When I started as a Newhouse graduate student last summer, graduation seemed distant and challenging. Professors and last year’s students said the year would fly by, and they were right. Now, I’m leaving Syracuse in just a few short months and preparations are well underway for Newhouse to welcome the next group of master’s students this summer. As intense and stressful as grad school was at times, my experience here has been nothing less than transformative and highly rewarding. Drawing on everything that’s happened in the past year, here is some advice for new students:
Even during the pandemic, Newhouse and SU made the effort to continue offering some awesome programming and events that everyone should take advantage of. From professional development workshops to concerts and Q&As with celebrities (Eric Andre and Dan Levy, for example!), you can always find something interesting to give you a break from classes every week. I even went roller skating and ice skating with some friends a couple of times, which was a fun way to get out from behind our computer screens. Hopefully, new students won’t have to worry about that as much going forward and the school will be able to offer more in-person events and programs.
There’s plenty to do and see in Syracuse, but don’t forget to explore the area to take in what else Central New York has to offer. If you’re into hiking, check out some of the trails and parks only a short car ride away like Green Lakes and the Clark Reservation. If you’re willing to drive a bit further, you can visit the village of Cazenovia east of Syracuse or Skaneateles to the west near the Finger Lakes and find plenty of amazing restaurants and artisan shops. If you can spare the time and money, a day trip or long weekend away from Syracuse is well worth it! I don’t know the next time I’ll be back to CNY, so I have a lot of plans for my last few months here.
Echoing what was said to me last year as an incoming grad student, a year in Syracuse will be over sooner than you expect — maximize what you do with your time. Prioritize your studies, of course, but make time to visit that cute restaurant you saw online and go to the show or cool event you saw advertised. On and off campus, there are too many options for you to spend every weekend at home! Also, take your professors up on their offers to help you with networking and professional development. They genuinely want to help, and you never know when one of their connections could help you later on down the road after you’ve left Syracuse. Making and keeping those lasting relationships with friends and faculty here will make a huge difference in your overall graduate school experience. Good luck and best wishes!