Welcome to Stuyvesant High School, where students study, make friends and barely sleep. The transition from middle school to Stuyvesant is for most students disorienting on many fronts. From trying to stand out amongst a crowd of 3200 to managing an unfamiliar load of work, adjusting can prove stressful. However, knowing your way around can make managing life easier at Stuyvesant. Here’s the guide you always wanted as a freshman, but were too shy to ask for:
The first floor is primarily known for being the headquarters of the Music and Fine Arts Department. There, you’ll find the Murray Kahn Theatre, orchestra and chorus rehearsal rooms, media studios and Assistant Principal (AP) Music and Fine Arts Department Ray Wheeler’s office. In addition, students enrolled in swim gym will use the pool entrance on the first floor to get to the pool and its locker rooms. A few steps away are Principal Stanley Teitel’s office and Assistant Principal of Pupil Services Eleanor Archie’s office; hopefully you won’t visit the former too frequently. A recent addition to the first floor is the student lounge, which offers ping pong tables, couches and benches for hanging out during free periods. Lining the walls are many benches where you can peacefully study or take a nap.
Entering by the bridge every morning, you will find yourself on the second floor. A floor flooded with administrative offices, the second floor is home to the guidance suite, school store, the program office and the college office. A more fun place to be is the Student Union (SU), which contains the offices of ARISTA, The Spectator and Big Sibs. In front of the SU is the senior bar—the classic hot spot for seniors. The sight of a semicircle jutting out of the floor might seem a bit random, but it’s a respected Stuyvesant tradition. Most Stuy students anticipate the privilege of sitting on the bar. Also, if you’re in for a bit of time travel, check out the “history room,” 229, which contains old, scratched up desks from the previous Stuy building. It is said that Lucy Liu, Stuy alumna (‘86), has scratched her initials or name into one of the desks.
The third floor is mainly filled with social studies classrooms and the social studies office (room 305). However, you’ll also find crowds of juniors on this floor chilling out in the junior atrium. In addition, a main gymnasium and gym are also located on this floor. Deep into the junior atrium is the nurse’s office, where she’ll treat any of your injuries.
The fourth floor is rather straightforward. Your math and some of your technology classes will be on this floor. Though the sophomore bar is on the sixth floor, don’t be surprised to see some groups of sophomores hanging out by the lockers that look out onto the junior atrium. Sophomores will also be sprawled out near the front of the escalators in the morning.
The fifth floor has more life to it, given that the cafeteria is located there. Be sure to get there early if you want to snag enough chairs or a table with a view. Though the fifth floor cafeteria is spacious and an easy place to buy lunch using the credit on your ID card (notice the money deposit machines near the entrance), don’t limit yourselves to this option. There are many cheap getaways around Stuy where you’ll receive not only a breath of fresh air, but also better food. Furthermore, the fifth floor is where you’ll find the gym locker rooms, as well as the weight room, which you’ll get a chance to use starting sophomore year. All the way on the left side of the fifth floor are the Foreign Language and Physical Education Department offices.
The sixth floor, apart from having another gym and being the center for the English Department and the Speech and Debate teams, contains the library. Crowds of students visit the library to study, use the computers, or talk to friends. Keep in mind that since the library is a common hang-out spot, the opportunity to study quietly often fades after 1st and 2nd periods. Club interest meetings are often held there. Be on the look-out for signs advertising Open Mic and One-Act plays, also in the library. These are some of the main venues that exhibit artistic talent at Stuyvesant. Guest speaker presentations, such as the one by Jonathan Safran Foer last spring, usually take place there as well.
Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Floors
The Biology, Physics and Chemistry Departments are located respectively on floors seven, eight and nine. However, you may find that some of your English classes take place on the eighth floor as well. Aside from having classrooms, there are some lab rooms on these floors in which you’ll spend your double science periods.
After trekking up to the 10th floor, you’ll be rewarded by the sight of several art and drafting classrooms. Expect to see quite a bit of this floor as freshmen and sophomores. Fortunately, it only goes down from there.
Ten floors teeming with a variety of classrooms and offices may seem daunting. However, if you stopped reading after paragraph two, just know that you can visit any of the second floor offices to receive assistance. After you master the navigation of the building, the task of making friends and adjusting to class work will be a piece of cake.