Living with Roommates

Hey everyone! My name is Terence and I’m a 3/4 Business & Technology major from Manhattan. One of the many things that drew me to Stevens was the beautiful view across the river. I wanted to stay close to homIMG_0228 - Terence Chane and being able to see the skyline from campus was always a reminder of close I was.

I chose to live with my best friend and also teammate at the time. We were a pair that got assigned a random roommate to fill our triple in CPH. I’ve shared a room my entire life with my sister so living with people in one room isn’t new to me. But one of the biggest advice I’d tell myself as a freshman living with new people is to set clear cut boundaries at first. It’s important that you and your roommate(s) are all on the same page about having guests over, quiet hours if someone usually stays up late, cleaning schedules, and coordinating personal time for each person in the room. This ensures that when issues do arise there is a sense of communication between you and the people you’re living with. And communication is key!

But it also doesn’t need to be that serious. Your roommates freshman year can play such a huge role in your life as they are the ones you’re getting to experience this monumental new chapter in your life with. I actually got to experience having multiple roommates as I lived in a triple; we also ended up switching roommates second semester. My roommates freshman year have become my best friends at school and we’re still so close to this day. They became the people you always got food with, walked to class with, went to Dunkin’ with. Living with new people may sound daunting at first, but it’s one of the best experiences that college gives you.

Terence Chan, Business and Technology

Commuting

IMG_6605Hello and welcome to your home away from home for the next four(or five) years! My name is Grace Miguel, I am a junior Software Engineering major from Washington Township, NJ—the one in Bergen County. When I was an incoming freshman, I was inevitably asked where I’m from countless times and it was always a confusing question because there are five Washington Townships in New Jersey I resorted to saying, “the one near Paramus”.

I digress, because I live merely 45 minutes to an hour from campus, I commute! I commute via NJTransit so the arrival time can vary. If you choose to commute via train or bus, you can get a student discount. Log into your myStevens account and go to the “transportation & parking” icon. There you will find a couple different icons for methods of travel to and from campus. Click on the icon with the NJTransit logo that reads “Discount Student Tickets” and enroll in the Student discount program. The discount only applies to monthly passes, it is 25% the original ticket price. NOTE, if you choose to enroll online, you will only have the mobile monthly pass. If you want a physical pass you will have to go to the Office of the Registrar to get a physical form to fill out for each month of the semester. The Registrar must sign and stamp it in order for you to get the pass from Hoboken terminal. Monthly passes are available from the 19th of the prior month to the 10th of the month the pass is valid for. Example: You can buy an August pass beginning on July 19th through August 10th. 

If you choose to drive to campus, you can purchase a semester parking permit online at the “transportation & parking” icon mentioned earlier. The semester pass will cost $150 and you will park your vehicle in Babbio garage. Because this Fall is unlike past semesters, Stevens will also be offering daily parking passes for $10/day. Unfortunately, you may not park overnight unless there are extenuating circumstances which you can tell the Campus Police. 

Here are some tips to help your new commuting lifestyle simpler:

  • Early is on time. Even though the train/bus may say it arrives at your home station at 7:37AM it may come 5 minutes earlier if they are ahead of schedule. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the arrival time! You also don’t want to be late to class, especially lab, so make sure you get to campus at least 15 minutes before class begins.
  • Pack your backpack the night before. If you sleep past your alarm and have to run out the door, you don’t want to forget your calculator or even worse, your wallet. 
  • Check the weather! Getting soaked from head to toe is no fun and can easily be avoided.
  • Sign up for StevensAlert, you can do this through myStevens. If school is cancelled or there is a delay due to weather conditions you will get an email and text alert. This has saved me from making a 45 minute trip for nothing.
  • Pack snacks! You never know how long you’re going to be out. You may spend time with friends or exploring Hoboken after class is over… you don’t want to get hungry. I always pack an extra granola bar.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. If you’re walking to and from the Hoboken terminal you don’t want to wear shoes that will give you blisters. 
  • There is a shuttle on 1st and River. This is the blue line. You can find the schedule here. This will take you to the Howe Center.
  • Don’t forget your laptop and phone charger. Don’t let your laptop die during class.
    • Better yet, invest in a portable charger, it’s a life saver.
  • Bring headphones!!! Whether you’re on public transportation,want to listen to music while studying or working out at the DeBaun Athletic Center, headphones are key.
  • Additional items you should carry 24/7: hand sanitizer, chapstick, cash, extra pens and pencils.
  • Try to travel light. This may sound contradictory but you don’t want to get back problems at 18. One way to do this is to take notes on a digital device or alternate notebooks depending on what classes you have that day. 

