Student Again! Settling in at SUNY, Stony Brook

Until recently, I was a software developer working on routing protocols at Arista Networks. I had a lot of fun working for Arista. The work was challenging, I was learning new things and the stock options were insane! With the comfort of it all, I had a nice place stocked with plenty of books and cute little cafes in my neighborhood. Here’s a picture of my living room from that time:


This was a time when I would find a beautiful edition of the Tess of the d’Urbervilles and buy it for my bookcase. I would get an expensive fountain pen without too much guilt. In short, I got comfortable living the software developer life. But I did felt the need for self-improvement outside of what I was doing at work. I kept wanting to read books, take online courses and somehow was unable to make as much time for it as I wanted.

With this at the back of my mind and some very crucial life choices I had to make, I applied for graduate school in the US. The process of applying is excruciatingly time consuming. The relief came from my co-workers and supervisors at Arista. They were very much in the loop about my decision and not only did they support me, they went out of their way and wrote me recommendation letters. Professors from BITS were very helpful too. It had been 3 years since I graduated and they still made time for me. I was amazed by how nice mentors can be. Cutting the long story short, I decided to join SUNY Stony Brook’s PhD program this fall.

I moved to Stony Brook, NY in the second week of August 2015. I have not explored the area much since I came (sadly I am largely domestic and indoorsy). But I have walked around a lot and taken the bus to nearby places. The campus looks beautiful with the entire landscape painted green. The sheer number of trees around amazes me. So let me walk you through the quaint and pretty areas that I have seen as yet. (You would guess from the volume of pictures I took that I am that creep who goes around the campus, frantically clicking pictures with their iPhone.)

These pictures are from the outside of my apartment on campus. I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet this area is:

Schomburg Schomburg Schomburg Schomburg

These are some of the academic buildings on campus. I have covered a handful in them in the pictures, there are so many more:

AcademicBuiding AcademicBuiding AcademicBuiding AcademicBuiding AcademicBuiding

The winding roads, flanked by trees get me crazed so here are some pictures of those:

Roads Roads Roads Roads Roads Trees RothPond

Close to my apartment, there are these nice dining halls. Toward the evening time, this area is bubbling with students:

Dining Dining

Since I cook my own food, I take the bus to the mall (Smithhaven Mall) to get groceries. Bus stops are littered around the campus and they look kind of cute. Once you manage to get into the bus, it takes about 20 minutes to get to the mall. Here are some pictures from the grocery shopping trip:

BusStop Smithhaven SmithHaven SmithHaven

On an unrelated note, I love how acorns look and I go around picking them on campus. That is fairly weird for some people but those things look gorgeously cute. Here is the picture I sent to my family on my first day on campus: Acorn

This post can’t all be about the campus, so here’s my narcissistic self gazing serenely, comforted by the weight of Whole Foods’ cupcakes in my bag: