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Everything I Learned During My Junior Year at SBU

The start of finals season concludes my junior year at Stony Brook, my first year on campus, my first year commuting, and my first year not living with my parents. The year has been a whirlwind and definitely very memorable. Here is everything I learned as a journalism major and a women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor at Stony Brook University.

Some of this advice is hyperfocused on my programs, some bits of it can be used in other programs, but I hope you find some of it helpful. 

Welcome to junior year. buy a blazer.

I cannot stress this enough you need at least one outfit to wear to networking events and interviews. Buy a nice blazer, a basic top, and simple pants, and a solid pair of shoes to have a business casual look prepped and ready for any last-minute events. It does not need to be crazy expensive or formal, but you want to be remembered for killing your interviewer your resume, not because you were underdressed.

Always say yes to extra credit.

I found that many of my professors offered extra credit based on networking, such as attending fairs, conferences, and interviews. This always added a little to my GPA while keeping my interviewing skills sharp. Additionally, it shows your professor you are committed to the class and creates a connection with a professor who can be a source of inspiration, support, and reference if you ever need it. 

Update your LinkedIn and resume frequently

At least at the end of every semester! Don’t be shy either. Your LinkedIn is a tool– use it. Add it to your LinkTree on Instagram, put it in your email signature, and sprinkle it around to make as many connections as possible. 

Showcase your work

If you are taking a broadcast class, have a top video that you are confident with being published on the internet. I recommend something neutral since the backdrop of the broadcast set is bold colors. I always added a little makeup before those classes because of the lighting, but do whatever makes you feel most confident. Your confidence in yourself will show on camera. 

Journalism Majors– Listen up

When taking a senior capstone or seminar class, brianstorm topics you are passionate about and would want to research for an entire semester before the class starts. You don’t need to pick a specific topic, but some general ideas of areas you would be interested in researching will give you a leg up in any class. 

Attend football games, even if you aren’t a sports fan

hose first few games happen in reasonably warm weather and the constant chill on Stony Brook’s campus from November to May is definitely felt. Bring friends, cheer for the school and enjoy some snacks in the sun. 

Use the LIRR

Utilize Manhattan and the LIRR station on campus. With the railroad bus stop and frequent trains to the city, a cultural hub of music, art, entertainment, and fashion is only a few hours away. Take advantage of trips with clubs to Broadway to experience powerful culture. 

The biggest thing to remember is to have confidence in yourself. You will succeed and do well in all your classes. Enjoy your years at Stony Brook.

Tag us in all your campus adventures at @hcstonybrook!

Julia is a junior at Stony Brook University, studying journalism and women's studies. In her free time, you can find her scrolling through pinterest or writing at a local cafe, latte in hand. She loves a perfect manicure, face masks and the smell of a real newspaper. You can always find her drinking coffee, thrifting or holding a camera.
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