Mental Health and Asking for Help

Hi everyone! My name is Victoria and I am a 3/4 Chemical Engineering major from East Hanover, NJ. I am on the varsity Track and Field Team, participate in Student Government, and am a sister of Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. From my time at Stevens, I have grown a lot as an individual. I’ve learned a lot about what I need to be successful, what I like and don’t like, and most importantly, when to ask for help.

When I came to Stevens, I was so excited about this new chapter in my life, but I was also really anxious. I was away from home for the first time, and college was so different than what I was used to. I was so accustomed to the way things were that the thought of starting over scared me so much. I was also really nervous about balancing athletics vicand school, but didn’t want to admit it. So, although I put on a brave face to my friends, behind closed doors I was struggling. The turning point for me came when a friend came to me and expressed that she too had been feeling really anxious. It finally dawned on me that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way, and that by talking to other people about the way I was feeling, I could relieve a lot of the stress I had been carrying around. 

So, I made an appointment with a therapist at Stevens’ Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS) to talk about how I was feeling. I told her all the things I was too afraid to tell anyone else, and believe it or not, it felt so good to say those things out loud. After my first appointment, I came back several times to continue to talk to a counselor about how I was doing. And ever since then, I have been a staunch advocate for mental health and asking for help.

It is completely normal to not be okay sometimes. The important thing to remember is that there are so many people who want to help you, and that recognizing when you need help is a sign of strength. Maybe that means talking to your peer leader or a friend. Maybe that means seeing our CAPS department. Maybe that means submitting a care report for yourself or a friend. Either way, asking for help is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the people around you. You should never feel like your mental health is something to be ashamed of. It is just as important as your physical health, if not more. 

 

CAPS Contact:  E-mail: caps@stevens.edu          Phone: 201.216.5177

To Submit a Care Report: go to your MyStevens, click “Report a Concern”, then click “Care Report”

Victoria Agaliotis, Chemical Engineering

Study Tips

Hi everyone! Welcome to Stevens!! My name is Angelica Torres, and I’m one of the Peer Leaders (PL’s) this year! I am a recent Software Engineering graduate and rising Master’s student studying Systems Analytics. 

There is definitely a big academic transition from high school to college, and myself as well as the other PL’s are here to help you with that. My Freshman year, I know I could have taken a better approach to studying than I had. I thought that studying the night before like I did in high school would be good enough. After that year and in the years to come, I’ve learned my fair share of studying “Do’s and Don’ts” and would like to share some tips!

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  1. Don’t cram! I know it’s easier said than done, but you need to give your brain time to absorb the information. Start studying a couple days in advance, so you don’t feel overwhelmed the day before the exam. Additionally, studying well ahead of time ensures that you can get a good night’s sleep before test day! This is especially helpful for times when you seem to have a lot of tests/assignments. 
  2. Take breaks. I know that for me, after hours of studying my brain starts to feel like mush. Remember to take breaks between topics whether it be doing a puzzle, scrolling on your phone, or eating some food. 
  3. Reward yourself. Going off the last tip, you can perform positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself with candy/Netflix/phone time after every milestone. Set realistic milestones like every 5 questions you get right in a row or reading a chapter.
  4. Use your resources. When preparing for a test, definitely use your resources like your professors’/TA’s office hours. You can also request a tutor who will help you review or attend walk-in tutoring hours. Lastly, the academic support center typically hosts test reviews for classes such as Calculus or Chemistry. I highly recommend attending these reviews as I found them super helpful. 
  5. Review past assignments/old tests. I’ve noticed that professors usually like to structure their exams similar to those they’ve given in the past. Some may even post old tests to help students study. Definitely look these over! I also noticed that if there were some assignment questions that many of us got stuck on, professors might include a similar question on the exam. I also found that studying by practicing old test questions made me more prepared for the exam than just reading/looking at the problems.
  6. Have a study partner/group! Not only is it good to quiz yourself, it is good to quiz your friends and have them quiz you. Talking through the answers helps reinforce the information you are trying to process. You and your partner/group can also contribute to study guides/Quizlets together.

I can’t wait to welcome you all to campus in a few weeks. I hope these tips help you thrive during your first semester and throughout your college career!

Angelica Torres, Systems Analytics

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

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