I think it is easy to get so caught up in the work that is to be done as a grad student that you forget that you are student of the entire university and not just Newhouse. It is also sometimes easy to forget that, in order to feel like student of both the university and Newhouse, it all starts with just getting to know your surroundings. It is important to provide yourself some time to explore your environment on your own time. I am saying make the time to tour.
The great thing is — and I admit to being biased about this because I think architecture is cool — both Newhouse and the SU campus as a whole are beautiful. So, on a nice day, preferably when you have the most time, simply explore it. Make the time to get lost and learn each building and what school it houses. There is so much to see and obviously it would make sense to begin with Newhouse first since that is where you will spend most of your time (even during this unique time).
Newhouse is in its own lane of how its buildings are designed and the vague names of Newhouse 1, 2 and 3. Now when I first arrived on campus even I couldn’t understand why each building didn’t have a more distinct name beyond the number, but after awhile that goes away. What I appreciated was that while we were given tours as newbies, you really learn the place over time; at least I did based on the fact that your studies will have you all over the three buildings, and so will all sorts of activities including meeting with your professors individually. Newhouse 3 is the newest (but you will figure that out based on the design) and Newhouse 1 is the oldest, designed by the famed architect I. M. Pei. In my opinion I think each building is a reminder as to what journalism and storytelling is in general which is multiple things. It is not just one way and can make an impression regardless of the format. So, tour and get lost and learn so that way when you need your spot to escape, your spot to study or your spot to work you know where to go.
The reason to tour the entire campus is to remember how Newhouse is part of the greater university and to feel connected to both. So walk and see where things are, take pictures even and meet people. Meet people to create connections, build a network and maybe even find a potential source to your next assignment. For months I would admit to anyone that I was speaking to how new I was to the campus and that I did not know where things were. At first it can be understandable to use that as a reasoning for not being quick to venture out or to avoid miscommunication but when thinking about time and wanting to connect I knew I couldn’t play that card anymore so I did not. I made the time to learn the campus and it helped me. It helped me to not only feel a little bit more a part of the campus but also part of Newhouse because I felt more like any other student and not someone simply passing through. It is helpful because ideas for stories have come because I walked across campus or even a solution if I had a problem.
So make the time to tour. To get to know because as you will see there is so much to see and a lot to do. Your time there as a student is short so make the most of it.