I wish I had known that eventually work out. I transferred from University of Michigan to Nassau Community College, and now to Stonybrook University. I was introspective from my first day in college, and uncertain as time progressed that I was in the right place to get the most out of my education and pursue the most rewarding degree. My passion is learning, but my drive was gone with other concerns hindering my freedom like finances and apprehension about core requirements. In this process, I learned that hard work pays off, not materially, but in terms of personal rewards.
I would have seen a benefit in learning about the pros and cons of distance learning from a previous StonyBrook distance learner. It would have also been nice to have a pre-admission phone conversation with a current or previous distance student. A phone call with a student with distance experience would enable a new student to ask questions about how this type of environment will work into their lives. I would have also benefited from knowing all the resources available to distance and on campus students prior to attendance in an attempt to utilize all the benefits offered.
To have fun on this campus, you have to be involved. There are alot of clubs and activities to take part in and when you take part in such things, you feel a sense of school spirit that has been growing stronger each year. As a freshman, I joined the Marching Band, LGBTA, and Geology Club. All of these things allowed me to do so much and made me happy throughout the year, whether it was because I was cheering on the football team or rowing a boat made out of cardboat and duct tape across the pond.
I wish i wouldve known that the administration cares so little about its students. I wishi knew the students were so unfriendly and that every thing is super packed. I also wished I'd known that on top of my tuition the school raises is own charges which are useless becuase they do othing to actually make life better for the students, becuase they sink all of the money on construction projects that can wait for cheaper fees and better funding for students.
A roommate contract sounds corny and absolutely cheesy, but take advantage of one. This could solve huge problems for you, even if you don't suspect that you will have any. Just do it. Also, bring lots and lots of snacks (the food is good, but you'll want stuff in your dorm). And learn the buses before it's cold! And speaking of colds, bring tissues and medicine in case you or a friend gets sick. Cough drops will save your life!
The weekends are considered "dead" on campus, but when I lived there, I used that time to study. You need to be aware that Stony Brook is a very TOUGH school. We are ranked #2 as the hardest graded college in the nation by the Association of American Universities. This means that many students do not receive A's here, no matter what major you enroll in. Be prepared to work hard.
I knew college was going to be quite distant from the comforts of high school, and I think that I was well prepared for that. It would have been helpful to know how tight the scheduling was and that certain classes were in such high demand. I only found out that Stony Brook was so tough to adjust to once I started attending. However, I would not change my choice.
I wish I had known how small the dorms were, how unavailable teachers were, how impersonal classes are, how many students there were in an average class, how the academic advisors do not know how to help, how my AP grades transferred to classes and how expensive the meal plan is and how it runs out before the end of the semester, most of the time.
I wish I had known not to buy books before the semester starts. Some of my professors don't use the books and one of them even changed the book he wanted to use at the last minute. Also I have found out about other avenues to buying books such as Amazon or other used book sites that are much cheaper than our on campus book store.
I wish I had know how competetive it was. So many people are premed and they are all vying for your place. I dropped premed because I decided I didn't want to be that type of person. Luckily Stony Brook has a great psychology program as well and I am much happier now.