Hey everyone! I’m Kyriakos Chatzis I’m a 3/4 Biology student with a minor in Entrepreneurship and let me be one of the first to say, you made it! Your first day of college is finally here! Here are some tips to make that first day of classes as smooth and memorable as possible.giphy (1)

 

  1. Familiarize yourself with your schedule. A day before classes start, you should walk around campus to find the rooms that your classes will be held in. Start with your first class of the day and work your way down to see what routes are the fastest to your next class. This can save you a lot of headaches on your first day.
  2. Review your classes syllabi. More often to not, your professors will upload the class syllabus before in person instruction begins. Take that opportunity to see what’s expected of you throughout the class by reviewing the syllabus. There will be information such as % breakdown of your final grade, course material covered, dates of exams, etc. Some professors like to go over their syllabus in class and others upload it online and expect you to go over it on your own.
  3. Wake up early and get a good breakfast. It is extremely important to be awake and alert for your first day. There is going to be a lot of information thrown at you by your professors and you don’t want to miss any of it. Get to your class at least 10 minutes early so that you could situate yourself, pick a good seat, and familiarize yourself with the classroom.
  4. Be ready. I hate to say it but Syllabus week doesn’t really exist at Stevens. Because most of our assignments and class material is online, professors tend to just jump into course material on the first day. I was not ready for this on my first day and was caught a bit off guard so make sure you have proper notebooks for each class and are ready to learn!
  5. Have fun with it! You are entering one of the most interesting and amazing times of your life. You going to learn an insane amount, both inside and outside the classroom and I think it’s important to embrace that. Go into every class with an open mind and an eager spirit, no matter the subject and you will come out of it a better person.
  6. Don’t stress it. Every single one of your professors knows and understand the uncertainty the first day of college classes can bring. They will be extremely available to you for any questions you might have and are always there for you to help ease your transition. They are your friends, not your enemies!

 

A fun way I like to think about first days is in the eyes of the professor. It’s also the professors first time teaching this new group of students and they want to make just as good of an impression on you as you do! I hope you can take something away from this and wish you all the greatest first day of classes ever!

Kyriakos Chatzis, Biology

Staying Safe on Campus

Hi, my name is Sophie and I am a 4/4 Music and Technology major!  From my 3 years of experience at Stevens, I’ve learned so much about how to make the most of our campus! With the start of your college career comes a new environment filled with lots of new friends and opportunities!  While this year may not be as traditional as most, there are so many ways to make the most of your campus experience while also being safe and healthy.  For starters, Stevens has lots of room to hang out on the different lawns like Schafer lawn, Palmer lawn, and MPK (Morton, Kidde, Pierce) lawn!  Take advantage of the outdoor space to socially distance and hang out with new people.  Hoboken also has many outdoor dining areas and great spots to enjoy both the beautiful weather and the view on the piers!  You can also use your meal plan swipes to eat at different restaurants in Hoboken that are a part of Washington Street Wednesday, so you don’t always have to order from the dining hall. IMG_6679

You can still stay connected with your peers virtually through group chats and video calls so make sure to utilize applications like Groupme and Zoom to communicate with other students!  You can still hang out despite not being physically together.  Utilizing resources like your Peer Leader group is also a helpful tool to not only meet others who are studying a similar major but you can also get lots of advice from your PL on how to get more involved on campus!  Clubs and organizations are still going to be present and so there is no reason why you shouldn’t look into trying new things and joining them!

Most importantly, make sure to take care of yourself, because pandemic or not, this is a whole new experience and you need to prioritize your health, both mentally and physically.  Try your best to eat healthier (it’s not going to happen all of the time and that’s okay too) and get fresh air. You can always go for a walk or a run on the pier!  In terms of mental health, CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) is available with people who you can talk to if you are having a difficult time adjusting, are dealing with a personal issue, or even if you just want to talk and don’t necessarily have a reason. It is full of kind and helpful individuals who want to help make your college experience amazing and want you to be healthy! Last but not least follow social distancing and masking guidelines, they’re for your safety and the safety of those around you.

Despite the circumstances, there are so many different opportunities that will still be offered to you at Stevens, so make sure to take full advantage of that to make the most of your first year of college!

Sophie Starkman, Music and Technology

Move In Day

Hello everyone! My name is Reva and I am a sophomore Industrial and Systems Engineer from Princeton Junction, New Jersey! I’m so happy to be welcoming you to Stevens and sharing my experience from moving in just last year. I know there is probably so much you are preparing for but try not to worry too much! Orientation and meeting new people is going to be so exciting and take your mind off of the transition to college.

