Seniors Share How They Have Grown From Their Freshman Year Mistakes

Rowan Prof outside of Savitz Hall

Rowan seniors Stephania Bocanegra, Alexander Brown and Aaron Lee reveal how their freshmen year mistakes helped them grow into the student leaders they are today.  

Stephania Bocanegra, a Civil and Environmental Engineering major from Cape May, NJ (Cape May County), currently lives on campus as a Resident Assistant at Victoria Apartments. Stephania started off at a community college and transferred to Rowan.

“I wish I kept the work ethic I had as an honors student in high school to my first year of college,” she says. “By the time I transferred, I didn’t feel as prepared because I slacked off a bit in community college. My grades were good, but I didn’t need to work as hard. When I got to Rowan, I needed to start working harder because the classes were very different.”

Stephania quickly got into a groove at Rowan and began to flourish in the college environment. She is the Student Government Association officer for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the United Latinos Association.

Stephania poses with flowers in background.
Stephania Bocanegra

Alexander Brown is a Music Industry Business Major with minors in  and Africana Studies and Music and a Vocal Concentration. He is originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica and currently lives on campus as a Resident Assistant in Chestnut Hall. He shared that as a freshman, he didn’t take advantage of all of the extracurricular options that are available at Rowan. “I was more focused on adjusting myself to college life, so I was nervous to try too many new things. As I continued to grow, I tried to join organizations and clubs to put myself out there and get involved to meet new people,” he says.

As a senior, Alex is now the President of Profecy Acapella Club and the Treasurer of music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha.

Alexander Brown stands near Wilson Hall.
Alexander Brown

Aaron Lee is a Chemistry and Public Relations double major from Portsmouth, Virginia. “A mistake I made my freshman year was not tapping into the resources around me,” he says. “Coming out of high school, I thought I had everything figured out, so I didn’t take advantage of a lot of things. Whether that was the tutoring services or even just sitting in the library to do my work instead of my room, I assumed that I could handle things the same way I always did. But college is very different. As I got older, I grew a lot by using what’s available on campus.” 

Aaron is now the Assistant Resident Director of Evergreen and Magnolia Halls, an Orientation Leader and the President of both the Anime and Improv Clubs.

Aaron Lee in front of library columns.
Aaron Lee

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, junior public relations and advertising major

Photography by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major 

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