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 personallydidn’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