With the new safety precautions, moving in is going to look different as you will move in with your family instead of everyone at the same time. Still, going to see your new dorm or suite is so exciting and can be a fun experience!

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If you’re like me, and love packing and organizing, here are a few tips to make moving in more efficient! I recommend having your smaller things in boxes and secured so other people can move your things without damaging them. It is also extremely helpful when your suitcases and boxes are labeled with your dorm and room number. I remember bringing along some small cleaning supplies for the desk and dressers before I unpacked as well. I truly enjoy this so if you have any questions or want to talk more please reach out!

When you return to campus for the first day, it might seem overwhelming with so many things going on and staying on campus when your family leaves. Try to keep a positive attitude and an open mind going into orientation, and your awesome peer leader and staff are always there for you. I hope this helped and we can’t wait to meet you!

 

Reva Grover, Industrial and Systems Engineer

Traveling From a Distance

Hi everyone! My name is Madie DeJong and I am a junior Biomedical Engineering student from Rochester, MN. One of the most stressful parts of the beginning of freshman year was figuring out how to pack and move to New Jersey. My hometown is just over 1000 miles and a three hour plane ride to Newark Airport, so the moving process was stressful even without all of the quarantine and social distancing rules that are happening right now. I am going to start this blog by briefly describing my personal experience and providing some recommendations that are more specific to this year.

When I moved to New Jersey, my parents and I arrived in Hoboken a day and half before move-in, rented a car, and stayed in a hotel. This worked really well to give us time to go shopping in Jersey City for the things I did not bring with me. The big rule for packing I followed was: if I cannot buy this item in New Jersey I bring it with me, otherwise we go shopping when we get there.

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Things that I brought with me included clothes, shoes, and personal keepsakes. We flew to New Jersey, so I packed several checked and carry on bags. Remember that checked bags must be checked back if you’re not keeping them, so having suitcases of various sizes and putting smaller suitcases into larger ones is a good idea if possible to minimize return trip costs. Additionally, it is important to remember baggage weight restrictions when flying, so I would recommend spreading out shoes and other heavy items in your bags to reduce weight.

Things that I bought upon arrival included toiletries (this category includes obvious things like shampoo and toothpaste, but also items like nail clippers and tweezers, so make sure to walk through your bathroom at home and make a list of everything you need), towels and bedding, school supplies and snacks. We had a rental car, so the move in process was a simple drive through and drop off.

I still feel this process is valid, especially for people moving to New Jersey from states not on the quarantine list. Right now, a lot of states fall under the quarantine travel restriction (here is a link to the NJ gov sight to check: NJ Quarantine Advisory States). The move in process is made slightly more complicated by these restrictions. I spent the summer in MN, but recently moved back out to NJ ahead of classes to comply with the quarantine restrictions. My process was made easier by the fact that I already had an apartment and most of my things in NJ; however, here are some considerations and recommendations for the process if you are coming from a place on the list.

As I see it there are two ways to move to campus: plane or car. Both are valid and I would choose your method based on your comfort level and the convenience for you specifically. If you choose to take a plane, you have to check bags and either Uber or get a rental car to move around once in Hoboken. My usual advice would be to shop upon arrival and arrive a few days early, but the quarantine rules restrict this. Therefore, I would recommend bringing everything you need with you on the plane. I know this can be inconvenient, but it would make the drop off process easier and reduce the amount of movement you need to have in NJ upon arrival. Anyone passing through the state for less than 24 hours does not need to quarantine, therefore if family members are coming with you, I would recommend arriving in the morning on the day you check into your doom. You could maybe make a quick Target run and pick up some essentials. There is a Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, the Newport Mall, and many other stores in nearby Jersey City. You may not have time to get everything you need, but as long as you have enough for two weeks, you can always go shopping again later. Your family members would then need to leave by the following morning after dropping you off based on the NJ guidelines.

If you choose to drive, I would recommend buying everything you need in your hometown, as long as it can fit in your car. Of course, you can always go shopping when you get here, on the first day or after your two week quarantine. Because you won’t have a very long time to move into the dorm space, I would recommend packing in a way that makes unloading as easy as possible. Place heavier things on the bottom and do your best to condense your belongings. Technically, your family members would also need to leave within 24 hours.

One of the hardest things to work around are the time restrictions, and you may worry that you forgot things. Even if you did, it will not be the end of the world. One of the things that I have utilized a ton, has been the Post Office. Each Stevens student is allotted a mailbox at the Stevens Post Office located on the first floor of the Howe building. Your family members can always send you a forgotten item. I would also highly recommend investing in a service like Amazon Prime. It makes it really easy to order things online and is super convenient for getting dorm essentials. Another way you could decrease the amount you have to bring initially would be to only pack warmer summer/fall clothes and have a box of winter things shipped to you later in the semester.

