Dorms come alive with H.S. students in summer

By Christopher Buckley and Caitlin Gargan
The Greene Team

If dorms are usually associated with the bustle of fall and spring semesters, they come alive in summer with  high school students.

“Its alright, besides the fact that the rooms aren’t air conditioned,” said Jenny Wu, 16, of Calhoun High School in Merrick. “Its tolerable.”  Wu is researching with Simons Fellowship.

Dozens of journalism and science students have been living on the campus of Stony Brook University this summer. Students of the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists have been studying in the School of Journalism’s Newsroom. Two science research teams, Simons Fellowship recipients and students of the Garcia Center, are spending seven weeks at Irving College they while conducting their research in university labs.

Resident Assistants live in the dorms alongside the students. Though the RAs are older than the students, they do share their plight with dorm living.

“The worst part is probably learning to share with other people and sharing bathroom time, and living space,” said RA Andrew Nanayakkara. “But otherwise, if you can manage through all that, you should be fine.”

Living in the dorms can be a chance to meet new people, students said.

Dorm Living

Summer dorm resident Kunal enjos a game of mao with other residents of Irving college. Photo by Alana Mutum.

“The first week I had to make friends but by [the fourth week], week we know who each other are so we can just pass the time,” said Akhil Sharma, 16, of Herricks High School. Sharma said that him as well as other students, pass their spare time in the lounge, either playing cards, watching television or enjoying a hot meal.

Most of the students living in Irving College have a roommate, according to residence assistants. “I love my roommate,” said Wu, the science student. “We have a good time. We chat at night. There’s no drawback. I’m glad I have one.”

Without parents nearby to help out, many students said they’ve learned new life skills that they hope will benefit them when they get to college.

“I had to learn to do laundry,” Sharma said. “I can make noodles well. You don’t really miss your parents that much. Mine constantly call me so I feel fine here.”

Nanayakkara said sometimes students have difficulty adjusting to dorm living, but that for others, the adjustment is easier. “The best part of dorm life is being able to see your friends and being able to hang out with the people that you live with,” he added.

Wu said the rules in the dorms are fairly strict, such as students having to notify RAs to come and go, and having to leave the dorm lounge and be on their floor by 11 p.m.  Students said that when they can, they spend time together in the dorm’s lounge.

Students said recreational activities such as the university’s pool and tennis courts are available to them. The students even participated in a water balloon fight one afternoon.

Another aspect of campus living is the opportunity to eat in the dining halls on campus.

While Sharma conceded that the food is better than that of his parents, others disagreed about its quality.

“I rarely eat in them because the food is not that great,” Pak said. “I bring food from Costco and I shop on the weekends.”