certain things can be a pain and take forever, but the more important matters tend to be resolved rather quickly. Recently there have been concerns with security as there have been a few incidents, but the campus police and security officials have been on top of the matter and kept the student body well-informed. There is a noticeable lack of school spirit. This is mostly because there has not been a central sports team to rally around. I wouldn't say, though, that the students don't have school pride. Nobody walks with their head held down in shame. My favorite experience at Stony Brook has to be my first weekend here. As is common, freshmen come in a few days before everyone else for an orientation weekend. The weekend was great, and most of the friends I made that weekend are still my closest friends here. The most common complaint I have encountered has to be the food. I wouldn't say the food is very different than other schools, but what can I say, college kids are hungry.
Many of the classes taken by students in the first year or two are very large, anywhere between 70 to 400 students, so it's hard for professors to remember students by name. As soon as I started taking classes within my major, though, class sizes became much smaller and more personal relationships with professors developed. I've had a lot of classes that I have enjoyed, both in my major and not. If I had to pick one I would say it was marketing. The professor always had a personal experience to help relate the concepts and even if he told the same story two or three times he still managed to keep it interesting, although I suspect he may have embellished a bit. There have been a few classes that I haven't enjoyed at all. They were core classes that we were required to take and found hard to focus on, but that happens to everyone. How often a student studies depends on the student I'd say. I know students who would study several hours every day, and I know students who might dedicate that much time to studying in a fortnight. Class participation is very common. There are always students who actively participate in class without the professor requiring it. The conversations often spill over class time and last well into a meal afterwards. Although debates can often get heated and are rarely solved it's not competition that drives the students. There aren't any gold stars handed out so there isn't any reason to fight for the professor's admiration. The most unique class I have ever taken was a writing class. A lot of the class time was spent outside the classroom. A typical assignment would involve walking around campus and looking for inspiration for a poem. This was nice on sunny days, but rain is not conducive for the creative spirit. Professors always have a good amount of students come to them during office hours and there are a handful of professors who can routinely be seen having lunch or holding special luncheons with students. The academic requirements at Stony Brook are tough, but certainly not unachievable. There is a minimum GPA to stay enrolled, but it's probably takes more effort to fall below it than above it. Classes are both geared towards getting a job and just learning for its own sake. Professors often use real world examples to illustrate concepts and also allow us to discuss ideas that may not be applicable while seeking a job. Class discussions often adapt to what the students want to talk about regardless of what the aim is.
Once again the student body is very diverse and so I have had experiences with numerous religions, ethnicities and various groups. All of them have been positive with me usually coming out knowing more than I did going in. It's a public school so there are no economic elite who are at college because it's what is expected of them. These students want to go to college, many of them being the first generation in their families to do so. I can't imagine any student feeling out of place at Stony Brook. There is a niche for just about anyone. I have found that this allows for a very productive learning experience. The typical dress ranges anywhere from sweatshirts and pajama pants to business casual. Most students just wear jeans and t-shirts though. Student interaction is fairly common. There are cliques but nothing drastic. If you were to walk into the dining hall and there are four tables one would probably be full of athletes stuffing three meals down at once. Another table would look normal enough, but the students would be speaking another language, one of several commonly heard on campus. There would be another table of students simultaneously eating and reading at the same time, all the while not spilling or blinking once. And let's just say the last table is the miscellaneous table, it could be anything. Most Stony Brook students are from New York and specifically from Long Island and New York City. It is a state school, so tuition is less for state residents. There is a significant amount of foreign exchange and international students though. I would say most students come from middle class and upper lower class homes. The campus does posses a fair amount of political awareness. Stony Brook has a history of being very politically active and once was dubbed "Berkeley of the East." It's tough to gauge the overall political preference of the campus but I would say it leans to the left. As with almost any college kid, students are concerned with what they will earn today, especially with how expensive New York City is and the ever-increasing cost of living on Long Island, where most are from.
The Best Things
I've experience new things and people and continue to do so all the time.
The Worst Things
Weekends can be boring.