In general, remember these are just my thoughts on the process and there are a lot of right ways to make the move. My biggest recommendations would be to bring what you need and remember you can always get more things shipped to you or go shopping at a later date. The moving process will probably feel stressful, but remember that this is an exciting new phase of life and that it will all work out. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to see all of the new faces on campus, hopefully, sometime soon!

Madie Dejong, Biomedical Engineering

What’s New on Campus

Hey everyone! My name is Jayden Pereira and I am a junior Computer Engineering student. I’m from Woolwich Twp, NJ (20 minutes from Philly and Delaware). I do a lot of things on campus including being a Peer Leader, iSTEM, and being a part of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Since coming into Stevens, I’ve seen this campus quite literally grow – here’s some of the newest things on campus to look out for!

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Gateway Academic Buildings – Okay, I’m not going to understate how awesome the study areas are and just how nice these new academic buildings are. Whether you are there just for classes or just need a place to study, it’s arguably the nicest place on campus (unless there’s a view to NYC because I’m a sucker for the skyline). There’s tons of spaces like the super comfy chairs in Gateway South and the really cool recessed tables on the second floor of Gateway North.

Gateway Cafe – New small spot on campus to order food. If you’re around Babbio or Burchard and Red and Grey Cafe is too full, here’s a reminder that you don’t have to walk all the way to America’s Cup (ACup) or Colonel John’s (CJ’s). This new place is also really great for anyone living in River Terrace!

New Student Center – Formerly the Alexander House, it’s been fully renovated and is currently home to the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Student Life, and the Office of Community Standards and Title IX. It also is home to a few Student Organizations like The Stute (our school newspaper) and the Student Government Association (SGA).

Student Housing and University Center Construction – Over the summer, there’s been some exciting progress towards the new construction for a 3 story university center and residential towers. Everything is on schedule for a Fall 2022 opening and the towers already are above the 12th floors! Workers have been completing the floor of each tower every 4-5 days which is super exciting to see and I can’t wait to utilize the state-of-the art university center when it’s all done!

Jayden Pereira, Computer Engineering

International Student Advice

Hey everyone! I am so excited for you to join our incredible community. My name is CeCe Karol and I am a 3/5 Engineering Management student from Irvine, California. I am also one of the Peer Leaders for this year! It’s important to me that you feel welcome and have all the support you need as you embark on this new adventure. I know times are challenging for all of us adjusting to a new school year amid the COVID 19 crisis, but the Stevens community is strong with a great network of students and faculty for all of us to lean upon.

It can be a fantastic experience studying in the United States as an international student! At the same time, your adjustments may be a little different than your US born peers. This may include becoming comfortable with a new language, experiencing a new culture, eating unfamiliar foods, and managing the distance from home.

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Last year I had the opportunity to assist in the facilitation of international student orientation. Although I am not an international student myself, my experiences as a Peer Leader last year and being from the other side of the United States have provided me insight and some helpful tips for making the most out of your time at Stevens.

 

  1. Take advantage of campus resources. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office is committed to providing academic, personal, and professional resources. Do not hesitate to reach out to the ISSS office for anything relating to immigration services and other special programs. In addition, if you are confused about a topic in a course you are taking, do not be afraid to show up to a professor’s office hours or go to the Academic Support Center (ASC). Professors and tutors want you to succeed and are always willing to answer any questions you have and address your concerns.
  2. Join student clubs and organizations! Stevens has over 100 clubs and organizations that provide an opportunity for students of similar backgrounds to connect! These clubs will support you as you settle into life in the US and are also a great way to meet new friends. There really is a place for everyone here at Stevens and there may even be a community at Stevens for your country of origin!
  3. Find balance. As you settle into everyday school life at Stevens, don’t let the rigor of your classes limit yourself. Make sure to find a balance between your studies and self-care. I always find it super helpful to carry my planner with me to manage all my responsibilities! It is also important to find balance between relationships within and outside your culture. This will keep your experience more interesting and exciting.
  4. Look for ways to feel at home. Use food, music and art to help you feel more at home. I found it helpful to bring items that reminded me of my sunny Southern California home and photos of my friends and family to decorate my dorm room. I have also found Zoom, Skype and Facetime as ways to stay in touch with friends and family from home. Don’t forget the time zones though!

I hope the tips I shared will help. Remember, the Stevens community is a family and there is always someone there to support you. I look forward to welcoming you and seeing all that you will accomplish here at Stevens!

