The following is North alumnus John Owens’ response to our questions about his college decision process, the student life and culture at Rowan University, and more.
Owens graduated from North in 2017. He is a part of Rowan University’s class of 2021.
I decided to attend Rowan because of the consistency that the coach, Dustin Dimit, showed me. Rowan is also one of the best division III track programs in the nation.
During my visit, I just loved the size of the campus and the amount of students. At the time I committed Rowan had about 16,000 undergraduates, which is the size I was going for.
Rowan was one of the few colleges that allowed me to participate in both football and track. The other university that allowed me to do that was Monmouth University. I also knew going into Rowan that my coach would be an Olympic Long Jumper Norman Tate.
The decision to commit to Rowan came fairly quick for me; I realized that the coaching staff in Dustin Dimit and Norman Tate would be the best match for my competitive nature.
The school is also only an hour away from home, which is something that mattered to me a lot. I wanted to be close enough where I can visit.
I’m currently doing great. I enjoy Rowan a lot. I am a Health Promotion Wellness Management major.
Photo Credit: rowan.edu
I have made a ton of new friends, and a couple of really close friends. I am a 2xNCAA DIII national qualifying Long Jumper.
I’m glad I committed to Rowan. Freshman year was rough for me because I was living in New Jersey on my own. I had a lot of help from Brian Gould and Matthew Warren when my mom left and moved back to Georgia. But choosing to stay at Rowan has been one of my best decisions I’ve made.
I do get homesick, I often visit North to see my old coaches and teachers from high school and even middle school. I will never forget where I came from and will always pay my respect to those who put so much time into my life, even when I couldn’t see my own potential. My old teachers and coaches are like my family.
As for my best friends from high school, we talk everyday, just like we have since middle school. We may not get to talk all the time, but we put the work in to keep our friendships together. So I never miss them, because I hear from them often. Can’t be homesick when home is always with you.
From the WW-P area, I miss the garlic knots. You would be surprised at the lack of good pizza places in South Jersey. I also miss our Bagels—shout-out to Bagel Street. There is nothing like a French toast bagel after an 8AM football practice during the summer.
I also miss my church from back home. It’s been very different trying to find a new one over here.
Photo Credit: snjtoday.com
My favorite part about Rowan is definitely my track team and my job at the Rowan Rec Center; they’ve introduced me to the greatest group of people I’ve met in college and have consistently proved to me that I can make friends anywhere. They are such an awesome group of people. If you can, I definitely recommend working on campus and stepping out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it.
The hardest thing about attending Rowan is the food. I don’t have a meal plan anymore. When I did, I just remember it being very difficult to find a decently healthy meal. You get tired of eating at the salad bar and the make-your-own sandwich station all the time. Then you have the pizza bar, which is disgusting if you have only had Aljon’s over the last couple years.
I would say Rowan has a lot to fix in terms of the culture. They do a good job of providing free after school activities for students, but they need to work on making them more known.
They really try not to, but the professors give students so much work that a lot of the time, it’s overwhelming. During finals week you will literally lose your mind. Some days you have four finals in a row on top of papers and quizzes. Rowan just needs to give their students a lower workload in order for us to enjoy the facilities they give us. Then maybe Rowan students would be better able to mingle and create new friend groups.
Photo Credit: snjtoday.com
In college always be safe, but try to step out of your comfort zone. It’s okay to experience new things. Make new friends and meet new people. It will be scary at first because you are all used to seeing the same people your whole life, but you never know who you can meet. If you find it hard to make friends, JOIN A CLUB.
If you’re an athlete who didn’t make the college team, try a club team—they travel just as much, and it’s super competitive. If you can’t make the club team, make a team with some people, or join or team at your schools Rec center.
Use the library, ask for help, and make friends with your academic advisor(s). They will help you so much.