Stony Brook University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Francheska

Knowing what I know now, I would tell myself to remember that college is a very different experience compared to high school. Most people, after they graduate, stay in a "high school mentality," Then, when they go to college, their first impression of college ends up being a complete shock. You have to remember that it is a whole new world where different things will be expected of you if you want to succeed. So, if your goal is to be the best you can be, remember to focus on that goal and not let anything hold you back, adjust as quickly as you can, and realize that THESE are the best years of your life.

Bora

Think about location, and remember to consider money.

Josephine

Dear Self: You're going to be a dork no matter what you do, so make the best of it because in the end, the only people who should matter are your friends and those who love you. You're going to make some silly mistakes, say some wrong things, meet some people you won't like--but if you remember to keep an open mind and view every situation as an opportunity to learn, you'll grow into the person we can both be proud of. Remember to eat healthy--your cholesterol is going to be high.

Gary

For students, I strongly recommend you visit the school beforehand. I made a huge mistake by not doing so and now I am taking out loans to pay for a bad education. Research the college you are interested in and read about other people's experience.

kevin

When choosing the college you want to go to, please remember to visit the campus during summer time or by schedule. Students! Please choose a affordable school to go! Very important!

Nicole

To find the right college you need to visit them and find one that fits your specific goals. Always look for the school that has a strong student support and one that holds a good academic standing in your field

Janay

I think the smartest thing you can do when choosing a college is to visit it. Not just once to see the campus, but go numerous times and imagine yourself being there and engaging in activities there. While visiting they should try to make friends with students on campus, maybe even attend a lecture to really get the full experience of what going to that school is. It's the only way to adjust and to see what life will be like. If that school is really right for you you will feel perfectly comfortable in this new environment and you won't be able to wait until the next time you visit.

Robert

Visit the college of ytour choice it is very important to get a feel for it. I recommend going away to college living at home takes away from the environment

David

Look closely at public schools. Despite the myths, larger schools are generally better, provide more opportunities both socially and academically. Public schools often give a greater respect to their undergraduates and focus on research. Always check rankings as well, if the school isn't ranked, you may want to consider other options.

Rahul

Visit the college campus before deciding on any school. Make sure the school has all your desired classes. Also choose a college that would challenge you intellectually and inspire you to grow as a person. College is an experience that prepares you for the real world and choosing a school that forces you to go outside your comfort zone is the best decision you can make because going outside your comfort zone leads to confidence. College is an opportunity for students to grow and learn more about themselves than they ever did in high school. College is a place where you make friends for life. Choose a college where you know you would be happy. Also get involved as much as possible on campus. Activities such as varsity sports, volunteer work, or Greek life are perfect for getting involved. In addition get to know your professors while in school. Make the most out of your college experience by picking a school that will make you happy and by getting involved as much as possible!!

Jaime

I would say to make sure to consider not only the academics (whch are obviously very important) but also the activities and traditions of the college or university. Make sure to visit colleges and unversities and get all your questions answered, while getting a feel for the campus and figuring out if it is the right place for you. Get involved from the beggining! Consider the size of the school, and classes, but don't be too afraid to consider a larger school. The college experience is what you make of it! Good luck to all.

Thay-Ling

Dear Parents and students, When finding the right college you should look for a school that makes you feel comfortable and safe primarily. In order to excel you must feel welcome and able to be yourself. Secondly you should find a school that offers courses or opportunities that you are interested in. In doing this you should also choose a school that encourages you to try new things and doesn?t limit your educational opportunities. Lastly the final thing you should look for is a school that fits your financial range, now this does not mean don?t pick a school because you can?t afford it because there are ways around money (after all this is your education) but be knowledgeable first before choosing. As for the prospective college students your first semester in college will always be special. You will learn how to be on your own and how to assimilate into a new environment(s)... just don?t be scared and embrace new ideas. As for fitting in and partying ..Its ok to party once in a while but always keep your studies priority and do not lose yourself in the mist of trying to fit-in!!!!!!

Gary

The only advice I would give on finding the right college is that there is no sure way of doing it. Whichever college you end up choosing to attend is the college that you choose to make your own. The college itself may not vary significantly from any others in terms of academics and programs it offers, but it is you, the student who makes the university stand out and different. Make the most out of your college years because it may very well be the best four years of your life. Anyone can wake up, go to class, study, and sleep, but is that all college has to offer? Aside from staying on top of your studies, explore some clubs, teams, and extra-circular activities. Take different classes, pick up hobbies, and spend time with your friends. After you graduate college, you?re off into the real world. Working full time jobs, paying bills, and providing for your future family are just some of the responsibilities that await us when we graduate college. However, that is not what we, as students should have to worry about now; seize the moment and make the most out of your college experience.

