Ready for Stetson Life?

Are you ready for life on campus as a Hatter? For incoming first-year students, college will certainly be fun, exciting and an absolute new adventure. Yet, don’t be too sure that you will be totally ready. College life has its demands, too, particularly at first.

So, here are some words of advice from experts — students who are already at Stetson and have thrived on campus.

Go with the Flow

 Leonardo Giorgioni 

“Just let yourself flow. Let yourself experience a lot of things as much as you can and don’t restrict yourself to anything, because it is all fun. I feel like most people could be afraid of trying new things. I’m in a new country as an international student, and my parents never attended a university, so I have to concentrate. But you also need to let yourself be free to experience college.” 

A first-year student, Leonardo Giorgioni arrived in January from Spain for the Spring 2023 semester.

Always Something to Do

Mia Tejeda

“Get yourself out there when you get to college. Get out of your dorm room. There’s always something to do, always something to do. … There are so many things on campus — you just walk out of your dorm and you have activities to attend. Don’t be afraid. That’s all I can say because there are opportunities everywhere.”

Mia Tejeda first arrived on campus in August 2022 from Tampa, Florida. She is the first in her family to attend a U.S. college. 

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Isaac Mendez

“I think the biggest thing I can say is that college life can be scary. But the best thing that you can do is really try to get out of your comfort zone. You have to put yourself out there. By putting yourself out there and kind of just asking others for help, it’s really beneficial. It’s helped me a lot — to be able to develop within my own self and figure stuff out. So, I would say, ‘Take the chance, find the resources, find your community, find the things that work best for you.’”

Isaac Mendez graduated in May 2023 with a degree health sciences. He was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Stay on the Move

Brooke O’Brien

“I would say definitely go out to the events and the tabling (a popular activity at the center of the Stetson campus, where organizations promote their interests). Try to join some organizations — because making a lot of friends here has been the biggest help to me.”

Mostly wheelchair bound, Brooke O’Brien typically can be seen moving throughout the campus. She arrived at Stetson from nearby Orange City in August 2022.

Put Yourself First

Kristine Lynn Rodriguez

“Sometimes it feels a little heavy on your shoulders, especially if you’re the first one in your family to go to college. You have this opportunity. You feel pressure to be successful for your parents and for the rest of your family back home. But make sure to put yourself first — your health, no matter what you do. In the grand scheme of things, your parents and family are always going to support you.”

Kristine Lynn Rodriguez will be a junior at Stetson in fall 2023. She is a member of Stetson’s Asian Pacific American Coalition and the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. 

You Know What’s Best for You

Jaimy Lee Cotto De Jesús

“Stick to your guns. A lot of people will try to tell you how you should do certain things. And while you should listen, you know what’s best for you. For example, marketing is good for me. But that may not be the what’s best for you. And definitely, if you have a goal in mind and that’s what you want to do, stick to it and stick to a routine. If you start going off your path, you’re not going to get where you want to go. So that’s why I always say, ‘Stick to your guns.’”

A marketing major, Jaimy Lee Cotto De Jesús came to Stetson in fall 2022. She began in the Discovery Program, exploring multiple possible majors, before finding her path.