school spirit

The Top 10 Reasons I Chose Syracuse

Students at Syracuse Welcome, the University's new student orientation program.
Students at Syracuse Welcome, the University’s new student orientation program.

By Seth Martin, Jr. ‘22
Hometown: Cambria Heights, NY
Major: Biology

Seth '22 with Slow Food, a Syracuse student organization that connects students on and off-campus with sustainable food enterprises. Photo courtesy of Seth Martin, Jr.
Seth ’22 with Slow Food, a Syracuse student organization that connects students on and off-campus with sustainable food enterprises. Photo courtesy of Seth Martin, Jr.
  1. Campus Atmosphere
    Syracuse has a very picturesque campus. The historic buildings and beautiful quad make you feel like you’ve stepped on to a movie set while at the same time you have modern facilities, like the Life Sciences Complex, that provide state-of-the-art resources. Located in upstate New York, Syracuse experiences all four seasons and there’s no better time to be on campus than during peak fall foliage!
  2. Sense of Community
    You can feel a sense of community at Syracuse as soon as you step on to campus or meet with other faculty, staff, and students. Programs like Syracuse’s Living Learning Communities and Hendricks Chapel make it easy to find your niche. People here are warm and inviting and it is easy to make friends and build relationships with your professors. Everyone is proud to be Orange!
  3. Majors and Classes
    As a Biology major interested in pursuing a career in medicine, I was looking for strong programs in the natural sciences when I explored colleges, and I found just that at Syracuse. While the curriculum is challenging, taking classes like organic chemistry and genetics have solidified my desire to be a doctor. And, if I change my mind, I have another 200 majors and 100 minors to choose from!
  4. Pre-Health Programs and Advising
    The vast array of resources within Syracuse’s Pre-Health Advising Office and the University’s location just steps away from 3 major hospitals made choosing SU a no brainer for me. Clinical and volunteer opportunities, as well as lectures and special medicine-related events abound and I know I’ll be well-prepared for my medical school applications because of these resources!

    Syracuse University is located within walking distance to Upstate University Hospital, Crouse Hospital, and the VA Medical Center.
    Syracuse University is located within walking distance to Upstate University Hospital, Crouse Hospital, and the VA Medical Center.
  5. Location
    The University’s location in the city of Syracuse means students get the best of both worlds. We have a beautiful, walkable quad-style campus but are also very close to the restaurants, shops, and theaters of downtown Syracuse and just 10 minutes from the airport. Free shuttles run from campus to various points of interests throughout the city, including Destiny USA, the U.S.’ sixth largest mall, and there are also great parks, trails, and lakes nearby.
  6. School Spirit
    If you’re looking for a school with a ton of school spirit, look no further. Here, everyone has Orange in their veins, including me. From going to football, basketball, and lacrosse games in the Dome to attending campus-wide events like Juice Jam and Mayfest, there are so many activities to enjoy with your Orange family!
  7. Extracurricular Involvement
    There are plenty of clubs and organizations (300+!) to join and get involved in at Syracuse, no matter your interests. I am involved in U100, our tour guide organization, as well as Slow Food, which is a worldwide organization that promotes sustainability. These clubs help me pursue interests outside of academics and meet people with similar interests.

    The Syracuse University Marching Band performs at Orange Central, SU's annual Homecoming celebration.
    The Syracuse University Marching Band performs at Orange Central, SU’s annual Homecoming celebration.
  8. Career Preparation
    Each of Syracuse’s 10 undergraduate schools and colleges has its own career center, meaning you’ll get expert advice in your field as you explore your options and apply for internships and jobs. Career advisors can help you network, revise resumes and cover letters, prep for an interview, and much, much more.
  9. Research Opportunities
    Syracuse is a Research 1 university, meaning there is considerable resources and funding behind both faculty and student research. No matter your academic interest, there are opportunities for undergraduate students to pursue research and hands-on experience in their field. You can even apply for research funding via the SOURCE, our hub for student research on campus.
  10. Alumni Connections
    With over 260,000 alumni worldwide, I knew that attending Syracuse would mean I had the power of a proud Orange network at my fingertips, both as a student and after I graduate. With resources like the networking site Handshake, students from all majors can connect with alumni in their field right away.

Location, Location, Location

Me, a family friend, and my dad, when they came to visit for a Syracuse Men’s Basketball game.

When I first started thinking about where I wanted to go to college, I thought I wanted to go somewhere far, far away from home. Instead, I opted for Syracuse University. It had so many things I wanted: a beautiful campus, fantastic study abroad programs, a massive network of alumni. However, unlike High School Meg expected, it was less than a hundred miles from my hometown outside of Rochester, and I’ve found that it is pretty much the best possible location for me.

I’m far enough away from home that I don’t go to the same places I always did, and I don’t see the same people around as I used to. Only two or three of the people I graduated with came to Syracuse too, so there aren’t many familiar faces – which is what I was hoping for.

I’m also far enough from home that I don’t see my parents all the time. It’s easy for them to get here, if they want to or need to, but I still get to be independent and do my own thing.

However, when they do want or need to come down to ‘Cuse for a visit, it’s super convenient for everyone involved. It’s a painless drive, only about an hour and a half. That makes it too far away to justify coming just to drop something off, but not far enough away that a visit would mean booking a hotel for the weekend.  

For example, a few weekends ago, my parents came to town for the football game against Middle Tennessee. They got here mid-afternoon, laden with groceries and tailgating food. After a few weeks of ramen and hamburger helper, my friends and I felt like royalty as we crowded around my South Campus Apartment table with our pulled pork sandwiches. After I, my neighbors, my roommate, and my boyfriend all finished indulging in delicious, free food (free food!), we headed out to the football game. Afterwards, my parents drove home, and were back by eleven! An easy, stress-free day that I was able to spend with my parents, and then the rest of the weekend spent being a college student – eating poorly and avoiding doing laundry.

