Hi all. This was surprisingly hard for me to write, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything I could say that would be memorable. So I didn’t bother. I don’t expect I’ll say anything in this column that you haven’t heard a thousand times already, but I’ll try my best.
Living on campus in college is extremely different from high school, especially a high school as small as BSGE. You have a world of choices in picking your own classes, there isn’t a clear separation of school time and home time, and you’re far more responsible for taking care of yourself than ever before. Personally, I found it liberating. At Stony Brook, I got to get away from my family and be myself. I was finally able to take a physics class, though some of you lucky students got to do that at BSGE now. I performed in a short theater piece and was stage crew for a much longer one, fumbling blindly on a pitch black stage trying to move giant flats into place.
One thing I didn’t do, though, was try to join Stony Brook’s student newspaper The Statesman in any capacity. Editing for The BaccRag is an experience I’m very glad I had, but one I have no desire to repeat. I originally joined in 8th grade because my father insisted I wasn’t busy enough and so I needed to join another club, and as time passed I kept going. Eventually I became an editor, as much because I was one of two seniors participating as because it was something I had a positive desire for. It was very interesting, trying to manage a fleet of young writers to produce decent writing in a reasonable timeframe, but that experience was vastly different than anything I would have done with The Statesman. Besides, this way I got to focus my time on extracurriculars that BSGE doesn’t have, like theater.
I suppose the advice I have to give is to use college to seek out new experiences. Most of what made my first year as great as it was were the parts I couldn’t get at BSGE or ever before. Use college to its fullest. Do things you’ve thought about for a while but never tried. Or at least, that’s what worked for me.