Jennifer

Your college experience is wholly unique. Nowhere else can you answer exclusively to yourself and have very little financial responsibility. In that sense, college is a place for unrestrained growth and development. Therefore, picking the "right" college is important to a degree, to help foster the kind of person that you can smile fondly on at graduation, but really the important part is making the most of all of the opportunities presented to you while at college. Don't be afraid to mess up. Moreover, if you really don't like your school, you can always transfer.

Jack

Focus on your school work, but don't be afraid to enjoy yourself while your there. Go out and meet as many people as you can, college is the best time of your life so don't let it go to waste!

Hilda

The right college does not mean the most expensive school, but rather the best school for the student. One should consider what captivates the student, both academically and socially. People forget that the students must spend 4+ years in the school to succeed and make something out of themselves. So why not spend those years in a facility you like, people's company you enjoy and studying a major(s) you want?! In order to make the most of the college experience, students should be involved in extracurricular activities. Each student can explore the variety of activities and may, in fact, explore who they are. Being involved in something one cares for instills passion and experimenting in a potential career path. For example, if a student volunteers at a career center as a peer counselor, that student may want to further delve into being a career counselor. The right college for students goes hand-in-hand with making the most of the college experience: if the student likes the school, the student will want to become involved in extracurricular activities and find him/herself. And that is what college is all about- finding oneself!

Nicole

You must be sure that you would be comfortable in very large classrooms where over 500 students may be attending. Also Although the previous president is trying to alleviate the constraints to the housing situations it will still be frustrating due to cramped rooms and unavailable space. If you want to have fun you must be active and actually join clubs, community groups to have the college experience. Nothing here is simply handed to you.

Tania

The main thing to conisdier when choosing the right college is to find yourself in a place that makes you happy. A place that you enjoy being, afterall you will be there for around four years of your life. Look into the programs the school has to offer and make sure that they meet your interests. Reserach faculity and acadmeics in your school to make sure it's compatible with your needs. Definitely make sure that the staff at the school are approachable because you will be needing to go to them for a great variety of thigns. Another important thing to conisder is your financial situation when choosing an undergraduate university. I strongly reccomend taking advantage of the public schools that the state has to offer as I did. Stony Brook University was a great school for a great price. Now that I am going into a private university for graduate school I'm glad I didnt choose a school that set me back in loans too greatly as an undergraduate.

colleen

Look for colleges that are receptive to students with learning disabilities and tutoring services. Make sure your comfortable on a large or small college. Checkout transportation to and from home to get to college-holidays, family emergencies etc. Make sure of housing after freshman year and check out cost of living off campus (rent, heat, transportation,food). Check out percentage students leave after 1st two years.

Jessica

You make your own experience no matter what university you choose.

Carolina

When it comes to finding the right college, parents and students should visit colleges to have a glimpse of what college life is like. Once a number of colleges have been narrowed down, a student must put some things into consideration. Academics is considered as the most important aspects of the whole college experience, therefore, one must make sure that the school that one chooses will provide the right tools and learning experiences in order to excel in their field in the future. If the student is going to live on campus, the living conditions and dorms must be highly considered as well. In order to make most of the college experience, students must always have in mind that the main idea of this whole experience is to continue their education and to grasp all the knowledge possible within their field. Keep up with your schoolwork; procastination is bad! Make sure you join clubs, become involved and make yourself heard! Take the opportunity to broaden your horizons and to meet people with different ideas or thoughts and of different cultures. Have fun, but be careful; there will defintely be instances where one must know what's wrong or right.

Giulianni

I recommend finding a school where you can discover who you are and what you love. School size, cost, coursework demands, campus demographics, and geographic setting are excellent comparison factors. However, they are most effective when used to choose a school that will be both comfortable and challenging to your lifestyle. This standard will provide an academic and social atmosphere where students encounter people that are both similar and dissimilar to them. Connect with the schools on your short list of choices by visiting the campus or speaking with current students. When you begin your first semester, let your interests help guide your course selection. Understand that a major is not required right away. Do not rush the decision. If you do make a decision, it can be changed later if your career goals change. Most importantly, no matter how great the pressure, tailor your college career to your interests and not those of yours parents, friends or peers. In addition, get involved with campus activities that complement your academic career. All these suggestions are grounded in one thing?the pursuit of your passion. It?s the best advice I can give. Chase your passion.

Nick

I would tell parents and students to definitly do your research. This is going to be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Think hard and long before you commit. If there is anything you think you might be interested in, be it 1 , 2 or 10 things try to pick the best school for you.

Rakibul

Visit the school first and talk to students that currently attend the school and not school staff first.

lisa

Lots of research!!

Krystalyn

Start early. Prepare yourself. Find the college you want to go to, and work your hardest to get in. Have a back up plan and a positive outlook. When you finally make it, get out there and have fun. Life is as exciting as you make it.

