Being an out-of-state Osprey has been a unique and exciting experience. I was definitely nervous starting at a school where I knew no one. I felt out of place at first because Stockton’s student population was mostly from New Jersey, so everyone was familiar with the geography, local towns, and Jersey slang. In my first few days, I attended as many events as I could so that I could meet people and learn about the new place I was calling home. I met a large diverse group of people in those first few days, many of which are my friends to this day.
Getting involved early on made a huge difference in my transition from high school to college. Being heavily involved on campus now as a Resident Assistant, Admissions Ambassador, and Student Senator allowed me to invest myself in the Stockton community in so many ways. Engaging with fellow students, faculty and staff, and even the surrounding community has given me experiences and taught me lessons that I don’t think I would have learned anywhere else. I have been a part of several large events and programs, I even created and hosted my own event “I’m Not Homophobic” through Student Senate. I am currently trying to start a club for my fellow out-of-state students, where I hope to bring us together and build a community so that we have each other for long weekends when other residential students may go home.
While the transition to college from high school is never easy, being an out-of-state student does have its unique challenges, but Stockton has been so welcoming in all areas. The opportunities available to incoming first-year students and the amazing organizations that support you here set me up for success. Because of those first weeks here, I have grown so much as a person and as a leader, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Stockton’s incredible student support systems.
– Ambassador Garrett Testut