When I was a first year student, transitioning to this new lifestyle was a big change. I’ll admit, it was exhausting at first but I grew used to it and met other commuters who shared this commonality through the Commuter Student Union. As a commuter, I have the luxury of experiencing college life while still having the comfort of my own bed and personal space. Not to mention the home cooked meals are a plus. 

Just because you’re a commuter does not mean you cannot be involved. Most clubs hold meetings at 9PM, but there are meetings during academic break on Wednesdays between 3 and 5pm as well as in the late afternoon on some days. I am on e-board of the Stute, the school newspaper, a member of a sorority on campus and work at the Writing and Communications Center. If you want to get involved, you can find a way.  If I ever wanted to go to a club meeting or a social event at night, my friends living on campus or in Hoboken would be kind enough to let me crash. Circumstances are different now because of the pandemic, but when things go back to normal, I’m sure your new friends will let you crash. 

This is a lot of information and I know this can be overwhelming but you are not alone in being nervous or even intimated by this new journey. The Stevens community is here to support you and encourage you throughout your Stevens career.

 I hope this was helpful and I look forward to meeting you all!

Grace Miguel, Software Engineering

Living Off Campus

 

Hi everybody! My name is Matt Kirby and I’m a 3/4+1 mechanical engineering major from New City, NY. The past two years at Stevens have been truly a wonderful experience and I am excited to see where these next three years take me. Stevens is unique compared to other colleges in the sense that we have the city of Hoboken surrounding our campus. Hoboken is a part of our campus and many students consider it their home, referring to it as “home-boken”. You will likely feel this while living in the dorms during your freshman year, but I personally86189418-6CBB-48BA-A56F-FBAF0EE1CAC4 - Matthew Kirbydidn’t realize the impact Hoboken had on the Stevens experience until I decided to live off campus.

Moving into my apartment for the first time last summer seemed daunting, but once I got used to living there I realized how amazing of an experience it is. I was living with three close friends as roommates and thankfully we all were able to get along. Paying rent, electricity, wifi, and any other bills might sound somewhat intimidating, but if you are able to communicate with your roommates then it shouldn’t be a problem. Originally we were somewhat worried that our apartment was far from campus, but in the end everything in Hoboken is within walking distance so the “far” walk wasn’t even that bad. However, a far walk sounded scary on days that were freezing in the winter. Luckily, Stevens shuttles are always running and we were able to utilize them to avoid being frozen.

Anything you could want is all right around your apartment too! I’m sure you’ve heard all about it by now, but Hoboken is known as the “Mile Square City” because of its smaller size. There are so many amazing restaurants around that are all within walking distance of campus, some of which accept DuckBills. Some of my favorite nights were when I would stay in on the weekend, pick up a wrap from Napolis, and watch a movie in the living room. I’m not sure why, but having the ability to do that just feels so satisfying. 

There are a lot of freedoms to consider when living in an apartment off campus that you don’t really think about while you are living in the dorms. My personal favorite was not having to deal with communal bathrooms. Yes they honestly aren’t that bad when you’re living in dorms, but having a bathroom to yourself is liberating. The ability to even have a living room where you can sit, watch TV, and hang out with friends is also something that really is an amazing feeling. 

My first few weekends at my apartment before any of my roommates moved in all I had was a kitchen table, a small TV on the floor, and my bed, and I had my friends from High School come visit. Being able to say “welcome to my apartment” made me feel like I had matured and become a real adult. There are also a multitude of different grocery stores and pharmacies around Hoboken that you can go to for groceries and whatever else you may need. Living off campus really makes you realize how lucky we are to be within such a nice small city.

Matthew Kirby, Mechanical Engineering

Living On-Campus

Hi y’all! I’m Leticia, a 2/4 mechanical engineering major from Wharton, NJ. I still feel new here at Stevens because I don’t really feel I ended my freshman year with it all going online but being on campus for most of it was pretty spectacular. My favorite part of it all, was how close classes were from the dorms, especially Davis. I’d wake up 10 minutes before class, Grubhub a delicious Red & Gray sausage ,egg, and cheese croissant sandwich and arrive at class on Leticiatime. I love the fact that we are a small campus because everything is within arms reach. Food, classes, teachers, friends, study areas, everything. 

