Skip to content

Archive for February, 2013

  • Inspiration in Unexpected Places on February 28th, 2013

    Hi Guys!

    I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I’m back, and I’ve got a lot to say. Today, I want to talk to you guys about finding inspiration where you least expect it.

    Here at Stony Brook, we have a group of classes known as DECs. For those of you who don’t know, DECs are simply courses in a variety of subject matter that we must take before we are able to graduate. Coming in as a freshman, I was not looking forward to the DECs. I was a computer science major; I thought that classes in english, philosophy, and foreign culture would just distract me from my major, but boy was I wrong.

    As the semesters passed, I quickly figured out ways to enjoy the DECs while remaining focused on my major. For the writing DECs, I did my research projects on humanoid robotics, for the philosophy DEC I took “Logic and Critical Reasoning,” which goes hand and hand with computer science, and for the foreign culture and history DECs, I took “Literature of Japan” and “Modern Japan” respectively, which played to my strengths.

    While it seemed like the DECs were going smoothly, there was one DEC that I had always avoided, the theater and arts DEC. I was not interested in theater , and I might have been a drummer, but I had no interest in writing piano composions or learning how to read music. I was at a standstill. But last semester, I decided to get this DEC over with and signed up for a class called “Theater and Technology.”

    The first day I did not know what to expect, I figured we would be learning about things like green-screens and stage design tools. But what I found was completely different. When I rolled into my first day of class, the professor asked if there were any coders in the room. Being a computer science major, I raised my hand. He told me that, for the semester, I would be hacking a Microsoft Kinect and making it do things that would benefit the theatrical world. Given that I am a human-computer interaction specialist, I knew at that moment that I would enjoy this class. I began experimenting with the Kinect and cutting edge brainwave technology that allows a computer program to know the user’s emotions.

    Fast forward to the current semester and the technology that I developed in that 100 level theater class is now being showcased all over New York City. This coming summer, my software is being showcased at various venues in the United States, Poland, Germany, and Belgium.

    I had never expected to find such an amazing opportunity in a theater class that I was taking as a DEC. For me, this was a lesson in the interconnectivity between every major on campus. Any class is applicable to your major in some way, shape, or form, you just have to keep an open mind. Never judge a class by its name or its subject, because its opportunities may surprise you. Always keep an open mind while you’re here, and look for inspiration in the unexpected.

    Until next time!

    Eric

  • Research on February 26th, 2013

    Hey Guys!

    As a Student Ambassador, I come into contact with a lot of prospective students. One of the most popular questions I get from parents and students alike revolves around the opportunity to research.

    Before I give advice regarding research, I must comment that I feel as a student, research is a great way to integrate what I learn in class and apply it to real life situations. Research allows me to work on projects hands-on and engage in a completely new type of learning experience. Also research makes students and researchers think out of the box and develop their problem solving skills.

    That being said, I recommend research to all Stony Brook students, especially if they have a diverse area of interest. In addition, a lot of questions I get is: Where, When, and How can I find research? The where is the easy part to answer! Wherever you have interest. Whether it be marine science, business, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, etc … Stony Brook has faculty and staff who is probably in that field of interest who could definitely help you out!

    In regards to how… that is a bit more difficult. Many people advise to email faculty and inquire about available research positions. My strategy is a little bit different; I advise that you go up to the professor and show interest. If you show the professor that you have genuine interest and that you really want to learn as much as you can (as well indicate you have read and are familiar with their prior research and as always stay humble), they is no reason why a faculty member won’t try to see what he or she can do. Worst comes to worst, they will tell you that positions are full and there is no space- but hey at least they say it to your face. But odds are, if you really impress them and show genuine curiosity, they will make space for you. After all that’s whats researchers look for the most (not necessarily grades or prior research)-actual interest.

    Also, in terms of when, honestly whenever you feel you can donate enough time and energy to research. And honestly, the sooner, the better. Anyways, I will wrap it up. If you guys have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment. I will be more than happy to respond and answer other questions. In the meanwhile feel free to browse these links.

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/ureca/index.shtml

    http://www.stonybrook.edu/research/

    -Ali

  • Stony Brook Journeys to DC…Taking Part in the Campaign Against Dirty Energy! on February 20th, 2013

    This past Sunday, February 17th, over 20 representatives from Stony Brook University joined over 40,000 other concerned students, activists, scientists, government officials, and citizens, in what was the biggest environmental rally in our nation’s history!

