sophieHi, my name is Sophie Starkman and I am a rising sophomore at Stevens! My major is music and technology and I am planning to minor in business. I’m from Norwalk, CT and this is my first year being a part of the Peer Leader team! I am so excited to be involved in orientation because it was one of my favorite parts of my first year at Stevens.  The PLs were super welcoming, energetic, and knowledgeable in all of the aspects of Stevens. They made me feel so much less nervous about embarking on my college journey, so I wanted to do the same for you! But aside from all of this, what I’m here to talk about is pre-orientation, which was personally my favorite part of orientation and of freshman year.

I participated in the outdoor pre-o, despite the fact that I had never gone camping before.  I was super nervous about it because I really didn’t know what to expect, but I ended up having the best time. This pre-orientation is the only program where you don’t stay on campus, but spend a couple days in the Adirondacks. The first day there, I got to go canoeing across a lake and hiked to the top of a mountain (coincidentally at the same time as the solar eclipse). The second day I went rock climbing and found out that it was something I actually really enjoyed, which is why I joined the rock climbing club at Stevens. After the activities each day, everyone would hang out in the pavilion, and it was at these times that I made a lot of the friends that I still hang out with today. On the third day, we had a bonfire and got to know each other some more before heading back to Stevens the next morning. Spending 3 days in the Adirondacks with a group of people I had just met was awesome because I made so many friends, while also experiencing new things.  It was also really cool to be able to make friends with many engineers, being that I am a music tech and would not have had as many opportunities to meet these people.


If you didn’t sign up for pre-orientation, that is okay you will still have time to get acquainted to campus and have time to make friends during orientation! But for me,  pre-orientation was such a cool experience and I’m so happy that I decided to step out of my comfort zone for the first couple days of my college journey. Pre-Orientation and Orientation will be a great experience and help you warm up to the Stevens campus, Hoboken life, NYC, and other incoming Stevens students!

International Orientation

Hello, Class of 2022! Welcome to Stevens! My name is Neev Vora and I am one of the Peer Leaders. I am a sophomore studying Quantitative Finance and I am from Mumbai, India. It’s an honor to welcome you all to our awesome community. This blog post will cover what international students can expect from International Orientation, and how to make the most of it. *Insert unnecessary drum roll here*

While the transition to college can feel incredibly nerve-wracking to any rising freshman, it can be especially scary for international students. If you’re reading this and you are an international student, I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that you will be fine. As soon as you enter the campus for the first time, all of your fears will start to disappear, and soon, this cozy campus will forge a place in your heart as your home away from home. The Stevens community, which includes the staff, teaching faculty, and especially your fellow classmates, will all help you acclimatize to the new environment you’ll find yourself in.

One of the ways in which Stevens will help you do so is by conducting an International Orientation for all international students. During International Orientation, you will have the opportunity to meet all of the other international students and a few of the peer leaders. They will be the first (of many!) friends that you’ll make in college, and these friendships will have the potential to last for a lifetime. As international students from a diverse coterie of countries, remember that you all have completely different backgrounds and life experiences. There is a wealth of knowledge that you can grasp from each other, from various cultures, traditions, languages, mannerisms and perspectives that teach you about the harmony in diversity and the comfort of knowing that you are not alone in your differences. Introduce yourself with passion and conviction. Talk to the quiet person sitting in the corner. Laugh with the boisterous student who seems to draw a crowd. Keep broadening your comfort zone, and every time you do so, keep stepping outside of it.  Include everyone in your fun. This is what the college experience is about: connecting with new people with different backgrounds and embracing the similarities and differences between you. This is how you make Stevens your home.

During International Orientation, you’ll also be blasted with a ton of information about the resources that Stevens has to offer you, and not only as an international student. You will learn about all of the remarkable clubs and organizations that we have on campus. You will hear about resources that you can access for academic help (such as the walk-in tutoring center or office hours), or for your mental and physical health (pro tip: trying to swim in the Hudson River, as fun as it sounds, will probably end up messing with both). If you ever feel confused by what you are being presented with, feel free to ask questions! Never forget that every single person around you is here to help you throughout your tenure as a Stevens student. Don’t ever feel awkward about asking for help from any student or faculty member because we are all here to support each other. At our core, we are a tight-knit community, and we will always support you and treat you like family, because at Stevens, you are family. In between all of the weirdly-named icebreakers and slideshows, your International Orientation will help you start building your own community here at Stevens so that every step you take will make you feel at home.

