Among the many exciting events the Stony Brook spring semester offers, one of the most anticipated is the annual Roth Regatta. STATESMAN STOCK PHOTO
Among the many exciting events the Stony Brook spring semester offers, one of the most anticipated is the annual Roth Regatta.

There is nothing more enjoyable than the back-to-school feeling in late August.
It is the smell of new books in the old summer air, the excited new faces swapping camp war stories, and all the other minutia that goes into a fresh year that makes me eager to get back to SBU.
This excitement, though, fades rapidly as I think about what is really set out in front of me: fall semester.
The structure of fall semester begets an environment of exponentially increasing stress for every student, especially freshmen. We have little to no downtime, which leads to an unhealthy learning environment. The university is generous enough to give us one day off right at the beginning of the semester (although no one really wants or needs it), but then we are cut off from any semblance of rest until Thanksgiving, which is too little, too late.
Part of the collegiate lifestyle is getting the chance to develop oneself civilly as well as academically. The lack of any rest or relaxation does not permit that, thus is the reason why so many students have such difficulty in the fall. For many students, the trend in the fall is predictable: work piles up, stress ensues, sleepless nights trying to figure it out, lack of concentration in class, repeat ad nauseam. This often leads to a severe drop in grades and quickly worsens mental states. As we have all seen, this can have disastrous effects around fall finals time, especially on this campus.
Being a freshman or a new transfer dealing with all of this can have detrimental and sometimes unforeseen effects. I spoke to Yvette Karvay, a freshman psychology major, about her experiences during her first semester. When asked about how the fall semester took its toll she explained, “the reason the semester is so awful is because it begins with beautiful weather and ends with piles of un-doable work and the blistery cold of an approaching depressing winter.” She said that procrastination was something that she could get away with during high school.
At Stony Brook, though, “tomorrow and next week never really come [for studying]. Work really piles up and courses hit their peak of difficulty. The days dwindle and become sad and cold causing all motivation to disappear.”
Having this as your first exposure to college serves to breed a mindset of struggle and often, as she said, depression.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the refreshing spring semester. Broken up into seven weeks on each side of spring break, the spring semester seems to be a walk in the park, sometimes filled with stopping to smell the springtime roses. A more spaced-out schedule means more time to relax, reflect and compose oneself. Many professors give their midterms the week before break, which allows students to decompress and often cut loose during the week off.
Instead of bombarding students with an insurmountable workload, this split breaks the semester down into two halves that almost feel like two mini-semesters in one. I know I always come back from the break feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, keen to finish out the little bit of the year I have left.
Although fall has Homecoming to get excited about, spring semester has the added flare of a plethora of Stony Brook traditions that students look forward to all year long. The university hosts Recyclemania and Earthstock in the spring, as well as Diversity Day during Strawberry Fest.
A few big staples in Stony Brook life happen in the spring too like Brookfest and Roth Regatta. Students come out in droves for the music, the boat race and to celebrate the end of the year with their fellow Seawolves.
All of these occasions allow students to socialize and breathe a little easier while maintaining their academic success. It is clear for everyone to see that these events make for an awesome campus environment.
It is apparent that this social spring environment leads to good civics. Anybody would agree that it is nicer to live in a welcoming environment where people are good to each other and are decent and dignified as opposed to an environment of hostility and antagonism. Good civics will lead to a better learning and an overall healthier, happier and more successful campus environment. After such a lovely semester sprinkled with fun, excitement and tradition, I know we are all ready to take our place in the sun.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.