    Additionally, thousands more joined the movement in over 20 solidarity rallies across the country on the same day!

    We gathered in Washington DC, taking the long trek down to America’s capital with over 100 other Long Island activists in three buses.  Immediately upon exiting the bus, we were filled with excitement; we could see the towering Washington Monument, the National Mall…we could hear chanting, drums…we felt a sense of purpose and a desire to make our voices heard.  It was a bitterly cold and windy day, however, we marched toward the White House with an unwavering energy

    Stony Brook students and staff march on Washington, urging our President to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and dirty energy!

    What, exactly, were these “Seawolves” trying to accomplish?

    We were showing our support in the campaign against dirty energy; urging President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, among other dangerous and harmful sources of energy (including fossil fuels and nuclear energy).  Instead, we endorse clean and safe renewable forms of energy (such as wind, solar, and hydropower).

    The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would transport millions of gallons of tar sands oil across the United States from Canada.

    Besides the risks of pipeline cracks, oil spills, and other “accidents,” extracting crude from tar sands is inherently dangerous to our health (containing heavy metals and carcinogens), inefficient (it requires more energy input to extract crude than the energy actually yielded), and causes massive environmental degradation (requiring infrastructure construction, thousands of truck trips to extraction sites, and the creation of sludge-filled, above-ground tailings ponds)…

    Thus, we showed up in Washington DC with the spirit of change in our hearts.  We believe that our great nation can follow the example of other countries (like Germany) already divesting in dirty forms of energy, and make the necessary infrastructure, economic, social, and political changes here.  Through a campaign of divestment in fossil fuels and nuclear power, and the endorsement of clean and safe renewables, America will be able to progress into a healthy and successful future…

    We joined the Forward on Climate 2013 movement to show that our nation must change.

    After being fired up by speeches given by Bill McKibben, local and Canadian native peoples, Rosario Dawson, Mike Brune, Tom Styer, & Rev. Lennox Yearwood…and the music of the “National Hip-Hop Caucus,” we marched on!

    The "front lines" of the protest group (Bill McKibben, indigenous people, and others!)

    It is no secret that climate change is occurring. Record levels of sea ice are melting in the Arctic, oceanic and atmospheric temperatures are rising at an alarmingly quick pace, and sea levels are shooting up… “superstorms” and catastrophic weather events are occurring all across the globe… both desertification and drought as well as torrential rainfall and deadly flooding.  All because we, as humans, are addicted to dirty energy.

    Why? Because we are stuck in a rut…we have “learned” that fossil fuels and nuclear power are quick and cheap sources of energy. But, what if we focused on installing a renewable energy infrastructure in our country, replacing our existing system, which is simply not working?

    The answer is, we would get change.  We can and must change our current energy system, for the future of our country, our planet, humanity.

    A key issue we must address in this campaign is the divestment, in, not only dangerous fuel sources and dirty energy technologies, but the oil, gas, and nuclear companies themselves.  Such corporations wield massive economic and political clout, swaying laws and policy in their favor, regardless of what the consequences on the environment or public health may be.  Science has told us the factsWe must listen.  And act.

    Consider the words of scientist, writer, and “350.org” activist, Bill McKibben:

    We know how much we can burn, and we know who’s planning to burn more. Climate change operates on a geological scale and time frame, but it’s not an impersonal force of nature; the more carefully you do the math, the more thoroughly you realize that this is, at bottom, a moral issue; we have met the enemy and they is Shell…”

    This is why we marched past the White House.

    We stand for divestment.

    We stand for change.

    Power to the Seawolf.

    Power to the people.

    Clean, renewable power, to the world.

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica

  • My Stony Brook Experience on February 18th, 2013

    I’m not the typical Stony Brook student. I didn’t dream of coming here throughout my senior year, and to be honest, I only transferred here from my home state of Iowa after putting my finger on a map and this being the closest SUNY. Coming into Stony Brook back in 2010, I didn’t know what a Seawolf was or how to ride the LIRR. Honestly, I was beyond confused I was to live in Irving College but still be a student at Stony Brook University. During my first year here, and the following year I took off to do an internship with the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, I grew. I grew more than in my four years of high school, my first year of college at the University of Iowa, and more than the summer approaching my move to Stony Brook combined. And in that growth, during these last few years, I’ve realized so much about myself and about this campus community.