My own International Orientation was a blast! I made friends with students from Japan, Vietnam, Germany, China, Australia, South Korea and Belgium. Every single person that I met was highly courageous, honest, amicable and had worked hard to get where they are. They have all inspired me to become a better version of myself, and I will always cherish the time that I have spent with them, along with the time I will spend with them over the next few years.

While your International Orientation may look a little like this:


The friends that you’ll make there will lead you to experiences like this:


In conclusion, come to International Orientation ready to make friends and have the time of your life! I can’t wait to meet all of you! Have a great summer, spend a lot of time with your friends from home, and get hyped for the next phase in the roller-coaster ride of life.

Transfer Orientation

To all the new ducks out there, welcome! My name is Abby Meola and I am a 2.5/4 Science Communications major from Princeton, NJ. I am a transfer student at Stevens and I recently became the President of the Transfer Student Association. Coming to Stevens was definitely an adjustment, but also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

My biggest tip for fellow transfers is to try and meet other transfer students early on. Whether that be at orientation or at TSA meetings, this group of students knows the unique scenarios you might come across and can point you in the right direction.  If you start a group chat or even make plans to meet up, you will have familiar faces during the first week and a resource for if you need help. To this day some of my best friends are the people I got to know at Transfer Orientation.


Next, get acclimated! The great thing about a small school like Stevens is that there are ample opportunities to try things you would never dream of. For me, it was comedy- I joined the improv/sketch comedy group called Off Center and it’s a blast. Whatever your niche is you will find it, and your transfer friends will help you along the way!

Remember, I was once in your shoes, so feel free to reach out with any questions you may have at

First Year Orientation

Hello everyone! My name is Thomas Agin and I am a 2/5 Mechanical Engineer from Manahawkin, New Jersey, and I will be one of the Peer Leaders for the incoming class of 2022. As the summer is pretty much settled in, I am sure you are starting to wondering what your Freshman Orientation experience in August will be like. Orientation Week is probably the busiest you’ll ever be in your first year at Stevens. Your days will be filled with listening to presentations, doing activities with your Orientation Group, running all around campus to get a better idea of what your time at Stevens will come to be. If only there was more than 24 hours in a day!

There is absolutely nothing to fear over Orientation. Everyone coming into the class of 2022 alongside of you is going to be experiencing the same things for the first time as well. Peer Leaders, faculty, and staff are incredibly welcoming and are willing to help with any problems you have. Some of the us were in your shoes just one year ago and understand completely what it is like to be swallowed up in the excitement of orientation.


There are a ton of fun and exciting events that happen during Orientation. The definite highlight of my Orientation experience was an event held on campus with a whole bunch of activities for the Orientation groups to participate in and get to bond closer as fellow students. We got to hype each other up to participate and cheer everyone on as all the Orientation groups played and completed the activities. It was a blast and my fellow incoming freshman and I got to have a super fun time that day and make great memories. 
Above all things when going through Orientation, try to enjoy as much of it as possible because you’re only going to have this introduction to Stevens once. Unless you become a Peer Leader that is! Become friends with your fellow orientation members and Peer Leader, try to soak everything up, and have a good time. I can’t wait to meet everyone in August, and have an amazing semester with you all. Go Ducks!

Meeting New People

Hello everyone, and thank you for taking the time to read my post on meeting new people! My name is Tim Kolankowski and I am rising junior at Stevens, majoring in Finance, and minoring in Pre-Law & Public Policy. Just to let you all know a little bit about what I do on campus, I am the Governance Committee Chair of the Stevens Honor Board, Secretary of the Philosophy Club, a tutor in the Academic Support Center, and a former Peer Mentor now turned Peer Leader. This summer, I am interning at Wakefern Food Corp. in the firm’s compliance division. My aspirations after Stevens include going to law school and working as an attorney in the realm of securities law. That is just a little bit about myself, and without further adieu, here is my take on meeting new people!


The transition from high school to college is one of the most exciting changes in a young college student’s life. College life offers you a unique opportunity to further explore the world around you, and with the greatest city in the world just a PATH train ride away, it is hard not to be at least a little eager. At the same time, the move from the high school to the college ranks can be daunting. It is not easy to leave a high school where you know so many, to a novel location where you quite possibly know no one. In the days leading up to my move to Hoboken, I was nervous, just as I would imagine some of you are. I repeatedly found myself stressing over how I would make new friends and deciding what organizations to join on campus. If you are at all concerned like I was, do not worry. You are in the best of hands.

