Should you come here?

Hey! As you can see above, my name is Audrey, and I am a freshman Business major here at Stevens. I write this column every week, documenting the ups and downs of my freshman experience. You’re probably reading this because you want to know more about this school, and to make your life easier, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about what it’s like to go here.

Let’s start off with the $64,000 dollar question: why did I choose Stevens? Two reasons: location, and the quality of the programs. I was lucky to experience both during the summer of my junior going into my senior year through the Summer Pre-College program for business. Honestly, before googling “cheap summer programs for high school students,” I didn’t know Stevens existed. But I’m glad I made that google search, or I would be unhappy at my super-super safety school right now. Being close to the city gives you many opportunities to apply to for internships and co-ops. But don’t let those percentages that they flash in powerpoints fool you: it can take a lot of work on your own to get a job. The classes try to stress real-world relevancy and, even if your major is art or music, push you to learn about the technology aspects of your industry. As a business major, I’m learning Python and hope to learn R on my own. You don’t get that aspect of your major at a liberal arts school: you’d get a philosophy and communication-based boost. However, you can totally get that here too, if you seek it. 

College gives you the chance to re-invent yourself, but you really have to do a lot. Completely invest all your free time into these clubs, friends, or jobs. It’s like a buffet, at which you have a fresh plate. Will you eat what you always get, or eat something new? That’s your choice. For me, it was some activities that I always liked, and some completely new ones. I joined a service organization, Alpha Phi Omega, the CPAC board, and the newspaper. I never did these clubs in high school, but I wanted to change a little and take on a bit more responsibility. Responsibility is earned. You have to show enthusiasm, commitment, and be willing to take risks from the get-go. I’m a freshman, but I’m on the e-board of one, potentially two, major organizations on campus. Incredible things can happen if you give it your all and try to look out for others. And although Stevens is a close-knit community, it isn’t hard to stand out if you just do what you want to. 

Coming to Stevens, I wanted a small school. Do not come to Stevens if you don’t want a small school. You’ll see at least three people you know every time you step out of your room, whether you’re going to class, or falling on your face coming back from a party. Know that everyone knows everyone, or, everyone knows someone who knows everyone. Also, don’t come to Stevens if you don’t like math or science. This is a tech school, not liberal arts. Don’t regret coming here later, when you’re taking calc, physics, chem, and major specific classes, and your favorite class is CAL (English) and you wanted to be a teacher all along. Commit to Montclair and save your parents a lot of money.

The best hall to live in is Davis, after that Humphreys or Jonas, CPH, and then Hayden. Avoid Hayden if you can, as the showers are all only on one floor and there isn’t AC. Pierce Dining Hall… is getting better, they say. I still only eat pasta, pizza, and ice cream. I did gain a lot of weight, but only because I only ate carbs. Get into shape this summer, so that when you get here, you have some leeway. If you hate design, switch out of engineering. It’ll save you a lot of stress. Don’t take out loans to be here, unless you absolutely must. The ratio is visible. My micro class first semester had four girls out of forty students. If you join clubs or Greek life, making the best friends of your life is easier, and the ratio is less obvious. If you’re lucky enough to be pinnacle, don’t go around asking who else is pinnacle, or tell people which Ivies rejected you. No one cares.

You might be seeing a lot of negative stuff on Facebook, or even in this issue of the Stute about our school. Just know, that every school has its issues and that Stevens students don’t let things slide when something isn’t right. We show up to SGA meetings, we write petitions and march for solidarity. Many students and student leaders care about making this school a better place for everyone, and if that means uncovering something controversial, then we’ll do it. We’ll share it on Facebook, and make sure everyone is well informed about the situation in order to take the appropriate next steps, instead of brushing it under the rug.

Hope your weekend here was lovely, and maybe I’ll see you next year! Send me a message on Facebook or an email if you have any specific questions.