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

What to Pack

Hi everyone. My name is Matthew Danski and I am a 3/4 Chemical Engineering major from Jackson, New Jersey. Moving away from home has an added stress this year as opposed to others. In order to help ease some of the worries off of you, I am here to help you decide what to bring to campus and what to leave at home. The Stevens campus and community may look different this year, but we are willing and ready to welcome you all into our community on Castle Point.

Safety is our top priority this year for both you and our community. Therefore the first things that you should pack should be personal protective equipment. New Jersey is very strict on following the CDC’s guidelines to slow the spread Covid-19. With this being said it is important you pack a supply of face masks and hand sanitizer. You will not be allowed into class or any stores without a face mask and hand sanitizer should be applied regularly when hand washing is not an option. It is important that you get tested for Covid-19 before coming to campus and get your flu shot before leaving home.

Aside from personal protective equipment there are plenty of things you might forget to bring so hopefully this list will help to prevent that.

What to bring:

Umbrella – Weather is very unpredictable in New Jersey and we receive plenty of rain.

Liquid Laundry Detergent – The pods, in my opinion, do not work as well and get stuck on the door of the washers.

Mattress Topper – An extra layer of comfort is always needed.

Extra Towels – Depending on which dorm you live in humidity can be a problem and your towels might take longer than you expect to dry.

Command Hooks – Damaging the dorm walls is not allowed so these offer a safe way to hang anything you would like.

Microwave and Mini fridge – Indoor dining is still closed in New Jersey so you will probably be eating most meals in your dorm.

Bathroom Necessities – Toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, hairbrush, deodorant, hand soap, body soap, shampoo, allergy medicine, and Tylenol.

Photographs – Nothing decorates and personalizes a space like pictures that make you happy.

Water Filter and Reusable Bottle – Hoboken is not known for having the best water and this is a cost effective alternative to plastic water bottles.

Something to keep you physically active – Gyms are still closed in New Jersey, so keeping active will be harder than ever.

The special circumstances we are in this year means we all have a responsibility to keep others safe; with that being said if others choose to fail to meet these standards it is possible you all could be sent home with very little notice. This leads to some items being on this list that would not normally be there.

What to leave at home:photo_2020-07-20_14-43-55

Large T.V.’s – Dorm rooms do not really have space for them and they are a hassle to move. Opt instead for a small monitor or just use your laptop if possible.

Party clothes – As a community we have all made a promise to adhere to social distancing guidelines so parties will not be occurring this semester.

Coins for laundry – All laundry at Stevens is free.

Furniture – Bringing outside furniture is not allowed, you will be provided with everything you need.

Space heaters or fans – All Stevens dorms have heating and cooling.

Iron – If you hang your clothes as soon as they are done in the dryer they will stay wrinkle free.

Pet fish – Unless you have the proper training to take care of a fish properly I highly advise against getting one. I can not tell you how many people I know who’s fish died in their dorm. Opt instead for a low maintenance plant or succulent such as aloe.

Matthew Danski, Chemical 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


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