BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Duxbury, NY with a graduating class of about 100-150 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Major: Chemical Engineering
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in a professional chemistry fraternity.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
The first semester was a lot of essays and labs. The second semester was more labs and computer work. It’s a good balance.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think they do a really good job of giving resources for help. They have specific help sessions for every course.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s both. It’s competitive and yet collaborative. We’re all in it together and we want to help each other, but everybody wants to be the best, which is a good thing I think.
What was your favorite class you took last year?
Both of my General Chemistry classes. They were pretty interesting.
What was your least favorite class you took last year?
Calculus 2, that was more to do with me not really getting along with the professor.
Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I like chemistry and I didn’t want to go with the generic chemistry route.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Sadler Hall with one roommate
Sophomore: Slocum Heights in an apartment.
How was transitioning from Duxbury, MA to Syracuse, NY?
I didn’t find it difficult. I thought it was pretty much the same thing except for the weather. It rains a lot in Syracuse.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Kung Fu Tea, it’s a tea shop.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
The city is kind of dark, you don’t see too many suspicious figures. On campus is totally fine. I’ve gone out at like 3 or 4AM and felt perfectly fine.
Pros and Cons of being in Syracuse, NY?
Pros: (1) It’s a central area, so it’s not too far away from stuff to do. There’s still stuff going on around you. You’re not stuck in the middle of nowhere.
(2) Fall and Spring aren’t too hot so you don’t need air conditioning.
Cons: (1) The city of Syracuse can be a little scary. The city is dark.
(2) It snows a lot.
What kind of weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I mostly hang out with friends and go see movies. I don’t really like going to parties.
Where do you and your friends go see movies?
The Destiny Mall
What kind of activities do you do with your chemistry fraternity?
We do community service and things like that.
How happy are you with the weekend options available to you at Syracuse? Is there anything that you would change if you could?
I don’t think so, at least not yet. Even though I’ve been there for a year, I haven’t really experienced everything yet so I don’t think I’d change anything.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through my professional fraternity.
How would you describe the social scene?
There’s a bit of everything. There are people who are really into partying as well as people that just want to hang out and have fun but not go crazy.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I don’t think there’s a problem. I haven’t seen anything [problematic].
How would you describe the student body?
I think it’s pretty diverse. I was born in Europe and I’ve met a lot of Europeans there. There are people from Asia. There are people from all over, which is really cool. [About 13% of undergraduates are international students.]
Do you feel people are happy with their choice of Syracuse by senior year?
Yeah, I think people really love the school.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something a prospective student interesting in community service should know that we haven’t touched on?
It’s around the school, it’s not hard to find. If you want to do it, it’s pretty easy to get into and there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
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.
What is something that a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Going to talk to the professors. When I visited, I just saw the buildings. If you go visit the school, go talk to some people if you can about their classes and stuff.
Reasons to attend Syracuse:
1) It’s a big school. There are a lot of people, so you’ll find friends.
2) There are a lot of things to do. 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, and it’s either free or pretty cheap.
3) Although the general classes are pretty big, when you get to the specific classes for your major the classes are pretty small. In both the big and small classes, you can get individualized help if you look for it.
Reasons to not attend Syracuse:
1) Because it’s a big school, so you might feel intimidated.
2) South campus housing is kind of far away from the school. You need to take a bus to campus.