Andrew

Rankings aren't everything. There are so many factors that go into finding the right school for you--the tuition, the campus, the atmosphere, the location, etc. I got the same (if not more) out of Stony Brook that a student from Harvard, Yale or any other top school might've got. If you work hard at this school, then you will receive all of the benefits when it comes to landing a great job. While there were some minor things I didn't like (the campus was very quiet on the weekends), I was completely satisfied with my college experience. We aren't a big party, and we are a fair distance from NY (hour and a half by LIRR,) but overall, there is something for everyone. It is all about what you make of it.

Leslie

the advice i would give parents and or students about finding the right college is to make sure you visit each school they apply to. It is important to get a sense of a school before you are tied down to it.

Patricia

Don't take academics so seriously. There's so much more to life than school. Education is important, but growing as a person is important too. The college you choose will be your home for the next four years so choose wisely.

masiel

The best advice is to look for a school where you can grow as an individual. Find what interest you. Look for schools that interest academically, socially, and visually. Don't be scared to experience college away from home, it's the best. Also look for a school that are affordable. And apply for all types of scholarships and loans, because they are out there. College is a growing experience, so live it up. Join clubs, frats/soro, but of course learn to balance. Other than your future plans in life, college teaches you how to be balanced. The school I go to fits me just right, its big enough for diversification, but small enough to find somewhere to belong. Also remember don't choose a school because it's where everyone else is going, choose it becasue you want to go there.

Peter

make sure you check the school out on a day that there are classes. Also make sure the food and food plan are good.

Min

When I was applying to college, people told me not too think about the money, but to some extent, money does matter. If you're in a low income family, even though the government give you financial aid, they don't cover everything if tuition and dorming costs $30,000+ a year. As for academics, it's really different from high school. You have to stay on top of all your work and study a bit everyday. The professor will not tell you to do so. There are students who study 2 or 3 days before the exam and find out they need more time. Professors may not know you are a good and bright person who tries hard, they can't see you in person. They rate you in terms of exams, papers, and project scores, at least for lecture sized classes.

kavi

To find the right college, make sure to consider more than the cost of education and the prestige of its graduates. Campus life is probably the most important way to ensure a great experience. There are many who go to a school and find that the activities that they had wanted to pursue are either not what they had wanted or completely unavailable. If the school does not have a history of throwing campus funded events to bring students together and foster a feeling of school spirit, it probably is not the right place for you.

Ariana

A college experience should be an enjoyable and pleasent one. But remember that college isn't for everyone. If you feel that it is for you or your child remember to go see the school at an open house, here you'll probably be talking to a student that goes to the school and can tell you what actually goes on, other than what you read on the panthelts. And always keep your options open. The school that you thought that you or your child would never go to might actually be a very good choice, never underestimate a higher learning institution!

Anastasia

Do more resarch on student loans, repayment terms and scholarships. The real world comes faster than you'll believe and loans don't wait.

Sophie

dont go to a school too far from home, go to one with a wide varity of programs

Jennifer

Go with your gut. You can always transfer if it doesn't work out.

Karen

Parents - Let your kids explore what it is like to be away from home and try not to worry too much. Trust that you raised you child right and that they will make good decisions. Students - Be open to meeting new people, make sure that the people who you hang out with don't pressure you into doing things you don't want to. If they do, make decisions wisely and find real and better friends. Remember, college is a wonderful experience, but it is what you make of it. Balance having fun and studying. That means having a social life and a good GPA; finding this balance is a great start to learning what it is like to handle responsibilty, which will become increasingly important once you graduate.

Fitzroy

visit the campus and ask current students about their expriences and how much they like it at the school

Tara

Visit the schools and try to talk to more students than the ones the school provides as tour guides because they always make the school look good. Regular students will be honest about the ups and downs of the university.

Paul

I would advise students seeking the right college to figure out what field they are interested in and research what college has prestige in that particular field, so that the students can receive the best education possible at an institution that can abundantly satisfy their educational and career interests. If students are not sure of what they would like to pursue after college, they could look into which (liberal arts) colleges offer a wide scope of programs so that they have all the resources necessary to thoroughly explore and utilize in their goal of determining a suitable career path. The advice I would give parents in helping a student to choose the right college would simply be to fully support the student's decision. A student should not be inhibited from attending a college due to the parents' needs, such as the parents wanting the student to commute from home. Part of the college experience is not only to gain knowledge for a career, but also to become an adult. Parents who embrace students in their freedom to choose where they attain their post secondary education are only enhancing this goal of pushing them forward on their journey of maturation.