Last spring, being close to home meant that I could spend a weekend with my family, and not just for long weekends or breaks. Twice freshman year, I went home with a friend or two and soaked up the TLC of a weekend at home. For all that it’s nice to be independent, a good home-cooked meal and a bedroom to myself after a particularly stressful month is practically revitalizing.

Syracuse University strikes a perfect balance for me. I dreamt of going somewhere new, of being independent, of being able to begin college on a clean slate, and was able to accomplish that. I wanted holidays and trips home to be low-hassle, and I was able to accomplish that too. Truly, I believe I managed to have the best of both worlds here at Syracuse.


Meg Burnard ’20 is studying Communication Sciences and Disorders and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences. She grew up in Rochester, New York. Meg is a member of Democracy Matters, and in her free time she enjoys reading comics, going to concerts, and playing games with friends. More blogs from Meg Burnard.

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My Friend, Otto

It’s not often that the most “popular” person on campus is actually liked by everyone. It’s not often that someone with the responsibility of representing an entire school still makes time to hang with its students. And it’s not often that someone shaped like a circle can dance like the next Michael Jackson. These are just some of the things that make Otto the Orange so special. 

I first met Otto even before I was officially a Syracuse student at “Own the Dome. I was just a high school kid, trying to make a good first impression with my future classmates, so I tried my best to play it cool. Of course seeing Otto, I had to ask for a picture. I remember saying something like “What’s up Otto, you tryna take a flick?”, as I worked to mask the excitement bubbling inside of me. He didn’t say yes, Otto can’t talk, but he extended his hand and we posed in the typical “just-met-a-celebrity-don’t-want-to-look-star-struck” kind of pose. I never did tell anyone how happy that moment made me… but that picture was my phone background for a solid three months so it wasn’t that hard to tell. 

Fast forward to SummerStart. It was an especially hot day, I had just left the basketball court after losing to an upperclassman in a one-on-one game. I was annoyed, I was hot, I was a little bit sad and I just wanted to go back to my dorm and sleep. And then it happened. I glanced around the quad in front of me, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the most beautiful hue of orange. Yes, it was Otto. He was riding through the quad on a scooter trying to spread love and good cheer. Perfect timing.

The third time I saw Otto was different, I had grown out of my “cool” phase. So much so that I ran full speed across the quad screaming “Otttooooo!!!” When I caught up with him, I gave him one of the strongest hugs I’ve ever given. We took a picture (which also became my background) and I went through the rest of my day with the happiness only an Otto the Orange sighting could give you.

Now, I see Otto on a weekly basis, walking through the quad, or jumping around with the marching band at their practices or even sometimes driving around in a car. Wherever he is, though, I know he’s spreading happiness and joy to the students at Syracuse University. Each time I see him I feel the same excitement as I did that first day at Own the Dome. And I’d imagine that many students feel the exact same way.


Jalen Nash ’20 is studying pyschology in the College of Arts & Sciences. He was raised in Flatbush, New York and attended high school in New Jersey. In his free time, Jalen enjoys playing football and basketball, listening to music, reading, and writing. Jalen hopes to make a living, and be remembered, for his writing. More blogs from Jalen Nash.

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What it is like to Shamelessly #BleedOrange


When I was applying to colleges, I had my eye on schools located in metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc. As someone who enjoys bustling streets and sleepless lights, I knew I wanted to end up in a big city. However, I eventually realized that while I want to settle in a big city, what I really wanted for my college years was a traditional campus atmosphere. I wanted to immerse myself in school spirit. That was when I knew Syracuse University was the school for me.

I got my first taste of what bleeding orange really means when I attended “Own the Dome” the spring before my freshman year. On that day, I became part of “Otto’s Army.” I got to see the inside of the famous dome–“where the magic happens”– and learned the SU anthem, “Head Held High.” I immediately fell in love with this school and all of its spirit and emotion. I have never owned more orange clothing than I do now and I am so proud of it. Regardless of how the basketball and football teams play,  everyone shows their unconditional support for our teams. As an SU student, even if you previously knew nothing about sports, you just become a die-hard fan. And, member of Otto’s Army isn’t a title you vacate at graduation either, it stays with you for the rest of your life.

This basketball season is the first time in history that both SU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams have made it to the Final Four. All over campus and on social media, students are proudly showing their orange pride. The Student Association even provided free buses for students to travel to Houston and Indianapolis for the men’s and women’s Final Four games. Students were lining up at midnight the night before bus tickets were available at the ticket office just to secure a spot. That is dedication!

Bleeding orange isn’t just about the festivities and tailgates though. As a member of the Orange Nation,  you are welcomed into a strong and supportive network the day you arrive on campus. I recently attended a guest speaker event featuring a Newhouse alum who now works at ESPN, and he expressed how he will always answer an email sent from an email. The alumni network here is incredibly connected and they are always willing to extend career advice to current students, all you have to do is ask.

For students who are considering SU, don’t say I didn’t warn you — your wardrobe will have an unhealthy amount of orange in it. (Orange is the new black!) And you will soon realize that this campus we call home weaves students, faculty, and staff together with one common thread: we all bleed orange!


Eric Chuang ’17, is a  Public Relations major at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in English & Textual Studies. Additionally, he is part of the Fashion & Beauty Communications Milestone Program. Eric is a California native, dog enthusiast, fervent traveler, and sushi connoisseur. When not taking Buzzfeed quizzes or coming up with clever Instagram captions, he can most likely be found jamming to Taylor Swift’s “1989” album. More blogs from Eric Chuang.

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