From the moment you step foot on campus, you will have the chance to meet plenty of new people and make countless new friends. Your first days on campus are a fantastic time to meet and get to know other freshmen that are in the exact same position as you are! Whether it is during the adventurous pre-orientation activities, exciting orientation events, or even back at your dorm, you will have plenty of time to be able to connect with our fun and diverse group of Stevens students. Personally, I met some of my best friends during orientation. Going through orientation with others new to the Stevens community, reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

In addition to orientation, another outstanding way to meet people with similar interests as you is to get involved with our fabulous student organizations. At Stevens, we have a club or organization for pretty much everything. From Archery Club to Poetry Club and everything in between, there are truly endless ways to get involved, try new things, and get to know a lot of marvelous people along the way. Also, if you have a special interest and there is no club for it. No need to worry! Stevens allows you and your buddies to create and run the organization yourselves! Ultimately, our diverse student-run organizations that give back to the community and allow for personal growth make Stevens not only a school, but a home. My involvement with the Stevens Honor Board, Philosophy Club, Academic Support Center, and various intramurals, has allowed me to establish some valuable friendships that I would not have been able to make had it not been for these organizations. Simply put, get involved. You will have a blast!


For those of you that are still anxious about coming to Stevens, I hope this helps encourage you that everything is going to be fine. It is very easy to meet plenty of new people and make an equal amount of close friends. For those of you who are not as nervous, I hope I dropped some helpful knowledge and made you even more excited about joining us on Castle Point. Thanks again for taking the time to read my post, and welcome to Stevens! I know you will do great!


Academic Expectations

Starting college is a big step that is often daunting for many incoming students, especially at an academically rigorous school such as Stevens. Expectations are high, and there can be a lot of stress for smart, driven students. I was personally anxious and intimidated when I first started classes, but I soon realized there was no reason to be.

I’m Darya Dehkan, a 3/4 Biomedical Engineer from Whippany, New Jersey. I was extremely anxious when I first came to Stevens. In high school, I took multiple honor and AP courses, and was used to academic rigor and challenges. With the reputation that Stevens has, it is easy for students to become stressed and highly self-critical. In order to avoid falling into this trap, it is important to remember not to compare yourself to others. Everyone has different talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Something that someone may be really good at you may not be and vice versa.

Additionally, try not to be too hard on yourself about grades. It is easier said than done, but it’s important to remember that classes are difficult, and as long as you try your best then that is all that matters. It is unrealistic to study for 24 hours straight each day. You need to take time for yourself, spend time with friends, and be involved in extracurricular activities.


Lastly, use your resources. In order to meet the academic expectations that both yourself and Stevens have set, don’t be afraid to go and seek help for subjects or topics that are difficult for you to understand. Besides friends and study groups, Stevens offers walk in tutoring, professor office hours, and test reviews all which are super helpful.

Stevens Leadership Opportunities

Hi everyone! I’m Alessandra, a 5/5 mechanical engineering major from Fair Haven, NJ.  The past four years at Stevens have truly been the most exciting and transformative years of my life, and I’m so happy I get to have one last year as well. Looking back on the person I was coming into college versus who I am now, there is a world of difference. I came to Stevens expecting to learn all about calculus and physics and engineering, and to hopefully make a few friends and enjoy the view.

If you told me then that over the course of the next four years, I would join a sorority, become the Vice President of my sorority, become a tour guide, become a Peer Leader, or any number of other activities I’ve done, I would’ve said you were wild. But as you’ll soon learn, it’s nearly impossible not to get wrapped up in the excitement and energy of the Stevens community.


There is something out there for everyone, and a million different ways to get involved. Between all of our RSOs (Registered Student Organizations), Greek life, sports teams, Student Government, Residence Life, and more, I guarantee you will find a like-minded group of people and a role that you are passionate about. The greatest advice I can give is to keep an open-mind. Even if you don’t peg yourself as the take-charge type of person, the person who will run for Vice President of your sorority/fraternity, or give tours of our beautiful campus to potential students and families, you will likely find that change over your next four years.