When I first visited this school, I was impressed by what was a state university. An environmentally sustainable campus, spiffy bathrooms, and spacious computer labs, were all great. Not to mention the towering five story Frank Melville Library and the relaxing atmosphere near the Wang Center fountains. But; most importantly, on all this greenery and behind all this fancy architecture was truly, as President Stanley described in his speech at orientation, “the beginning of a college student’s academic journey”. After my first two months at Stony Brook University, I was beginning to realize what he had meant by this “new journey.”
In the first two weeks of the semester, I had the opportunity to participate in several blood drives and witness how whole blood donations were performed. In my third week, I was elected Resident Hall Association Representative, which gave me the opportunity to connect with other students living on campus. And only last week, I attended an ICC Drug Discovery and Science Symposium where graduate students meticulously describe their projects and explained their projects in simple terms to a befuddled freshman.
I even got to attend science professors’ lectures on cutting edge research and talk to many professors, one of whom was willing to offer me a research position. It has been an incredible two months that I can boldly say that I could not have gotten at any other college.
But, to freshmen who decide to transfer from Stony Brook University or are misled by Stony Brook’s reputation as a safety school, they severely underestimate the tools Stony Brook can offer them. Despite being ranked #111 on the U.S. News Rankings, Stony Brook is a Tier 1 research school with a behemoth of resources for its students. It is not unusual to see a professor walk into the library to borrow a book due to the collections upon collections of books.
I got to meet a Lincoln- Douglass debater in high school who qualified for nationals, and even an Intel Semifinalist. Stony Brook is home to a number of very talented individuals, but all one needs to do is go out and find them. However, many of them do not realize this, and instead complain about the awful social scene on campus.
Another complaint is that the professors and administrators are political, or even callous to their students. I found this not to be true at all. By asking about classes from my academic advisor and my seminar professor, Jessica Klare, I gained information about different classes, while getting to know her well.
Lori Glubiak, the GLS advisor, was even willing to offer to do fundraising for the Global Medical Relief Fund, which is a project to raise money to help children in underdeveloped countries. My general chemistry professor, Carlos Simmerling is by far, one of the best and approachable lecturers I have ever had in my academic career.
He explains concepts so simply that even a caveman could understand them. He was even willing to give me a research application to apply for his lab. The point is that the faculty and administration welcome students with open arms. As long as students are willing to take the initiative to seek them out, they can look forward to a good experience at Stony Brook.
For those who do not yet know about the positive aspects of Stony Brook, I hope they understand the resources they have available as an undergraduate student before they make a decision they may regret. Coming from a Chinese-Vietnamese family, I understand that parents stress the “name-brand” associated with colleges, and Stony Brook is just not one of those “name- brand” schools.
But that should not be the sole reason to not like a college, and I hope they can see the bigger picture. I want to stress the importance of actively seeking out these opportunities, and not just wait for them to be handed down to them. Just give Stony Brook a chance.