By Annabel Savage (Stony Brook University, New York).
It’s strange to think that only a year ago I was getting ready to start at Manchester, and here I am now, sitting in my new room at Stony Brook University, Long Island, preparing to start a new life here. Back in January when I first found out I’d been accepted here, it felt like a million miles away, but tomorrow classes start and the true college experience begins.
The last few weeks prior to my departure had been hectic trying to see everyone before I left, so I didn’t have too much time to think about what being away from home for 4 months would actually be like. Although I had some moments where I was really nervous, now I’ve arrived I’m super excited to start my new life here.
Getting to Stony Brook from the city was really easy, just a train ride on the Long Island Rail Road, and only a short walk from the station. However, with a 32kg suitcase (I got slightly carried away with my packing!) and after a long flight from London, the journey was pretty tiring! Arriving to an empty room, exhausted, I started to question what I’d let myself in for. Since then I’ve kitted out my room, stuck up photos from home and met some other international students at our orientation and it’s already starting to feel much more like home.
Unlike Manchester, SBU is a campus university with over 1000 acres. This itself is overwhelming, I feel like I’ll definitely be getting lost on the way to class the first few times. The campus is beautiful though, and at 30 odd degrees so far I just feel like I’m on holiday!
One of the things that is immediately obvious when arriving at Stony Brook is how patriotic everyone is about SBU and the Seawolves. Everyone has Stony Brook kit and wears it around campus, almost like a uniform! So, of course, I had to jump on the bandwagon! The Seawolf is the University mascot, and everywhere is blasted with seawolves – I’m not sure if we even have a mascot at Manchester, but here it’s pretty hard to miss!
Now I’m just getting ready for the start of class, I’ve got some jam-packed days (8.30am-8.30pm with a few breaks in-between) and four-day weekends, so it will be interesting to see how the first week goes – I’ll keep you updated!