    Stony Brook is special. It’s only about 50 years old, a baby compared to my 150 year old first school. Every day I spend here, every moment I wake up and realize I’m a Seawolf, I challenge myself to embrace the fact that this is a special place, that these students, the programs we put on today will pave the path for the generations of Seawolves who follow. In these last few years, I’ve realized the value behind each and every day, and have found pride in enjoying the little things. Giving out high fives on a Friday, candy ‘just because’ on a groggy Monday morning, and painting facepaint on all of my friends’ faces for a Sunday afternoon Women’s Basketball game have grown to define who I am.

    Not only do I enjoy life as a whole, but the fact that my life right now is able to be spent on this campus and as a Seawolf is what gets me out of bed each day even when there’s two feet of snow on the ground. In these last few years, I’ve grown to become something special, to enjoy life more than many people could ever imagine, and it is that growth, that passion, that love of life that make me excited about every single day on this campus, every moment with my Stony Brook community.

    It makes me proud to say: I am a Seawolf.

  • Study Abroad? on February 14th, 2013

    For the past year, I’ve really wanted to study abroad. But I waited much too long to actually do it. Being an engineering major, I have to take my major courses in a pretty strict sequence, and if I were to go abroad for a semester, I would end up blocking myself out of one or more classes because I’d have missed out on a prerequisite. Only recently did I realize that I could have, and should have, done a winter or summer study abroad program during my first two years here. I think it would have been a really good option to get that outside world exposure and different experience, but I didn’t know about the possibility of winter and summer programs like that.

    Why do I think it’s too late for me to do one now? Because now I have to start focusing on getting an internship for this summer, look into grad schools over the next winter break, and the laundry list goes on as I’ll get closer to graduation next year.

    Study Abroad programs are great because they let you experience other parts of the world, new cultures, and new educational practices. You also get to make new friends from around the world! My best friend is almost half way across the world in Jordan right now. I read the blogs she writes, and I can’t believe how amazing her travels have been so far.

    So take this from me, don’t miss out on study abroad! Find out all the information as a freshman and figure out how to get it to fit into your busy class schedule!

    Here’s the link to the Stony Brook Study Abroad Program Website: http://www.stonybrook.edu/studyabroad/

    -Pratha

  • Check out whats happening! on February 9th, 2013

    There’s a lot of things I did not know about Stony Brook until I came here. One thing I realized is that they always manage to rope in talented celebrities every semester. For example, this week the school of Journalism had invited Christiane Amanpour, the chief international correspondnt for CNN. Also, Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Government (USG) brings in celebtries as well. Every Spring Semester, they start off by bringing a comedian. Two years ago it was Aziz Ansari. Last year, Kevin Hart. This year: John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac from the Daily Show! How great is that! And even more, there is always a Spring Concert when they bring a musical performer. Two years ago: Bruno Mars. Last year: Wiz Khalifa. This year: Who knows!!! All I know is about 7 years ago, they brought in Kanye West (as you can tell from my previous post, I love Kanye West). But besides that, I am looking forward to the Oliver/Cenac performance and the Spring Concert!

  • Hunkering down and reaching out on February 8th, 2013

    I am writing this post from my bed, where I am hunkered down with fuzzy socks and fluffy comforters prepared to wait out the storm.  The news channels are calling it Nemo, but the driving rain and whistling winds outside my windows bear no resemblance to my favorite little clownfish.   The weather channel summed up the 72-hour forecast with this headline:

    Needless to say, I don’t plan on leaving my bed any time soon.  Oh New York–I love you, but winter really isn’t your best look.

    In better news, I had the opportunity this week to attend an on-campus screening of an amazing documentary called Half the Sky.  The evening I attended was actually the first of a four-part series, each focused on a different issue of violence or human rights facing women around the world.  Each segment was followed by a discussion, led by an invited guest, to stimulate awareness and encourage members of the SBU community to get involved in campaigns to end crimes against women.

    Even though I was only able to attend one night of the series, the experience was deeply moving and inspired me to do my part to spread the word and get involved.

    If you are interested in learning more about the Half the Sky movement, I highly recommend reading the book, watching the documentary, or checking out their website here.  This experience was a great reminder for me of the passion for making the world a better place that truly ignites the Stony Brook community.  From the local community to the global community, you’ll find innumerable ways to get involved and give back.  Here are just a few examples of the awesome things that students are doing here at Stony Brook.

    Students Helping Honduras

    SHH is a non-profit aimed at empowering students to make a difference in rural villages in Honduras by participating in annual capital campaigns to construct schools in Honduras.  SHH also conducts service trips through out the year.