CeCe Karol, Engineering Management

 

Transfer Student Advice

Hey! My name is Matt Marsh and I am a junior Civil Engineering major from South Kingstown, RI. I transferred to Stevens before the spring of 2019, and I am more than happy with my decision.

At this point, I have taken classes at three different universities, and like me, I’m sure that you will find that Stevens is quite different from other institutions. Thus, it is important to figure out what makes you feel comfortable on and off campus in order to make your adjustment to Stevens life as seamless as possible! Obviously, the irregular circumstances of the upcoming semester pose a challenge with getting immersed in our campus life, but there will still be plenty of virtual events to attend!

Transfer Orientation, though in virtual form this year, will definitely introduce you to other transfer students, however it is important to get involved on campus as soon as possible. The Transfer Student Association is a great place to meet fellow transfers, and it is nice to have other students in your same situation to lean on for help or general advice! Additionally, simply knowing names and faces around campus will help you feel more comfortable during your time acclimating to Stevens.

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I would also encourage branching out and trying something else offered at Stevens. There are hundreds of unique clubs where you can meet many diverse students. The Corq app allows you to browse through all our organizations and see when they will be meeting. These connections with your more seasoned peers can be a great asset when you are lost or confused. I was happily surprised to find that almost anyone on campus is more than happy to help when you encounter a problem!

Remember, I was in the same position as you just a few years ago, so feel free to reach out to me at mmarsh@stevens.edu, or any of the other Peer Leaders with any questions you may have. I look forward to seeing you all online this fall, and hopefully around campus this spring!

Matt Marsh, Civil Engineering

Athlete Tips

Hi everybody! My name is Nicolas Re and I am a Junior Mechanical Engineering student here at Stevens! I pole vaulted all throughout high school, so naturally a large part in my college decision process was looking at the athletics program. Lucky for me, Stevens has an incredible athletics department with tons of conference championships and all-american athletes. Though holding such a standard can be intimidating at times, the amazing staff and even better friendships make it that much easier to adjust to collegiate competition.

If you are planning on joining a varsity team at Stevens, the most important thing to keep in mind (which will be iterated by coaches and athletes alike) is that academics comes first. In order to keep eligibility within athletics, as determined by the NCAA, a student must maintain at least a 1.70 cumulative GPA freshman year and a 2.00 GPA after. However, coaches and staff regularly check in on athletes and will give academic warnings below a certain GPA depending on the team (I believe track is a 3.00). But it is very rare to get to that point with all of the opportunities offered for help! For example, there are meetings twice a week for first year athletes that sort of act as a study hall. These meetings are usually run by an upperclassmen on the team and are a great way to collaborate on homework and get to know your fellow teammates! Speaking of which, your teammates are also a great resource for help in school. The upperclassmen of the track team have really helped me through some difficult courses and are always excited to do so. 

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Now that the boring part is out of the way, we can finally talk about athletics, specifically practices. One of the major concerns that haunts all first year students is early morning practices. Believe me, it is never easy to get up for a 7 AM lift, but there are ways to make it a little less terrible. First and foremost, GO TO BED EARLY. I know it sounds pretty obvious, but early bedtimes are not in most college kids’ vocabularies. I usually try to go to bed by 11:00 in season so that I can wake up ready to go. Second, get your homework done in advance. There have been quite a few times that I’m finishing my homework for my 9 AM class on the bus back from practice. It is not a good time and can usually be avoided by doing it the night before. Finally, make sure you eat breakfast. Even if it’s just a protein bar on your way out, you need something in your system to get energy from for practice. Training on an empty stomach can be unhealthy and sometimes dangerous so don’t forget to eat. But, when it all comes down to it, seeing your friends on the field or in the weight room will instantly cure your drowsiness and get you ready to practice your hardest every day.

So you made it through practice and school and now you are finally ready to compete! The first collegiate competition is scary for everybody. Everybody who made it this far is a great athlete, so your opponents will be harder to defeat than they were in high school. This is when you need to remember that you trained for this and you were good enough to make it this far. I remember my freshman year, I was in a huge slump. I didn’t clear a bar for my first three meets, and it wasn’t until I realized that I made the team for a reason and just had to have fun doing what I love that I started to improve. Of course you should always strive to be better in your sport, but save that for practice. Once the competition rolls around, you just need to execute and remember why you love doing what you do.

I hope this was helpful to anyone considering becoming a varsity athlete at Stevens and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at nre@stevens.edu! Can’t wait to meet you all in the fall!

Nicolas Re, Mechanical Engineering

 

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