By Jimin Kim and Janelle Clausen
College studies are not for the faint of heart.
Stony Brook University students, the end of February and the start of March means midterms week or better yet, hell week. Students are busy preparing for their first major test of the semester. Some are studying alone, while others are teaming up with friends. Although their majors may vary, one goal unites them–doing well on their exams.
These studying students dot the campus landscape. They’re anchored down in dorms, the
campus library and lounges, often from early morning into the depths of night with Starbucks coffee beside them. An old team and a new trade
First year Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine graduate students, Rebecca Geller, 22, Nabamita Kanjilal, 22, and Jimmy Shak, 23, used a large digital touch screen for the first time at the back of the campus library’s North Reading Room to quiz each other. The night before, they reviewed in Geller’s house. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 28, 2015).
Unlike their undergraduate counterparts, their classes are not for credit and fall under a checklist of courses they must complete before specializing in their dental studies. When asked how much they normally studied, they replied, “all day,” in unison. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 28, 2015).
Geller took off her gray UGG boots and sat Indian style to stay comfortable while checking her answer in the review packet. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 28, 2015). Going the extra mile
Na Li, a 19-year-old sophomore chemistry major, studied Friday morning in the library’s Commuter Lounge to prepare for her calculus midterm as her boyfriend, Ian Atkinson, gave her emotional support. Atkinson, 21, who graduated from Suffolk County Community College as a fitness specialist, drives Li to SBU from her home in Bohemia once a week and spends time with her on campus. “When she’s stressed, I’m usually there to take her stress out on,” said Atkinson. “She can yell at me every once in a while to get some stress out.” Photo by Janelle Clausen (Feb. 27, 2015). United in a pursuit of excellence
Andrew Ki, a 22-year-old senior applied math and statistics ( AMS) and economics double major, and Martin DeGuzman, a 25-year-old AMS senior, are a well-oiled studying machine. Although there are scores of other students in their department they could work with, they relate to one another’s desire to excel in their class. “It’s a world of difference when you have a person who’s just as committed as you are to your academics when you’re preparing for tests,” said Ki, sitting in the library’s Central Reading Room. Photo by Janelle Clausen (Feb. 27, 2015).
Ever since they began studying together last summer, they have noticed significant improvement in their grades. This is their sixth class together and they bring out the best student in each other. “You have an extra brain, an extra set of eyes and it’s a different perspective,” DeGuzman said. Photo by Janelle Clausen (Feb. 27, 2015). The girl with the yellow scarf
Morgan DiCarlo, 20, a junior civil engineering major tackling 20 credits and several hours of work in the library, hopes to ace her Design of Structures and Geotechnical Engineering exams. This could boost her grade to a 3.5 GPA, which could lead to a summer internship with the Army Corps of Engineers so she can start a career in water sanitation. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 27, 2015). Can’t be too quiet to study
For 22-year-old Gabriela Cardoso, left, who’s a senior biology major, the Student Union lounge is a safe haven to study with her friends, Arely Sosa, a 21-year-old health science junior, and Tayisha St Vil, a 21-year-old women’s studies senior. Photo by Janelle Clausen (Feb. 28, 2015).
University sports memorabilia line the walls of the lounge as faint pop songs from the campus Starbucks next door crept into the room. The team prefers studying in a casual atmosphere than in a dead silent library. Saturdays are usually when they go out to unwind, but, not that night. “The social, moral support of seeing your friends studying encourages you to study as well and not be distracted,” St Vil said. “If any of us said we were going to go party, I would probably advise you not to.” Photo by Janelle Clausen (Feb. 28, 2015).
An exam to end uncertainty
Narthana Parathalingam, an 18-year old freshman biology major, clicked away on her laptop in the campus Starbucks to cram for her calculus midterm. “It’s hard to catch up on all of the things you missed,” said Parathalingam. “I missed one day and I have to catch up on all of the materials.” Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 28, 2015).
When it came to her calculus class, she wasn’t too sure of where her grades stand. “Homework-wise, I’m doing well,” she said. “But, I have to wait and see until I take this test.” Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 28, 2015).
Although she’s unsure of her plans after college, she hopes dedication to her studies will guide her towards a bright future. “I want to get most of my grades, my GPA up and then, figure out what I can do,” she said. Photo by Jimin Kim (Feb. 28, 2015).