Today we feature incoming first year students Ariana Benitez, Soorya B., Abby Titus (she/they), Leila Underwood (she/her), and Dallas Hainsworth (she/her). Ariana is from Bergen County, NJ and will be living on campus as a Psychology and Exercise Science major. Soorya is from Princeton, NJ (Mercer County) and will be living on campus as a Psychological Science and Mathematics major. Abby is from Wayne, NJ (Passaic County) and will be living on campus as a Biological Sciences major. Leila is from Philadelphia, PA and will be living on campus as a Psychology (BS) major. Dallas is from Philadelphia, PA and will be living on campus as a Psychology major with a minor in Psychology of Sport & Exercise.
Welcome to Rowan! Could you share with us one thing you are looking forward to in college?
Ariana: I look forward to entering the world as an independent woman. I want to learn new things, meet new people, and discover who I am.
Abby: I’m definitely looking forward to meeting and befriending my peers but also getting to participate in class discussions and intentionally pursue my academic goals alongside them.
Leila: I am most excited for the new environment and how I will adapt to it. I will be entering Rowan on a mission to learn myself, the material, and to enjoy the journey while doing it.
Dallas: I’m looking forward to being challenged academically and learning the most I can about my major.
What clubs, intramural sports, student activities, etc. are you most looking forward to at Rowan?
Ariana: I’m looking forward to joining Rowan’s MMA Club, Photography Club, getting into wrestling, and maybe some volleyball.
Soorya: I’m looking forward to getting involved in social justice activism, and may also participate in springboard diving.
Abby: Definitely theater and possibly jazz band.
Leila: I am extremely interested in any Dance teams and Greek life. My mind is also 100% set on that swimming club!
Dallas: I’m most looking forward to playing hockey for the Rowan University Women’s Ice Hockey team.
Please share a few likes or interests that you have!
Ariana: I am the top female wrestler in my home county at 126 and highly enjoy staying active. I love working out, going to the gym, wrestling, and playing volleyball.
Abby: I love listening to/performing music, and some of the instruments I play are the violin, guitar, and piano. I also love reading and watching movies, especially media that involves countercultural themes.
Leila: Some of my interests include reading, TV shows/movies, painting, and music. I also love random driving trips with friends to unspecified destinations.
Dallas: I love animals. I have five pets, three dogs, and two cats. I am also very interested in Marvel Comics and movies, the Harry Potter franchise, and Disney. I also love to read and enjoy spending time with my family.
Do you have advice for other high school seniors who haven’t committed to a school yet?
Ariana: I would tell them to take their time when choosing what college to attend. Make sure where they end up is going to be what’s best for them and where they’ll have the best time, these years are crucial.
Abby: Don’t let superficial factors such as school ranking and academic hype (such as the Ivy League label) pressure you into going somewhere you feel won’t be the best fit for you. It’s important to find a place where you know you’ll feel right at home, and that is inevitably gonna look different for everyone.
Leila: Do what is best for YOU and your future. Do not choose for friends, do not choose for a parent, or for what you think is expected of you. Any great school can provide you with the tools you need for your future, so make sure that you pay attention to the costs.
Dallas: Take your time and find somewhere you feel really comfortable, don’t feel pressured to pick a certain school that you might regret later on. Pick a school that has everything you’re looking for, don’t just compromise.
What is one thing about Rowan itself that you liked that encouraged you to enroll?
Ariana: I love the small class sizes, having a one-on-one connection with future professors was a big factor in my decision to commit to Rowan.
Soorya: I liked that they have a Center for Neurodiversity.
Abby: I really admired Rowan’s strong sense of community and focus on interpersonal relationships but also the emphasis that is placed on individual wellbeing and really taking care of all parts of yourself. A lot of schools don’t even really acknowledge their student populations in this manner or consider them for anything more than their academic influence or reputation or the money they can provide to the establishment, so this was just exceptionally refreshing to me.
Leila: Truly, I came on the tour with no intention of liking the school, however I loved it. The peaceful campus and close-knit community gave me hope and relief in a stressful decision making time.
Dallas: I liked the sense of community and how beautiful the campus is.
Like what you see?
Skyla Everwine, english and writing arts major