By Kelly Mulligan
I discovered the name “Stevenson University” while I was a senior in high school. My advisor told me to use a search engine to locate universities that matched my needs. I had originally planned to study computer science in college, but at the last minute, I changed my direction and chose to study fashion merchandising (because let’s be honest, computer science is REALLY hard. Too hard for me to study). Stevenson was a great pick for me- the small school, individual attention from professors, and the people I would meet made it all the better.
Freshman year might have been one of the best years of my life. I met tons and tons of new people and made more friends than I could’ve ever believed. One night while walking with my roommate outside of Rockland after leaving a club event, we passed by some students playing Uno outside of Pandini’s. I was a HUGE fan of the game, and when I said so, members of the group invited my roommate and me to join them for a game – we’ve been friends ever since I spent the first half of my freshman year meeting as many new people as I could, and I made new friends left and right. A few of my new friends invited me to go to a video-game tournament with them on campus. I had a great time and many of the video gamers became yet another group I enjoyed being with. One of them even turned out to be the love of my life.
The COVID-19 pandemic took a lot away from us. I know too many people who decided to drop out or transfer during the pandemic. I felt as if the ladder half of my sophomore year and my entire junior year were taken away from me. I still believe this pandemic continues, but thankfully safety measures and vaccines have helped me finally enjoy my senior year of college.
At the end of my junior year, I had submitted a form on the SU Now Portal for housing saying I was a party of one looking for roommates my following year. One girl reached out to me and asked if I could join her party of three, and I accepted. Come move-in day, my roommates invited some of their friends over. Turns out, those people were friends of mine as well!
Since then, we’ve all consistently hung out together.
As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy going to loud bars, and sticky house parties surrounded by boring people who won’t remember my name ten minutes after I tell them aren’t my forte, I had to find other ways to make the most of my senior year. The friend group I joined in the beginning of my senior year did bi-weekly movie nights, where each week, we watched a different one of the movies in the Muppets franchise. This coming week we will be collectively making a tier-list on which Muppet movies we believe are the best and the worst. This friend group and I always make the most of our time together, including giving a Viking funeral for our pet fish, Gonzo, after he met his fate.
At the end of my very last semester, I hosted one final video game tournament, much like the ones I attended my freshman year. I had invited alumni Mustangs and current Stevenson students to attend and compete. The man who hosted the events years ago (aka my boyfriend, David), and I were an iconic duo and made it the best video game tournament Stevenson ever saw.
I truly believe the students I have met at Stevenson are the greatest people I’ve ever met. I made more friends in my first four months as a freshman at Stevenson than in all my years in high school. These friends continue to be the people I choose to surround myself with every day. Graduating is a terrifying feeling. I’m going to miss the feeling of getting up, walking to class, and sitting down in a fun and interactive learning environment alongside my peers. I’m going to miss walking down the hill to get food at Tropical Smoothie with my roommates. I’m going to miss hanging out at the School of Design with my film major friends. I’m going to miss the bi-weekly Muppet movie nights with my best friends.
Most of all, I am going to miss Stevenson, and the community it has given to me these past four years. Thank you, Stevenson.