The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Marc is a graduate of Stony Brook University from which he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry in 2013. He is a New York City tutor who specializes in Algebra tutoring, Chemistry tutoring, Pre-Calculus tutoring, and a number of other subjects. See what he had to say about his experience at Stony Brook:
VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?
Marc: Stony Brook is a safe, beautiful campus with multiple options for transportation. There is a bus system that allows for transportation to destinations both within and outside of the campus. There are also locations on campus where students may rent bikes, as well asa train within walking distance that can take students to New York City.
VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Marc: Availability varies from professor to professor. That said, most are accommodating, and they will allow students to schedule an appointment if they are unable to meet during regularly scheduled office hours. Academic advisers and teaching assistants tend to be enthusiastic and eager to help students.
VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?
Marc: The quality of rooms varies from building to building, as well as within the buildings themselves. The university tends to house three freshmen per room. This may be uncomfortable if you are used to having your own room. However, the university does start to de-triple during the second semester. Moving on, campus dining is not five stars by any means. However, it is certainly not the worst food I have eaten. I would say it is above average, albeit expensive. With regard to social life, I would say there are many opportunities to meet new people. However, Stony Brook is a commuter school, which means the campus will be quieter on the weekends.
VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?
Marc: Stony Brook University offers a variety of degree programs, from the arts to the sciences. I initially found out about Stony Brook because of its reputation for being strong in the sciences. Having worked towards and attained a biochemistry degree, I can confirm this. There are also many research opportunities and a hospital to acquire clinical experience at if you are pre-medicine.
VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?
Marc: As a freshman, it was easy to make friends within classes and inside the dorms themselves. The dorms have pool tables and ping pong tables. Engaging in these activities may be one way to meet new people and make friends. Playing basketball is another way—there are many basketball courts throughout campus. These are just a few of the possible ways.
VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus?
Marc: From my experience with the Career Center, I can vouch that they are extremely helpful and friendly. They helped me format my resume correctly, and they answered any questions I had.
VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?
Marc: The libraries are normally quiet and not over-crowded. It is easy to find a good area to study. They also have quiet lounges located in dorm buildings.
VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus?
Marc: The surrounding area contains a shopping mall, various supermarkets, Walmart, and a movie theater. There is also a nearby train that goes to New York City. Students seem to enjoy visiting the city.
VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Marc: The student body is fairly large. Some of the science classes, particularly the introductory sciences, contain hundreds of students. Recitations accompany the lectures. Recitations usually contain 30 students, and they are taught by graduate students. Because of the large class size, it may be difficult to ask a question during lecture. Despite this, it is easy to get one-on-one help from the professor during office hours or from your graduate teaching assistant during recitation.
VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Marc:Two of my favorite classes happen to be sociology classes I took with Dr. Marrone. She is extremely kind and effectively relays course material.
Check out Marc’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.