    Find out moreFacebookSB Life

    SBU Blood Drive Committee

    This student run committee organizes and helps staff blood drives on campus.  Volunteers are essential to the success of a blood drive – they make posters, recruit donors, and are present at the blood drives to assist donors and nurses.

    Find out moreFacebookSB Life

    Stony Brook Compliments – #SBrunsonzamir

    A forum for SBU students to “spread the love!”  Message us with your compliments and a photo you’d like us to use. We will anonymously share all compliments that are submitted! — please tag your friends.

    The most recent product of this group has gotten a LOT of publicity: on February 1st, 2013 students at Stony Brook University surprised Zamir, an employee who works the night shift at the local Dunkin’ Donuts, with handmade cards and gifts thanking him for his service.  So many students had posted anonymously about the wonderful man at DD that the community decided to let him know how much they appreciated him.  Check out the video!

    Find out moreFacebook

    Alternative Spring Break Outreach

    No plans for spring break?  Spend your week helping a community in need!  Organized by the Career Center, the ASBO team takes a group of students each spring to a region of the country in need of disaster relief.  Previous groups have gone to New Orleans, LA because of Hurricane Katrina, Galveston, TX because of Hurricane Ike, and Atlanta, GA because of major flooding.

    Find out moreFacebookWebsite

    Global Medical Brigades

    Medical Brigades at Stony Brook University is a chapter of Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. GMB develops sustainable health initiatives and provides relief where there is limited access to healthcare. Every 3-4 months, student groups visit these high-need areas to provide treatment to hundreds of patients and teach public health workshops.

    Find out more: Website

    American Red Cross Club

    Find out moreFacebookSB Life

    _______________________

    This is only a small sampling of the community-service groups represented here at Stony Brook, but here’s some even better news:

    The spring involvement fair is THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, February 13th in the Student Activities Center!

    I’ll be there repping the UG Linguistics Club–hope to see you there!

    Kelly

  • The ‘Next Beginning’ ! on February 7th, 2013

    Hey everyone! It has certainly been a while since I last posted, but this semester I am all in, ready to update you on my experiences here as a freshman at Stony Brook University on a weekly basis. This week I am going to focus a great deal on how the beginning of my second semester here at Stony Brook has been different from my first semester. There are so many differentiations, and I believe that you will find from what I have to say that once you get past that first semester you really do settle into the Seawolf community and begin to mold the person you are prepared to become in life.

    .

    1. The first few days here at Stony Brook of your first semester are pretty hectic, with moving in for the first time, mandatory orientations and activities planned throughout the weekend, and preparation for one’s first college courses. But when I got back to Stony Brook for my second semester, the experience was extremely different. A lot of my stuff was still here from the first semester so moving in was as simple as bringing back my clothes. There are no orientations planned for non-first semester students, so I had plenty of time to hang out with friends before classes began, and so the time before was much more relaxing. I also had to spend no time whatsoever attempting to find my classes since over the course of the first semester I had mastered the location of just about everything.

    .

    2. The first semester is all about finding things to take part in that really interest you, and that you will remain committed to for a long period of time. It is certainly daunting at first if you do not go to the involvement fairs early on in the semester, because you will have little to no idea of how to contact student organizations. Make sure you go to the involvement fairs held during the first month of the semester! I quickly found my interests on campus, particularly the Undergraduate Student Government. They are a body of students well-known on campus with the goal of working with the administration to improve student experiences here on campus in all respects. I ran for freshman class representative during my first semester at Stony Brook, and won! Now I am a part of the organization that I truly believe to this day has the student’s thoughts in mind, and I am looking forward to making a major impact on the campus life here during my term. It is also absolutely impossible to discover all of the different opportunities available on campus during one’s first semester. It wasn’t until very early in during this second semester that I found out about the existence of an equestrian club (horseback riding). It is something I had never done before but always wanted to give a go, so I am looking into that for the spring. Never give up on finding opportunities to do things on campus, because they won’t all appear at once!!!

    .

