Stony Brook is definitely the kind of place where you really need to put in the effort to make friends and actively participate in the social scene. If you keep to yourself during your first semester, you may be wishing you were back home or even consider transferring. However, by the second semester when you start going out more, you will be much happier now. There are so many ways to meet people and get involved on campus, and that is really the trick to being happy. Even if your classes are really stressful, you can always work on your homework with classmates—something that definitely makes it less stressful. Finding a balance between academia and a social life is not hard to do, but it isn’t easy either. It is very easy to get lost in the shuffle sometimes. The campus is absolutely dead on the weekends, since most people live locally and go home. Stony Brook is widely known as a commuter school for that reason. Attending Stony Brook will hold true the cliché that college is what you make of it.
The classes themselves also vary. Some will overload you with work, and others will have you excited to learn. Even if you hear a certain class is an easy A, don’t take it unless you have some interest in the topic. It will come back to haunt you when it’s a week before your midterm and you realize you have to read seven chapters on a topic that doesn’t pique your curiosity. Overall, Stony Brook is great academically for everything, especially biology, chemistry, pre-med studies, psychology, and engineering. The social scene is not very active in comparison with most other colleges, but there is one, you just have to look for it.