 

When Stevens returns back to normal, going to events will definitely be something I’ll be coming back for. I went to a lot of events intentionally and unintentionally. When I would have time between classes, I’d find myself in the middle of some sort of festival/art fundraiser/ thanksgiving feast without knowing that they were there. (Now I use the Corq app to be in the know of events.) I’d just walk up to the sign up table and show my event pass. Some advice I’d give to incoming students is to sign up for anything you might think is fun and interesting. Each sign up is another experience you wouldn’t have had before. Sign up for a club and go to the General Body Meeting (GBM) to get a feel for it and see if you like it. All groups are very welcoming and want you to take part in whatever they do. There’s always something to do on campus. 

 

Now with Covid-19 though, there might be less in person events to go to but this is exactly when you should join things on campus. Easier access to the clubs, more relaxed environment, and a fun place to get to know more people. Even if you feel a bit shy or anxious, just know that whatever you join and whatever you do on campus will benefit you in the long run as you’ll meet new friends and make wonderful memories that’ll last.

 

Leticia Gonzalez, Mechanical Engineering

Public Transportation in Hoboken

Easy access to many different forms of public transportation is one of the things that makes Hoboken so fun! With one quick bus or train ride, you can be in New York City, Jersey City, or many places within New Jersey.

 

To get to NYC:

Being only 15 minutes away from New York City opens up a whole world of opportunities, both professional and social. From externships to concerts to pop-ups to good eats, the city has so much to offer, and I would highly recommend taking as many (safe!) trips there as you can manage to squeeze in! There are two main ways to get to NYC from Hoboken: NJ Transit buses and the PATH train.

The 126 bus line of NJ Transit stops on every other block of Washington Street and drops you off at Port Authority. The fare is only $3.50; you can download the NJ Transit app to easily buy tickets and track when the next buses arrive at each stop.

The PATH station, along with the NJ Transit train station and Light Rail station, is located at the very end of downtown Hoboken in the Hoboken Terminal (if you can spot the big tower that says “Lackawanna” on it, the stations are right under it!). There are two PATH

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lines that start in Hoboken, one going to downtown New York and stopping at the World Trade Center and the other going to uptown New York and stopping at 33rd Street. Find the full PATH map here: https://www.panynj.gov/path/en/schedules-maps.html. You can use an NYC Metrocard to pay your PATH fare, which is $2.75.

To get to Jersey City:

If you’re in the mood to go to a mall or Target, Jersey City is your best option. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line can be used to get to the Newport Center in just about 10 minutes. The Light Rail departs from the Hoboken Terminal and the fare to the Newport Center is $2.25. The nearest Target is about a 15 minute walk from the mall. The Light Rail can also be tracked on the NJ Transit App. For more information about where the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line goes, check out this map: https://d2g63oyneaimm8.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/pdfs/light-rail/sf_lr_hblr_map.pdf.

To travel within New Jersey:

Whether you’re from New Jersey finding an easy way to get home or from out of state trying to visit the shore, NJ Transit will get you where you need to go. Though PATH and Light Rail also have destinations to other major Jersey locations (most importantly, Newark station), the most effective and far-reaching way to travel within the state is by bus or on train. The NJ Transit app is extremely helpful for both of these methods. The maps, stations, and transfers can get a bit confusing, but with practice and a lot of reliance of Google Maps, you’ll get the hang of it! Fares for both depend on how far you’re travelling. To find more information about NJ Transit, visit their website: https://www.njtransit.com/.

Hoboken is highly connected to many great destinations throughout New Jersey and New York. There is so much to do and see in the area, and one of the most important things Stevens gives you is the opportunity to experience all of it! In your time in Hoboken, take every chance you can get to explore the city, go shopping with friends, or take a break by visiting your hometown. It will enrich your college experience and help you make unforgettable memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Suzy Shailesh, Computer Science

Eating in and Around Hoboken

Although your freshman year meal plan may include more than enough food, there will come a time when you get tired of Pierce dinners and America’s cup sandwiches and have to venture out to Washington St. to change up your diet. Here is a guide to some of the best spots in Hoboken to try during your time at Stevens.

There may be a ton of bagel places scattered throughout Hoboken but there are two favorites that every Stevens student has frequented. O’Bagel for the best bagel sandwiches in town but if you are going to grab a bite before class make sure you leave enough time because the line is usually out the door. The other is Bagels on the Hudson, not such a hot spot in the morning but since it’s open 24/7 there is never a bad time to grab a bacon, egg and cheese. 

Continuing with breakfast, Elysian Cafe and Turning Point are two of my favorites. Elysian has more of a French flair and also serves lunch and dinner, Turning Point is on the water so has a beautiful view and serves lunch as well. 