    3. The second greatest challenge you will face during your first semester is balancing EVERYTHING: coursework, clubs and organizations, hanging out with friends, and, most importantly, your sanity. Haha, just kidding, no matter what happens, never let the experience get the best of you. The first couple weeks will certainly be a transition from the high school experience. Make sure that you put your coursework first, so you can determine sooner rather than later how much time you can expect to be studying each week, and then determine how to balance that with your other interests. Once you get into the second semester, this becomes a whole lot easier, because you understand how to balance these things, HOPEFULLY. This means that you know what challenges you can undertake during the semester without allowing your grades to slip. You will also know how to organize your schedule, whether or not morning or night classes work for you, and even planning days off from classes with some wizardry. I was able to get three nearly empty days, and put most of my classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Yeah, I may have nine hours of consecutive class, but then I get five days a week to relax and do the other things that I really enjoy.

    .

    4. AND FINALLY, the most important aspect of beginning your second semester here at Stony Brook: Maintaining that Seawolf swagger! When you get here for your first semester at Stony Brook, I hope that it will be your goal to support your school by wearing Stony Brook apparel, RED ON FRIDAYS, and attending every single football game! If you do, I hope that is something you will continue throughout your first semester, because it is great to see freshman getting involved and becoming a part of the family from the get-go. But, once the second semester starts comes the greatest challenge: MAINTAINING THAT SWAGGER. Go to all of the basketball games, all of the baseball games; take part in all activities on campus, especially the weekend ones. The spring is especially known for its premiere events, from comedy shows, to Roth Regada, to the end of the year concert!

    .

    My second week of the second semester here at Stony Brook is just about over, and I can honestly say that the transition was much more smooth than it was for the first semester. It will be a challenge, but I, and 2700 other students, got through it! Once you get over that hurdle, the college experience will truly begin, and you will have the best time of your life. In the next couple of days, I will be writing about something new I’ve been doing on campus since the second semester began: going to the BRAND NEW Campus Recreation Center on a daily basis, and running on a daily basis, too! I will explain the reasoning behind it, and much more, very soon.

    .

    Until then, my future Seawolf friends, have a great day!

    .

    - Steven Adelson

  • Climate Change…Why You Should Care & How YOU Can Make a Difference! on February 6th, 2013

    Hey Stony Brook!

    When you hear the words “climate change,” what images come to mind?

    Perhaps your brain immediately conjures up the image of a malnourished, rangy-looking polar bear clinging on to an ever-shrinking iceberg…or some poor, unassuming penguin perched on the precipice of a melting glacier, about to plunge to its demise as another huge sheaf of ice is sheared off the side of the thawing mass…

    Though the disappearance of the critically important Arctic Sea ice and melting of the earth’s glaciers (which are thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of years old!), there is more to the story…

    Scientists have acknowledged since the 1980s that earth’s climate has been warming.  Though our planet naturally enters and exits periods of warming and cooling (known as interglacial and glacial periods, respectively), human activities taking place specifically in the past few hundred years have drastically changed the earth’s climate for the worse.


    Greenhouse gases (most famously Carbon Dioxide, but also Methane and Nitrous Oxide, among others) have existed in our atmosphere since life itself has inhabited the earth.  These gases trap some of the incoming solar radiation, which normally works to keep the globe at a relatively “normal” average temperature (based on historical temperature data).  Without greenhouse gases, our earth would be very COLD.

    What we are concerned with is anthropogenic climate change aka climate change caused by us, humans.  It has been revealed by science that the increased burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, & natural gas) has been the single-largest contributor to global warming over the past 300 years…which has led to increased oceanic and atmospheric temperatures, species migration, mass extinction of many important species, more frequent extreme weather events, and more severe natural disasters. And now, the world population, thirstier than ever for such fuels, is running out of ways to quench its thirst…especially the population here in the United States, where we, for the most part, participate in and endorse a mass-consumer and “throwaway” culture.

    WE need to wake up to this reality of a warming planet. Scientists are urging us to accept the facts: “Unless action is taken to curb global climate change, within the next 10 years the earth will pass a “tipping point” beyond which devastating consequences will become unavoidable. It is critical that America’s public health systems understand and adapt to the health implications of climate change.”

    But, our government is telling us otherwise…besides the fact that the fossil fuel industry pours money into the coffers of some very prominent politicians and government organizations, our nation’s political leaders now think that the answer to “refilling” our nation’s energy stores with more dirty fossil fuels, rather than focusing on producing permanent, healthy solutions with renewable energy resources.  Opponents of clean energy cite fiscal, health, and public safety concerns, ignoring the science that is clearly telling us that fossil fuels are killing our planet, which will ultimately kill us and all the other life around us, just like those polar bears and penguins I mentioned earlier…

    At the moment, Fracking (for natural gas) and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline are the two most pressing issues on the table.  Please refer to my previous post on the upcoming Screening, Reception, & Discussion on Fracking (February 12, at the CAC in Huntington).

