Word From the Real World: Joy Hamlin

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.

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