Hello college-bound friends! We recently had the opportunity to speak with a number of freshmen about their first year here at Stevens and thought you would like to know what a few of them shared.
There are so many factors in considering which college will be a good fit for you, and we know that you are most likely juggling a lot of college information in addition to staying on top of your high school course load, extracurricular activities, and other college preparation. We hope reading what some of our freshmen have to say will give you insight and perhaps some relief in your process of exploring Stevens as an option, especially if you are wondering what it is like once you’re a student here!
Tom Cruz is a computer engineering major who was sold, he said, on Stevens early on in his college search, and especially once he visited campus. He applied through Early Decision, was accepted, and got a head start on meeting fellow freshman by enrolling in the Outdoor Adventure Pre-orientation Program offered right before freshman orientation. “I went backpacking and had the time of my life,” he said. “Hiking the Adirondack Mountains with my future classmates created a bond that will last a lifetime. Coming back to campus with a group of friends I’d made during Pre-orientation made for an easy transition to the beginning of my college career. As the semester commenced, I got involved with many clubs on campus, including the Latin American Association, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), and the Entertainment Committee. I also ran for Senator of the Student Government Association (SGA) and was one of fourteen who won the election.” During his first semester here, Tom also got the opportunity to attend a SHPE conference in Anaheim, California, which included seminars on leadership and professionalism and a career fair at which companies were recruiting students for internships and co-op jobs. “I take pride in being a Stevens student,” he added. “My first semester in college was full of great memories that will stay with me forever, and I know there will be many more in store for me in the semesters to come.”
Carolina Pelaez is a chemical engineering major from Union City High School Academy for Enrichment and Advancement. She said her favorite thing about her first semester at Stevens has been learning how to balance schoolwork and other things that are important to her. “I managed to handle school, friends, family, and extracurricular activities,” she said. “It’s important to get a solid grip on how to handle all these aspects of the college experience. I imagine it’s only going to get more challenging each semester, and it wouldn’t be to my advantage at all if I only learned how to manage the coursework. We all need activities outside the classroom, and at Stevens, it's easy to get involved in all that the university has to offer. No matter what you're interested in, there's something for you.”
Sean Balanon is a music and technology major who said he appreciates having been able to meet and learn more about his fellow music and technology classmates and his professors during freshman orientation. Like Tom, Sean also participated in Pre-orientation. He chose the Performing Arts option and along with 20 other freshmen got to write and rehearse a show that they performed for the school. “We took theatre workshops in which we learned about acting, dancing, and what goes on behind the scenes of a stage production, like sound, lighting and music,” he said. “We also jumped over to New York City to take a tour of Lincoln Center, the world’s leading performing arts center. Of course the experience wouldn’t be complete without seeing a Broadway show or two. We saw the revival of RENT at the New World Stages theatre, and How to Succeed in Business starring Daniel Radcliffe.” Sean added that his freshman experience has been fantastic. “As a music and technology major, I’m learning everything that I want to and need to from the courses I’m taking. The environment is great. Being situated so close to New York City is truly amazing. The Manhattan skyline is breathtaking, and there are so many things to do on and off campus. There is never a dull moment!”
Allison Outwater is majoring in both civil engineering and mechanical engineering. As you can probably guess, pursuing dual majors means she’s highly dedicated to her studies. That doesn't take her away, however, from other activities. “I’m originally from Wall Township High School in central New Jersey. Stevens is a huge change from high school for me, but it has been a very good change," she said. "I’ve joined the Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Engineers Without Borders, the Stevens Dramatic Society, Silkscreeners (a T-shirt making group), and the Entertainment Committee, student group that plans many of the large events on campus. Through each of these groups, I have met a vast group of people and become close to so many different kinds of people. I chose Stevens for the amazing opportunities here and the close-knit community. I wanted the chance to be seen as more than a number.” Reflecting on her first semester, Allison said she “fell in love” with Stevens even more so once she got here. “For all the reasons I chose Stevens and because of what I’ve experienced first-hand now as a student – the coursework and resources, the student life, the great faculty – I’m very pleased.”
Like Sean said, there really is never a dull moment at Stevens. To learn more, visit www.stevens.edu or speak to an Admissions staff member at 800.STEVENS. We are always happy to assist!