    As for the Keystone XL Pipeline, YOU have the amazing opportunity to tell OUR United States government to divest in this technology! This fossil fuel “highway” would transport synthetic crude oil and bitumen from the Athabasca tar sands in the Northeast region of Alberta Canada…a crazy process of extracting oil that takes more energy input to carry out than the actual energy that is produced yields.  If this pipeline is to be built, acres upon acres of wildlife habitat would be destroyed, human lives would be interrupted, water would be contaminated in the form of spills and tailing ponds…and the list goes on and on.  And the creation of such a pipeline would only facilitate the further development of obtaining energy from the tar sands!

    TELL the government that you will not stand for a dirty energy future!

    On February 17, 2013, make history!  Join tens of thousands of other concerned citizens in what may be the most critical climate change rally ever to take place!  Come with us to Washington DC for the Forward on Climate Rally 2013!

    Reserve your spot on a bus now…if enough join, we will be able to leave straight from campus!

    This is truly critical! Make a difference…make your voice HEARD!

    peace. love. run.

    ericarunsamerica.

  • What I Wish Someone Told Me Freshman Year on February 4th, 2013

    1. Haters are gunna hate

    Haters are everywhere, at work, in your classes, in your residence halls and walking through campus. Haters come from insecure people who don’t know how to mind their own business. They get mad when someone else excels at what they’re lacking. Instead of working on fixing their situation, they hate.

    People who don’t know the answer in class, hate on that one person who sits in the front row and answers every single question. Instead of studying harder or preparing for class, haters sit in the back and snicker. Haters try to diminish accomplishments and belittle their peers. They twist positives into negatives to make themselves feel better. If someone is hating on you, don’t be upset, pat yourself on the back. Having haters means you have done something right, you have succeeded where someone else feels like they’re failing.

    2. Get involved

    Whether you’re a commuter or resident, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved.  Within the residence halls you can join hall council and quad council where you meet with people who live in the same building/quad as you and discuss ways to make life on campus better. Outside of the residence halls, there are clubs, organizations, fraternities and sororities for nearly every interest. You can find a list or clubs and activities on campus here: stonybrook.edu/sblife.

    Even if you’re not much of a joiner, there are still plenty of ways to get involved, like getting a job on campus. Working on campus is a unique experience because you’ll have the chance to interact with your peers, professors, faculty members and prospective students. It’s a great way to network and build your resume. Visit the Faculty Student Association office in room 250 of the Student Union to get a job application. Once you fill it out, it’ll be sent to all areas of campus that are operated by FSA.

    3. Be who you are—and own it

    There used to be a Resident Assistant in my building named Jessika and when she introduced herself, she would say “Hi I’m Jessika with a K!” She was loud and animated and NOONE ever forgot her name. She found what made her unique and used it to brand herself. There was a kid in my class who had 6 toes, I have no idea what his real name was because everyone just called him Six or Six Toes, that’s even how he signed my yearbook. The point is, figure out what makes you special or sets you apart from the crowd and use it to your advantage. Being know for something strange is better than not being known at all, especially in a big school like Stony Brook.

    4. Ask and you shall receive

    If you want something, ask for it. What’s the worst that could happen? The person says no? So what?

    All the most powerful people in the world just ask for or even demand the things they want. If you can’t make your professors office hours, ask to set up a meeting at a different time that works for you. If you feel you deserved a higher grade, fight for yourself (with facts) and ask them to change it. I’ve even had classes where the students admitted they were totally overwhelmed and asked the professor to move the test back and the professor agreed. The truth is, most professors will be more than accommodating and are pretty flexible.

    In all areas of your life, being confident, knowing you deserve to be heard and simply asking for the things you want will get you far.

    5. RELAX, its not that serious

    College is the most impermanent time in our lives. Everything is constantly changing—not only physically with all the construction on campus and the moving in and out of res halls, but also in terms of emotional connections and intangible experiences. People you see every single day one semester may have graduated or be studying abroad the next.

    The four years (give or take) you spend here go by in the blink of an eye. There just isn’t enough time to stress or worry or get upset about things. One bad test grade or even one bad semester won’t make or break you. With a few exceptions you can always retake a class or boost your grade with extra credit. College isn’t like high school where you know everyone, your mistakes don’t follow or define you. If you mess up, admit to it, move on and be sure you don’t fall down the same path in the future.