by Maura

SUper Tips for SUrviving SU

May 31, 2014 in Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Infographics, Top 10 Lists

Syracuse University is an amazing school and choosing to become a student here was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When I was getting ready to arrive my freshman year, I was badgered with tips and advice about SU and college in general. While I got some really useful insights, there were a few things that I learned on my own that made my time at Syracuse flow a little smoother.

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: get your computer programmed to print wirelessly everywhere on campus! I cannot stress how helpful this can be and SU has printers in the most random spots. Plus, they’ll even program your computer for you! You just bring it up to a tech desk around campus, tell them what you want, and it’s done in under ten minutes.
  2. Get friendly with your advisor! I have heard many people complain about their advisors at SU. But I think many students assume their advisors will be like they were in high school: useless unless they are holding your hand and walking you through something. This is so untrue! Your advisor can be incredibly useful but you have to put in some effort as well. Go to meetings with a plan, be prepared for them, and have questions ready. 
  3. Use career services! I’ll admit, I haven’t always had the best experiences with their one on one meetings. Yet, the workshops and lectures that they frequently hold are incredibly informative. I know no one wants to hang out at a resume building or how to interview workshop on a Saturday morning. But even though they seem boring and unhelpful, they are the total opposite. After a friend freshman year dragged me to one at 9am on a Saturday, I’ve made an effort to go to at least one a semester. So worth it!
  4. Take advantage on the sun! This sounds odd but at SU there are only a few short windows of good weather. Soak up as much vitamin D as you can, while you can. If it can be done outside, do it. If it can’t, than it can probably wait awhile.  
  5. Explore! It’s scary easy to go to school at SU and never leave campus unless to go to the mall or to eat. Yet, Syracuse is a lot more than just an awesome university: it’s also a really fun city! There is a ton of fun stuff to do off campus and even outside the city. Upstate NY has a lot to offer, you just have to get out there and experience it.
  6. Try new things! Once again, it’s scary easy to get to SU and do nothing but hang out with the same people, play the same sports, go to class, and party. But college is one of the only times in your life were new experiences are literally put in front of you! One of the best and most terrifying things I have done at school was go on a week long Grand Canyon hiking trip and it was utterly amazing. Sign up for new sports or clubs, go on trips and adventures, always be making tons of new friends, and get out of your comfort zone. 

Bleeding Orange

March 28, 2014 in Sports

I feel like I need to do little explaining when it comes to sports at Syracuse, but if you are a reader who is unaware and apparently been in the dark—sports here are HUGE. Syracuse is a sports fanatic’s heaven. I actually chose this school based on the awesome school spirit that accompanies it. And no, this is not that cheesy, annoying, rah-rah dumb high school sports team spirit. When I say that students bleed orange, I am not kidding.

What is great about Syracuse sports are that the teams are actually good. Rooting for a sport is a whole lot more fun when your team is the winning one. Both the Syracuse basketball team and the lacrosse team are at the top in both their divisions and the country. This past year in our new division (the ACC) we have created an intense much anticipated rivalry with Duke. The first basketball game at the dome, the student population broke the attendance record with 35,446 tickets sold. Although the SU basketball team just lost in the NCAA tournament (excuse me while I shed a tear), that doesn’t make me love them any less. Last year when our basketball team made it to the final four, I found myself becoming almost scarily invested in the sport. I have always been a sports fan, but I took it to another level.

I watched the game at a fraternity on campus, meaning there was an incredibly large television accompanied by an enormous group of rowdy people. After the first half of the game I removed myself from the frat and walked to a friend’s house off campus because I was “stressed out.” After they lost I tried to rally and go out, to have fun, but I was in a weird funk and just went home and went to bed. Who knew I would get so invested?! This will magically happen when you attend Syracuse.

There is absolutely nothing like attending an SU basketball game. This is something that every student should and MUST experience. The atmosphere at a game is incredible. Picture a sea of people dressed in orange, waving their hands while cheering and yelling. A wonderful thing that I love is that the fans aren’t just students. SU basketball calls themselves New York’s sports team, and this is very much seen at a game. The ages of orange fans range from babies to senior citizens, the fan base is extremely vast. So not only do we have the best teams, we have the best fans too.

Once you’re 21 and if you don’t have tickets to a game, I highly suggest watching the game at Chucks Bar. If you are lucky enough to arrive early enough, or are smart enough to reserve a table, brownie points for you! Chucks is a fun bar with cheap beer and a large screen where the game is projected, what more could you want? When we win, expect to be celebrating for hours, and don’t be surprised if a stranger gives you a big hug and buys you a cherry bomb. If we lose, don’t be shocked when you see a chair thrown—just make sure to duck!

Sports Illustrated Cover

Changing SU

March 21, 2014 in Academics

Overall I am Syracuse’s number one fan. I live and breathe this school, I miss this weird place when I am away, and sometimes I even find myself wishing summers were shorter. With that being said, there are definitely some things that I would change about this school.

