Today we speak with Maria Rivero, a junior communication studies major from North Bergen, Hudson County, who lives on campus in Holly Pointe Commons residence hall. Maria will share her #PROFspective with us on what it’s like to be a Rowan University student and how she’s getting the most out of her college experience as a Rowan Prof.
Hometown and County: North Bergen, NJ (Hudson County)
National Hall Honorary (NRHH); assistant director for the Honors Murder Mystery
Do you work on campus?
This is my second year as a resident assistant. I am a freshman RA and I absolutely love my job! I am also an Admissions ambassador. I am also a mentor for my scholarship program, Achieving the Dream; (I do not get paid to do this but I get a scholarship increase, which to me is payment).
Why did you choose your major?
I choose my major because I was interested in seeing how people communicate and the creation of meanings that we do with our words. Once I entered the major I was only interested in interpersonal communication but after one year in it I found that I am interested in rhetorical/cultural communication and how we create meaning through our words.
One reason why you chose Rowan?
I choose Rowan not just because it was the most affordable one, because it was, but because it was the first college out of the 12 that my family visited with me and I loved the vibe of it and any college that I visited after did not compare. I fell in love with Rowan after just being on campus so I knew that this was the college for me.
My Typical Day as a Rowan Student:
My days at Rowan are a bit busy. I tend to have to be super flexible every day. The only thing that I have guaranteed is the fact that I have classes and homework! I have many different responsibilities on campus that, depending on the day, control the way my day goes.
My Tuesdays start nice because I do not have to wake up early. I go to class at 9:30 a.m. This is honors Mapping. I did not know what this class was about when I chose it and it has been a struggle from the beginning. However, I never knew how important maps where and how persuasive they can be. Our final project will consist of a topic of our choosing and I will get to search for data and then create my own persuasive map to tell a story.
Directly after this class I go to my New Media Production class. This is my hardest class this semester because I realized that I am not so good at creating new media. In that class we do “create your own adventure” web projects. The current one that I am working on is called “The Second Shift,” meant to portray a daily routine of women who are expected to be a successful professional, a great mother, a great wife and still have time for self-care. My first project showed a day in the life of an RA. Although it is difficult, when I finish a project I see how hard I worked and I feel so happy. This class ends at 3:15 p.m. I eat snacks throughout both classes because I get so hungry.
The food court is my savior for my busy days. After these classes, I go to the food court, grab something, and then I am on the go. I go to Holly Pointe, where I am an RA, shower, and then update the four to-do lists that I have on my several white boards and planners.
I then most likely will have an Achieving the Dream meeting or I might have to attend a meeting with my freshmen mentees. This program gives us a scholarship and in return we attend meetings and we have to do things, such as attend a career fair or finish one leadership certificate on Proflink. The whole idea for this program is to not only give us the opportunity to attend college but also give us the skills to stay and succeed at college. I am an ATD mentor as well. Freshmen get mentors and have to attend mentor circles where they can have someone for them and teach them how to apply things we learn in class and in meeting into everyday life.
I get back to my room at around 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. During this time, depending on the amount of homework I have due for the next day, I go around knocking on my residents doors to see how they are or they will knock on my door. If I have many assignments, then I take the time to get my desk ready to do work. I take another nice shower; this is my favorite way to refresh and de-stress.
At 9:30 p.m., I have an RA staff meeting. I love my staff this year so much because we are all so diverse and unique. Holly Pointe Commons is a brand new building and it has not always been a piece of cake as we go through the normal bumps of living in a new building. There have been many things happening in this building and The Curve staff stays strong and flexible to ensure we meet everyone’s needs. We have been able to work around anything that is thrown at us to make sure students feel comfortable. Staff meetings usually end at around 11 p.m. At this time I go to my room, do some homework assignments, and then finally go to sleep.
I cannot lie and say that I am not stressed out most of the time and that I am tired and feel overwhelmed. However, being in college is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love all of my jobs on campus. Being an RA, Admissions ambassador, and ATD mentor have helped me become a better public speaker, a leader, a sociable person, a critical thinker, a problem solver, etc. Because of this, I realized that I want to go into higher education student affairs. Rowan University has changed me for the better in every way. If home is where the heart is, then Rowan University is my home because ever since day one I fell completely in love and I haven’t stopped falling.
We are #RowanPROUD and we are Rowan Profs! Not exactly sure what a Prof is? It’s our owl mascot, Whoo RU. Read about him here.
Story organized by:
senior public relations majors Jen Green and Natalia Panfilova