Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Congratulations to the graduating Seniors: Senior year in review

Senior year: the final countdown; the last hurrah; the last year of being a “kid” – well somewhat, at least.  This is not the time to come down with a bad case of Senioritis.  This is the time to immerse yourself in every Stony Brook activity possible, make that last push to excel in class, and apply everything that you’ve learned during the past three years in the pursuit of a career.  Yes, senior year is bittersweet, but it is also crunch time. 
            Your last two semesters are essentially a compilation of all of your hard work: where you can shine and showcase your academic talents and leadership abilities.  You can become engrossed in the Stony Brook atmosphere, while simultaneously preparing yourself for your future after graduation.  This is the time to utilize the networks that you have created throughout different departments and use them to your benefit.      
            Looking back, it is interesting to see how much you have developed over the past four years.  In freshman year, as a 17 or 18-year-old, Stony Brook University was a brand new environment, which was both intimidating and exciting.  At 21 or 22, after four years of educational growth, personal maturity, and professional development, Stony Brook is viewed as a different place.  “When I first came to Stony Brook, I just viewed it as a school.  Now, I view it as a home, a workplace, and a place to have fun and relax.  Now that I am a leaving, it would be a lie to say that I am not going to miss it,” said Ivan Xie, a senior who is majoring in Business Management. 
            I’m not saying that senior year should solely be dedicated to creating and preparing for your life after Stony Brook.  There must be balance.  Be proactive and cognizant of the future, but be sure to be social: spend time with friends, have carefree days, and set aside some serious “me” time.  Conceivably, this may be the last time in your life that many of your friends are all together.  Take advantage of the opportunities you have this year to stay involved on campus while maintaining your friendships. 
            The world can be a scary place, and nobody is going to hold your hand through interviews or other challenging situations that will come your way.  As you truly emerge into adulthood, with real adult responsibilities, it is time to exercise your independence and decide what is best for you in life.  Whether you go to graduate school, find a job, or travel and take a year off, you are the only person who knows what is right for you.  Stony Brook University has laid the foundation for what looks to be a promising future: go out and seize the opportunities that lay before you. 


Interview featuring Senior, Kirin Mahmud 

Monday, May 2, 2011

The 411 on Freshman Year

Let’s be honest here: the transition from high school to college is not an easy one.  Most times, you make the transition from being a “big fish in a small pond to a small fish in a big pond.”  At Stony Brook, a campus with over 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students, this feeling undoubtedly applies to most freshmen.  Eighteen is a rough age; you are stuck between childhood and adulthood, which makes the shift to the university level even more complex.    College can be intimidating, even daunting at first, until you find your niche and blossom.  Though freshman year is a clean slate and starting point, it is important to remember that senior year and graduation is only three short years away.  Preparation is key, and it is never too early to utilize the resources that are right before you. 

The first six weeks of school are considered the adjustment period.  During this time, freshmen students are the most formidable, and get acclimated to Stony Brook by testing the college waters, so to speak.  As a freshman, it is important to achieve a delicate balance of socialization and education.  College brings about a whole new world of freedom and responsibility: nobody tells you to go to class; nobody makes sure that you study; and nobody reminds you to complete homework assignments.  You must take the initiative to shape and plan your future.  Become engrossed in your classes; make and cultivate relationships with professors and staff members; become involved in clubs and organizations; actively seek opportunity.   

It is never too early to utilize the Career Center and the services it offers.  Come to resume review, and transform your lengthy high school activity record into a polished and articulated one-page document.  Make an appointment with an advisor or stop by during walk-in hours to receive guidance and advice about your major and related activities.  The Career Center exists to help you, regardless if you are a freshman.  Take advantage of ZebraNet and the events and workshops that are offered.  You may ask, “As a freshman, why should I go to and use the Career Center if none of my friends are?”  The answer is this: if you are motivated to succeed upon entering college, you will graduate from Stony Brook University with a plethora of experience and career opportunities.  You reap what you sow, and as cliché as it sounds, hard work really does pay off – trust me. 

Check out this video: Words of wisdom from a current freshman, Anna Lubitz.