One thing that yanks my chain is the process of adding or dropping a class after the deadline is tedious and annoying. Doing so involves a series of paperwork that ends up needing to be signed by at least four different people. Running back and forth from building to building trying to find certain individuals becomes complicated and tiresome.  I declared my major as a second semester sophomore. I ended up switching into another major, but my plan was to keep both majors. The administration lost my paperwork, so I was technically never declared. I found out this information while I was abroad, so with a time difference and the Atlantic Ocean separating me from Syracuse, there was little I could do to help my cause. I had emailed back and forth with my program, and to my knowledge I had everything settled and figured out.

When I returned to school in the spring I received emails telling me otherwise, that I was still not declared. I ended up running back and forth from building to building trying to sort out my situation. This was the last thing I wanted to be dealing with, and while trying to sort out my situation I found administrative workers to be extremely rude and not helpful in my time of need. I realize that papers get lost, misplaced, whatever you want to call it, but all I needed was at least a smile and some reassurance that my situation would be fixed, and I did not find this.

Here comes the big one, tuition. Tuitions at most private schools around the country are unnecessarily expensive, but Syracuse University is definitely up there on the list of most expensive schools. The total cost ends up being $54,512, and that’s not including books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. There are available scholarships, but of course there is an intensive and selective admission process…nothing ever comes easy!

Since the tuition is so high, it would be nice for the school to include basic needs into the pricing. Imagine if books were included? Or $2,000 from your tuition went to buying books? Wouldn’t that be incredible? Nothing is worse than going up to the counter of your bookstore with literally three books, perhaps only two are textbooks, and your total is calculated to $350. Excuse me—this is blind robbery.

To be honest it took me a bit to even think of these little things that I would change about the school. In general, I love most things about Syracuse, don’t get me wrong, but for the price that we pay to attend, sometimes you think facilities would be better, the food would be tastier, and the dorms would be cleaner. But hey, maybe I’m being picky?

Students on the quad

Food at SU

March 13, 2014 in Campus Life, Health

For someone who loves Syracuse, I have to admit that the food here is just not GREAT. For the money that we pay to go to Syracuse University, you might think that the on campus dining halls would be much better. Cooking for mass amounts of people is tough, but to be honest the dining halls are sub par. Each major freshman dorm area has their own dining hall, and there is one large dining hall where the rest of campus eats their meals. Ernie Davis, the large dining hall on campus is crowded and overwhelming. The location is great, right in the center of campus, but the food is just all right. The freshman dining halls are a tad better than Ernie Davis, since the staff isn’t cooking for such a large amount of people.

I am definitely not the pickiest eater, but I easily gained the freshman fifteen my first semester due to the food I would eat in the dining hall. The only options I would end up being interested in would be stir fry, pizza, cereal, chicken, and rice—not a great diet.  I found myself eating the same food everyday, and I grew to resent and hate the dining hall. Syracuse will claim that they provide gluten free options, aka two meal items and are gluten free and don’t look edible, smelling and tasting like cardboard.

The college meal plan is frustrating because you are required to have a meal plan freshman year, and usually you over compensate thinking that you need the maximum food option (which I did). It’s important to step back and think, do I really eat $17 worth of food each time I eat dinner in the dining hall? Probably not. Most students are on a budget so ordering food when you aren’t “in the mood” is not usually an option. Try to find the best dining hall on campus and frequent it! Seriously, it makes all the difference. Shaw and Graham dining halls are my personal favorites, but as a sophomore you probably aren’t going to want to walk all the way to the freshman dining halls and you’ll mostly end up eating at Ernie.

Schine student center and the Faculty Center are some nice options on campus which you can use your SU Super Card—aka monopoly money. With a meal plan you have cash preloaded onto your super card. Word to the wise, be careful with how quickly you spend this money, before you know it, it will disappear and you’ll be walking away from the student center with your head down and a sad frown upon your face (I know from experience). But don’t worry; you can also add money onto your super card so there is hope! You can use your super card at the cafes and food places on campus, as well as vending machines.

But fear not, because dining halls aside Syracuse has an excellent selection of food places for reasonable prices, as well as splurge worthy food. If you’re looking to go out for a nice meal, maybe it’s your birthday or you just feel like celebrating, try Dinosaur BBQ, Pastabilities, or Empire Brewery. Dinosaur BBQ is perhaps the best BBQ food I have ever tasted, the atmosphere is incredible, and the beer selection is fantastic. Pastabilities is a lovely restaurant in armory square with delicious Italian cuisine. If you’re looking to avoid the wait, hit up their lunch buffet. Empire has mouthwatering burgers and delicious beer—what more could you want? I’m fairly sure each of these restaurants has been featured on the food network.