A must try lunch spot is Karma Kafe, an Indian restaurant serving a lunch buffet so you can explore the different dishes and spice levels without the commitment of ordering a whole serving and possibly not liking it. Quick pick ups are usually more popular for lunch when trying to eat between classes. Vito’s deli has a late lunch special so you can get a huge sub with the best Mutz in town for super cheap during their Hoagie Happy Hour. If you are looking for a healthier option, Honeygrow lets you create your own salads or stir fries made with locally sourced ingredients. 

Hoboken has a lot of diverse options but the most popular has to be pizza. There’s some controversy over where to get the best slice in town but in my opinion it has to be Napoli’s brick-oven Neapolitan pies. A slightly fancier option is to go to Tenth Street Pasta & Pizza where you have to order by the pie but it is definitely worth it. 

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Now if you are looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion, a date, or a place to have your family members take you out to when they come visit, here are more high end must try places. La Isla if you like Cuban food, Otto Strada for Italian, if you want a show check out the hibachi at Ayame, Arthur’s Tavern for a steak dinner, Cucharamama for South American cuisine, or Tutta Pesca for any seafood dish.

This isn’t exactly food related but my favorite thing about Hoboken is the mass amount of cafes and coffee shops that you will find. They’re perfect for grabbing a cup of coffee before class or giving you a quiet place to work besides the library. My top picks are Empire and The Little Local to get coffee to go, and BWE or Jefferson’s for studying. If you have a nut allergy definitely check out Joey No Nuts for coffee and pastries with no worries. To my fellow coffee enthusiasts I made a list of every coffee shop in Hoboken… and there are almost 30!

The key to eating your way through Hoboken, is to be adventurous, try new places and find the spots that not everyone else knows about. Bonding over food is a great way to make new friends and learn about other cultures so try to change it up a little and support local businesses instead of the chains that you can find anywhere. (Pro tip: always ask if they offer a Stevens discount) 

Gianna Miggins, Software Engineering

Stevens Community, Culture, and History

Hi! Welcome to Stevens! We’re so excited for you all to join us. My name is Lauren Chew. I’m a junior chemical engineering major from Hammonton, NJ. I’m also one of the Peer Leaders that will be welcoming you on-board during orientation and helping you during your first semester at Stevens. The time for you to officially start at Stevens is fast approaching, so I’m here to share some of my experience as part of the Stevens community!

Stevens was founded in 1870 and named after the Stevens family, “America’s First Family of Inventors”. The school has grown a lot since then, but one thing that hasn’t changed over time is the innovative mindset that the Stevens family embodied and that this university was founded upon. Stevens has been and continues to be home to many great minds – like the inventors of bubble wrap and the discoverer of the neutrino. The Stevens community is full of driven, ambitious individuals and truly embodies the tagline “The Innovation University”. Many of the people I’ve met as part of the Stevens community continuously inspire me to work hard, chase my goals, and become the person I want to be.

Although many Stevens students are working hard to excel in class, research, and career opportunities, a good thing about our community is that the drive to succeed doesn’t come between us. In my experience, students are nothing but supportive of one another. It might seem intimidating to ask the person next to you in class for help, but I promise they’re probably happy to help you! You can always find study groups in the library working on homework, cramming for that big exam, and helping each other succeed. The same goes for your professors! They want to see you succeed and are there to support you just as much as your classmates. The students and faculty at Stevens are approachable when you need help and some of your best cheerleaders when you succeed.photo_2020-07-20_14-59-56

Being a smaller school has its benefits too. Because there isn’t an overwhelming number of students and campus is only 4 blocks, we’re naturally a pretty close-knit community. If I walk across campus or even just a small stretch between buildings from class to class, I almost always see a familiar face to say hi to. Those little interactions definitely brighten my day! One of the things I love most about the Stevens community is how friendly everyone is and how surprisingly easy it is to make friends – and that’s coming from someone who’s naturally pretty shy.

As cliché as it may sound, Stevens really does have a place for everyone. There are so many clubs, sports, and activities on campus, and there’s always something to do or something happening in the Stevens community. Plus, being in Hoboken gives us even more fun opportunities to try new activities and foods, study at trendy coffee shops, or hop on the train and immerse yourself in New York City. Whatever you’re passionate about, there’s someone here that shares those interests who is ready to welcome you.

 

Lauren Chew, Chemical Engineering

What is a Peer Leader?