Christina

Everyone knows you only get one chance at experiencing your undergraduate life, and as such, you should make the most of it wherever you are by joining clubs and giving your campus social life a chance to blossom. You'll find that you will have a much more enjoyable time in school when you have friends to study with as well as share common interests with outside of the classroom setting. Personally, I would suggest dorming if you have the chance, because it's really something that will cement the feeling of belonging. There's really nothing better than living within the bubble that is campus life and knowing that you have at least one thing in common with everyone around you - you are all proud members of your undergraduate community. Furthemore, your relationship with your campus-mates will inevitably be supplemented by common experiences, be it bad campus food, snow days and even small disasters like campus wide blackouts. If you can, definitely give it a try because it will be a memory worth holding onto in your post undergraduate days.

K.

Visit and really research the colleges that you are interested. Do not just apply because of the school's reputation. Find the school that is bext for you. (This may not be the same school as your parent or your best friend.) College is only four years. And although you want to have the most fun, while away from your parents, it is important to remember that real adult life is waiting for you when you graduate. Don't do anything that will get you a criminal record and then affect your chances of getting a good job in the future. Don't go to a school you cant afford and spend the rest of your life paying off loans. Make sure to do internships and build your resume. And try to make sure your GPA says above a 3.0, anything below that is pretty much worthless.

Lorraine

Personally, I think the right way about looking for a school is first narrowing down what field you want to go into and look for a school that is good in that specific field. I encourage everyone not to do what everyone else is, and follow their friends to school. Don't be afraid, you will make lasting friendships in college and you will stay close to those who matter in your life. Look for a school that can challenge you academically and one that will help you grow in a moral and social way. Talk to those who attend the school and get their feedback. I encourage everyone who is looking into different schools to go and visit the school for a couple of days and get the whole picture, once you get that feeling, you know what school is best for you!

Ferose

The best advice I can give a parent about picking college for their children, is to let their child choose the college for themselves. For a student searching for the right college, convenience is key, and the best way to check for convenience is to visit their college of interest. Students should know if their personal requirements are met in the University. For example, if the student is focusing on getting a carrier in the IT industry, they should visit the school and see if the computer labs and computer policies meet their needs. If a student is focusing on art, they should see if there is any place near campus, where they can buy equipments that they want. College is what a person makes of it, so get involved. However, I suggest that new students do not search for jobs or join clubs their first semester, unless they are absolutely sure about it, because they need to focus on adjusting to a new environment and getting an idea of their limits. After their first semester, they should get more involved, so they can go to the edge of their limit and get the most out of college.

Zachary

In a word, research. Do not choose a college based off of their website, brochure, or other such advertisements. Digging deeper is a necessary part of understanding any subject. Visit the campus, read about what the school has been associated with, both its facilities and student body. Look up the works of alumni and current staff, see if their interests suit your own. Most of all, be open minded. A cliche of college is that it is the time for "trying something new" and "experimenting", but there is no falsitude here, this is a perfect picture of campus life. So be bold, and pick a place where you will be exposed to new ideas and new cultures, it is an elightening time. As for college life itself, the same applies. I go to a place where maybe 30% of the student body is Asian. My high school graduating class had two Asian students, one them a foregin exchange student from Japan. Needless to say it was a bit of a culture shock. But i've found that such exposure has contributed to my personal growth in a profound way. Be aware, and be open, that's the secret to college.

michael

I would sugest take the time to visit all schools and do plenty of research. Not only look at the Princeton Reviews and such but try to find input from actual students. Its extremely worth taking the time and finding everyting you can about the school before you go, visit it multiple times and actually talk to people going there. Also, do a google search becuase you may find a website with all of the complaints people have about the school. You're going to be there for four years and this has huge implications for your future make sure you go to a school that cares about more htan money in their pockets.

Geoffrey

Research is key. Investigate through the tools that are available at your high school as well as the internet. There are also books available that give key facts about most universities. Once you have narrowed your search to a few colleges the next step is to visit the university in person. Open houses are perfect for this because they provide guided tours and you have the opportunity to talk with faculty and students as well. After your decision has been made it is important to keep that social life seperate and prioritize your school work at the top of your list of things to do. Follow this and I think you will find the right college and have quite the experience there.

Elizabeth

Make sure to visit the campus when it is at its busiest. Then you can really see the pace at which everything works and how diverse the student population is. Find a place that doesn't have just what you want for majors or sports but rather a campus that can offer you more than what you're looking for.

Natasha

When finding the right college make sure that the school first off has your major. if you are undecided try to have a little idea of what career path you want to pursue, it helps a lot. Take a variety of classes your freshman year so that when your sophomore year comes around you have an idea of what major you want to do. Make sure the collegeuniversity is affordable and if it isn't there is always financial aid. Although financial aid does not always cover everything there are plenty of scholarships to find. You just have to put the time in to search and apply to them, remember there is no limit on the amount of scholarships you can get. Check out the school: large vs small; suburban vs urban; student to faculty ratio; extra-curricular activities I can't name everything that you should look for but make sure you really research the school, visit it, if you can, check out the campus