If you want to stay on campus and save some cash but still want a good meal, try Appetizing (great Thai food), Faegans, or Bleu Monkey Sushi. Marshall Street also has an assortment of quick food that you can eat, there’s a Chipotle, a Sliders Burgers and a Brueggers Bagels. My personal favorite is Chucks Café, which is actually a bar that serves food. Their fried pickles will give you a heart attack—in the best way possible. My best advice would be to try to set some money aside so when you are really hating the dining hall food, you have that extra cash to get that burrito at Chipotle and not feel so bad about it.

Dino BBQ

10 Things to do as a Freshman at Syracuse University

February 27, 2014 in Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

1. Attend a SU basketball game

  • Put all your Syracuse gear into use, and wear it all to an SU basketball game. You won’t look like a complete idiot, because everyone is dressed like a crazy person. Make sure that you sit in the student section. These basketballs games are so much fun, the atmosphere is incredible, and it is essential as a freshman to attend one.
  • If you are a die hard ‘Cuse fan, you can camp out or arrive super early on game day in order to get prime seating.

2. Get into DJs bar and buy yourself a cuse juice

  • DJ’s on the hill (in the center of Marshall street) is a dinghy bar mostly populated by freshman and sophomores. A friend once said, and I quote, “All you need a is a pulse to get into DJs.” Well things have become a bit more strict since then, but if you can get into the bar, celebrate with your friends by buying yourself a Cuse Juice aka a giant bowl of orange alcohol that tastes like a delicious spiked orange.

3. Eat dinner at dinosaur BBQ

  • If you don’t have a friend with a car, call up a taxi and drive downtown to Dinosaur BBQ, one of my favorite restaurants. Many describe this as the best BBQ that they have ever eaten in their life. They don’t take reservations, and there is usually a long wait, but it is more than well worth the time. Try to avoid Dino on game days, it gets super crowded and you could be waiting for a table for up to three hours. The portions are hearty, and the meat is mouthwatering—you cannot miss this!

4. Go sledding at the water tower, or Hogwarts Castle

  • It is no secret that it snows in Syracuse. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times that I have mentioned that I attend SU and the response is, “OH WOW must be freezing! So much snow!” We get it! It snows! Take advantage of the snow and go sledding with your friends. The water tower is a hidden area within Thornden Park that is a bit of a hike, but a great sledding hill. If you want to stay on campus, you are likely to find others sledding outside of Crouse College, which is also known as the Hogwarts building. Use a dining hall tray, cardboard—whatever works; you are bound to have fun.

5. Attend a tailgate at Castle court

  • Castle court is a large parking lot surrounded by apartments, where a large chunk of the student population congregates during game days, or beautiful sunny days, where people socialize and drink. The atmosphere is fun, it is a great way to see friends, as well as meet new people. Sometimes when sororities and fraternities have an event planned at Castle, money is pooled together to rent bouncy castles, dunk tanks, and even food trunks.

6. Explore Armory Square

  • Armory Square is small neighborhood on the Westside of downtown Syracuse. You can either take the bus or drive downtown to Armory Square, which can be described as a hip, urban, area with great restaurants, bars, and shopping. If you have a free afternoon, Armory Square is a great way to spend a relaxing day with friends.

7. Join a club

  • Joining a club on campus provides two benefits. It gives you a ready-made social group. Making friends as a freshman takes time and can be awkward—if you aren’t a natural social butterfly, these things don’t come easy. Just remember, don’t be picky—you don’t have to become lifelong friends with your fellow club members. From here, you can more easily branch out and meet other people.
  • Joining a club also provides a non-academic focus for your time and attention. By establishing in your early time at college that your whole life is not defined by your grades, this is a terrific way that you can reduce the stress of undertaking college-level courses.

8. Go to a concert at Westcott theater/SU concert

  • Westcott Theater is about one mile away from the main Syracuse campus. In 2008, the theater was transformed from a movie cinema into what ended up becoming a live music venue in Upstate NY. Practically every week the Westcott provides funky, fun bands and performers. Going to a show at Westcott is a great way to spend a night with friends in a new environment. SU also provides opportunities for concerts on campus. Each year SU hosts Juice Jam and Mayfest/Blockparty, as well as other smaller concerts throughout the year. This past week SU announced that Zedd and 2 Chainz would be preforming this year at Blockparty, and tickets sold out within hours.

9. Relax on the quad

  • One thing that I absolutely love about Syracuse is the beauty of the campus itself. My favorite time of year is when winter turns into spring, the sun graces us with its presence, and green grass finally begins to show. On a nice day, grab a few friends and post up on the quad, or any nice area of campus that you enjoy, and just relax. When the weather is really nice, sometimes water fights break out—which I try to avoid, but it is a great way to cool off.
  • If you have some downtime in between classes, you are looking for time to kill and you don’t want to go all the way back to your dorm, I always love doing homework outside on the quad or posted up under a tree.

10. Watch the sunrise on top of Slocum Hall

  • Slocum Hall is the architecture building on SU campus. If you are lucky enough to befriend an architecture student, and you can make it to sunrise, have an architecture student swipe you into the building. You may be tired, but the view will be well worth it!
Su bball

SU Basketball