Impressions Of
Syracuse University

Academic Experience

Female Psychology and Neuroscience Double Major C/O 2021

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
I have a lab every week in my Biology classes, along with four exams. For Psychology classes, we have more writing intensive work.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It depends on what environment you are in. In Biology classes, it’s a little more competitive. In Psychology, it seems like people are just taking the class to get the credit. The competition is not against each other, but it helps people realize their potential.

Male International Relations Major C/O 2021

Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I would say so. I’ve taken some Religion and Philosophy courses where there are definitely competing views. Where I’m from, I didn’t know anyone who was Jewish at all, so this has been a culture shock for me. Taking these Religion courses has allowed me to hear the different perspective of many people. Overall, people typically try and understand where the other one is coming from, as opposed to coming for each other’s throat.

Female International Relations and French Double Major C/O 2021

How accessible have your professors been?
They have been very accessible. They respond to emails promptly, and have walk in hours at least once a week.

Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I would say yes, but I’ve taken a lot of classes based on political debates. The professors try not to express their opinions, but it does show a little bit when a student provides a conservative point of view. This is probably because Syracuse is a very liberal school overall.

Social Opportunities

Non-Binary Stage Management and Theatrical Directing Major C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in at Syracuse?
What major and school you’re in actually affects what nightlife you gravitate towards, especially with the theater department. I also know the film department has a large party scene. It’s a culture I wasn’t expecting. What I’ve experienced are large drama department parties. I usually go out Thursdays and Saturdays.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Syracuse? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s been way more fun than excepted, and I’m kind of a serious person. Being a Queer person, I always worry about my safety, and I very rarely felt unsafe. I feel extremely safe whenever I’m with the people that I know. Because there’s so much nightlife available, being able to have choice has really allowed me to focus on my safety.

Male International Relations Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in at Syracuse?
House parties, going out to bars and clubs, stuff like that. It’s all in the center of the city which is nice. The Greek life scene here is very large which is something they don’t mention on tours. [About 30% of the students are affiliated.]

Female International Relations and French Double Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in at Syracuse?
I generally go to fraternity parties.

What nights of the week do you regularly do things?
I’ll go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Another big night to go out on is Tuesday, I guess for a break during the week. Friday is a big night to go out to the bars, but other than that it’s mostly parties.

Campus Culture

Non-Binary Stage Management and Theatrical Directing Major C/O 2021

How helpful has the LGBT resource center been? What kind of things have they done for you?
They’ve been amazing. I had issues with getting a gender marker changed on my identification at the beginning of the year, and they were really helpful with that and the paperwork [involved]. They lead lectures and discussions every week and it’s been great to focus on that part of my identity as I’m going through the college experience. It’s nice that one has the ability to express that and discuss it with other people, and verbally process it in a way.

As a Theater department person, we don’t get a lot of outside interaction because we are so secluded down at the stage, but to be able to go up on campus and meet other people with similar interests is awesome.

 

Male International Relations Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the student body?
There is a large amount of school spirit. For one out of every three or four people you see, there will be some article of Syracuse apparel on them. For the student body, I’d say that there is a large number of intelligent people here. At the same time, there are others on the opposite end where it seems like they don’t appreciate what they are learning.

Female International Relations and French Double Major C/O 2021

What impact does not being in a sorority have on you?
As a girl, it doesn’t have a negative impact on my social life. You can still get into any party and will meet lots of people. I’ve heard from a lot of guys that it’s a necessity to join a fraternity if you want to have a social life.

How has the size of Syracuse influenced your social experience?
I actually wanted to go to a smaller school before I came here, but having a large population of [of 15,252] students gives you an opportunity to meet more people to find your crowd.

Syracuse, NY

Pros of

  • “Upstate New York is good for skiing. There are also other outdoor activities available when it’s warmer. You can also go on wine tours.”
  • “I like that it’s a nice bubble. You feel safe and you feel like you sort of have a family even if you don’t know people.”
  • “There are so many opportunities with all the people on campus. There are a lot of people [in the community of Syracuse] that can help you with internships and job shadows.”
  • “It’s in a central area, so it’s not too far away from stuff to do. There are things going on around you. You’re not stuck in the middle of nowhere.”

Cons of

  • “I think the biggest con, the one I really don’t like, is that freshmen aren’t allowed to have cars unless you [fulfill one of the requirements]. You can’t get the city buses at the school, so you’re pretty much stuck in Syracuse unless you get an Uber.”
  • “Weather. Easily the number one con.”
  • “Accessibility to other big cities. I would love to get down to New York City more often, but it’s a five-hour bus ride.”
  • “There’s really not much to do. My sorority had our formal at Margaritaville in the mall, and I think that was one of the few things open on Saturday night.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Non-Binary Stage Management and Theatrical Directing Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Syracuse before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how integral being a university is to the Syracuse identity. Like, how it’s such a different experience for visual and performing arts majors than it is for any other students on campus, and I think you could say that about any major. I wish I would have sought out more people from my major so I could have a better idea of what the experience would be like. I haven’t been disappointed about my experience, but it would have prepared me better if I would have talked to people within my major instead of general Syracuse students.

What is something a prospective LGBT student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
Definitely go to the LGBT Resource Center. It’s an amazing place with amazing people. They really know what LGBT students need and are willing to help you connect with other people. It took me half a semester to find my way to the Resource Center, and I really wish I would have gone earlier.

Male Chemical Engineering Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Syracuse before entering as a freshman?
To not be afraid to join these fraternity things. Going into it, I thought they would all be social and party heavy, which is something I don’t really like. But, there are fraternities that don’t do that and fraternities that have a balance of that, which I’m in and I like that.

Male International Relations Major C/O 2021

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
You can’t encapsulate the social scene on a visit. Something they might miss could be the sheer amount of walking you will do here. I was waitlisted so I didn’t go to the accepted student’s day or anything, but it was a cool experience to see everything unfold in front of you as time goes on. You should also question everything in your classes to get a deeper understanding of what things mean.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Syracuse University

To Attend

  • “It’s a big university, but there are so many things on campus that help you feel welcome and bring you in.”
  • “School spirit.”
  • “There’s always something going on. They have this really cool Orange After Dark program where they always have things available on weekends, like movie nights or skiing.”
  • “It’s a big school. There are a lot of people, so you’ll find friends.”

 

To Not Attend

  • “If you don’t like Greek life that could be a con. About 30% of the students are affiliated.”
  • “It’s cold all the time.”
  • “Getting here is tough.”
  • “You don’t always form relationships with your professors. You have to go out of your way to do it.”
  • “Diversity. There are lots of different mindsets but not as much cultural diversity.” [About 57% of undergraduates are White.]
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