It’s the middle of the summer after your senior year of high school, and despite the odds, you’re enjoying it! The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, and your phone is buzzing. You pick it up to check it out – is a friend looking for a socially distant hangout? Maybe your parents want to bring you home some lunch? No, it’s a strange email from someone with an @stevens.edu at the end of their email. It’s not the Finance Office asking for more money, it’s not Residential and Dining Services with your move-in date – it’s your Peer Leader!

You’re probably asking yourself, “What is a Peer Leader, and why do they sound so excited in their email?”. That’s what I’m here to tell you about! My name is Luke Langner; I just finished my B.E. in Mechanical Engineering this spring, and I’ll be spending a fifth year at Stevens to pursue my M.E. in Mechanical Engineering. What’s more important, though, is that this will also be my third year as a Peer Leader. A Peer Leader is a new student’s number one resource at Stevens. Our job is to help make sure that each and every new student at Stevens has a successful and healthy transition into college life at Stevens.

When you first get to Stevens, you’ll be thrown into a whole new world. Balancing academics with maintaining an active social life and a healthy lifestyle on your own can be difficult and extremely overwhelming. Your Peer Leader will stand by you and make sure that you are equipped to handle it all. It starts with your campus orientation, where you come to learn about living in a dorm and how to navigate campus and Hoboken. Even though this may not be the most traditional introduction to campus life, there will still be ways for you to learn about campus, and your Peer Leaders will help walk you through that. We will also make sure that you know everything there is to know about the resources on the Stevens campus. Whether you’re looking for scheduling advice, counseling services, or just the best place to eat in Hoboken, we are tasked with making sure that we can help you to our fullest and direct you to the right resources when necessary.

photo_2020-07-15_10-23-29Your Peer Leader will be your official mentor through orientation and the entirety of your first fall semester at Stevens. Even though we may seem a bit too happy to be here, we do it because we love Stevens and we love helping new students start their journeys. We will be with you every step of the way as you make your way through your first semester, because Peer Leaders are the conduit through which knowledge and wisdom about Stevens makes its way to the new students. Even though we’re only your official mentors for a semester, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We can’t wait to meet you this fall, and get to know the amazing Stevens students that you will be. Enjoy your summer, get excited for the fall, and most importantly, answer our emails!

 

Luke Langner, Mechanical Engineering

Welcome to the Flock!

Hi there! My name is Adrian Castellanos and I am this year’s Peer Leader Coordinator! I was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, raised in Weehawken, New Jersey, and back in Hoboken for my time at Stevens. I am currently a junior Civil Engineering student getting a minor in Pre Law and Public Policy. 

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This is my second year working with the Office of Undergraduate Student Life on the Peer Leader Team, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. We’ve been spending a lot of time planning and rethinking orientation this year to make it the best that we can offer you and set you up for success.  We have a lot of fun things in store and can’t wait to share them all with you!

Outside my role of the Peer Leader Coordinator I’m also the Stevens Student Government Association Vice President where we work to advocate for student interests alongside the Office of Student Life. This summer I’ve also taken on an awesome role as an Undergraduate Research Assistant.  I have nothing but enjoyed my time at Stevens, and I am excited to see what each and every one of you will accomplish in your time here! Go Ducks!

 

Here are a few ways to prepare for your Stevens journey and start off on the right foot in August!

 

  1. Connect with Us!  Peer Leader Blogs, First-Year Features, and other resources will be shared on our social media pages weekly!  We also invite you to join the “Stevens Institute of Technology Class of 2024” Facebook page to connect with others in your class.  Follow us for great information all summer long! 
  • Facebook: Stevens Students
  • Instagram: StevensStudents
  • Twitter: @StevensStudents
  1. Join us for a webinar or hangout!  Office of Student Life staff and Peer Leaders will host informational webinars and social hangouts throughout the summer about academics, your college transition, and making the most of your first year.  You will receive emails inviting you to attend, so stay tuned!  
  2. First-Year Read- This year’s common read for all first-year students is “What the Eyes Don’t See” by Mona Hanna-Attisha.
  • You will receive a copy in the mail soon, and it is expected you will have it read before orientation so you can engage in discussion over the content during that time.  
  • There will also be a flyer inside the book addressing a summer read contest! 
  1. Reach out if you need help!  If you have any questions throughout the summer about your transition to Stevens or orientation, let us know at acastel2@stevens.edu.  More information will also be added to www.stevens.edu/orientation throughout the summer as well!  

Have a great summer, and we can’t wait to see you at Stevens!  

 

Adrian Castellanos, Civil Engineering