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Stony Brook University

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Coming from a small town in the south,Quite BrightCivil Engineering
Coming from a small town in the south, I never really fit in at Stony Brook. I was drawn by an athletic scholarship and transferred my sophomore year because I didn't feel that the social and academic environments were appropriate for me.

Being southern, I wasn't used to people being in-your-face, competitive, or unfriendly. My professors didn't seem to care about the individual students very much in general. A lot of students went home every weekend, so it was tough for me since home was 12 hours away.

I have to be fair and say that if I had grown up in the northeast, if I were interested in pre-med, or if I were more used to the northern way of life, I might have liked Stony Brook better.I would definitely suggest that anyone unfamiliar or uncomfortable with fast-paced New Yorkers should think long and hard about the type of environment there.

1st Year Female -- Class 1999
Useful Schoolwork: B, Faculty Accessibility: F
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When I arrived at Stony Brook in theQuite BrightPhilosophy
When I arrived at Stony Brook in the fall of 2003 it was my first time on the west coast. I had been recruited for the Stony Brook Honors College with a large scholarship, and the price of the university was quite low. I had heard of the reputation of the philosophy department at Stony Brook (particularly continental/existentialism) and so I was excited to begin the year.

Though the philosophy department nearly lived up to my expectations, (too many profs. are grad. students or laughably liberal) what I discovered at Stony Brook was nothing short of heartbreaking. The campus is a dump, (my room had infestations of bugs, mold, and was piled with garbage when I arrived) the students are self-absorbed and unfriendly commuters, the Honors College is full of a bunch of private school ivy league rejects who don't do much except study (and they put all of them together in ONE BUILDING), and the surrounding area is impossible to live in if you are on a tight budget like I was.

To anyone living in New York, this might sound like the long island they grew up in or have visited. If you are an outsider or simply didn't grow up in this kind of environment, DO NOT ATTEND THIS SCHOOL! If you are a poor white male or an unattractive white female, you will probably not like this school. Most of the white people who attend this school are markedly wealthy, which DOES MATTER ON LONG ISLAND. If you can find a group of minorities to hang out with, I recommend it because I found them to be very nice people. Trouble is, you'll have a hard time breaking into their clique. African Americans hang out amongst themselves, Chinese/Japanese/Korean hang out amongst themselves, Sikhs hang out amongst themselves, Indians hang out amongst themselves...etc. ad nauseam.

As for the honors college, it might be a good idea if you're a commuter, but not if you aren't. They'll put you with the above-mentioned wonks and you'll want to stab yourself more than Elliot Smith did.

If you have exceptionally high grades and SAT scores like I did and are on a budget, I recommend looking at other well rated state schools (U Iowa, U Georgia, U Texas-Austin) and passing this one up. As for me, I'm attending the University of Montana this year, going on an NSE program to the University of Georgia for next, and finishing up with a study abroad program to France.

Academics and cost are two important factors in choosing a college. If you are a good student, you can find other good buys around the country with an infinitely more nurturing environment and academic standards equal to or surpassing Stony Brook (Especially if you are in the liberal arts).Oh and FYI, if the former director of the honors college is to be taken at his word, most out of state students have the same reaction I did.

1st Year Male -- Class 2007
Useful Schoolwork: A, Campus Aesthetics: F
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Members of certain frats and sororities (namely ZBTQuite BrightHistory/Histories (art history/etc.)
Members of certain frats and sororities (namely ZBT and SDT) tend to be mindless clones of each other. People are rude and obnoxious, and ill-mannered, especially the Asians, many of whom are international students that enjoy fostering the stereotype. Dorms tend to be dirty and in a state of disrepair, unless you live in the coveted undergrad apts, which are actually well out of the way. Prepare for a lot of walking. The campus is prison-like (not surprising, since it's a fact that the campus was designed by a prison architect from Arizona, who was dumb enough to think that windtunnels were necessary on LI, providing for freezing walks home), the buildings are dirty and dingy, rats scurry about the grounds at night, and the parking situation is nothing short of HEINOUS. The buses don't really run every 10 mins as advertised after about 12:30 in the afternoon. Many profs are here to complete their research, so not many care about the students. The CLT dept is the WORST. Admin is extremely unhelpful and patronizing, especially if you are Asian or Black. The staff looks down on its students in a very obvious manner. Social life is TERRIBLE here, whether you live on campus or not, especially since the amt of busywork given you makes it impossible to coordinate free time w/ friends.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2006
Education Quality: B, Useful Schoolwork: F
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