Students in Action

Jonathan Rivera

"Eckerd is my home away from home."

Jonathan Rivera
Major: Communication
Minor: Film
Tell us a little about yourself. What makes you a unique Eckerd student?

I am from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. I love to laugh and to make people laugh. I believe everything happens for a reason. Also, I have a slight obsession with penguins.

Why did you decide to attend EC?

I knew I wanted to attend a small Liberal Arts College for the small community and intimate academic atmosphere. So, when I discovered Eckerd at a Colleges That Change Lives college fair in New York, I fell in love with the school. Eckerd offered everything I wanted and needed academically. Also, I hate the snow, so the Florida weather and beach right on campus made my decision pretty easy. I didn't even tour the campus, I just came to Eckerd with the confidence it was the college for me. And I was right.

Do you have a "that's so Eckerd" moment? What is it?

On my Spring Break Service trip to Belize, a few other Eckerd students and I were sitting in a tree-house-jungle-gym during our break from service-work. A Belizean local handed us a coconut as a refreshment. I took my Camelback water bottle straw and stuck into the coconut. We then passed the coconut around, each drinking coconut water through the straw. A bunch of EC students hanging out in a tree house drinking coconut water through a camelback bottle straw doesn't get more Eckerd than that. We were truly "thinking outside."

How has Eckerd changed your life?

Eckerd has offered me an environment where I feel completely comfortable being myself. Eckerd has facilitated my journey to discovering who I am and more importantly, who I strive to be in the future. Furthermore, the people I have met at Eckerd, students, staff and faculty, have all helped prove that Eckerd produces some of the most well-rounded, amiable and intelligent people I know. Being a part of this community has instilled this philosophy of positivity in my life and my goal to pass on positivity to others.

What are some traits or characteristics found in most Eckerd students?

Open-mindedness, positivity, diligence, friendliness and attractiveness inside and out.

When did you know you made the right choice coming to Eckerd?

First semester Freshman year: I connected with so many people of different backgrounds and ages. I truly felt welcome and embraced by the community. I also knew I wanted to make sure everyone I met felt the same way. Once I became a part of the Eckerd culture, I knew Eckerd was where I belonged.

How do you describe the social scene at Eckerd?

Eckerd's social scene is eclectic. There is always something to do for everyone, no matter who you are. There are always different options available to students which is nice because sometimes it's refreshing to change up your routine. Eckerd's school events are fun and sometimes really random, like an Eckerd Snow Day in February, but nevertheless always fun.

What are some of your favorite things at Eckerd? (professor, organization, class, club, event, café meal, etc.)

Eckerd's location and campus. St. Pete is a great place to be with so many things to discover and enjoy. Campus is gorgeous. Friends of mine who don't go to Eckerd jokingly refer to Eckerd as a resort with classes. I feel pretty lucky to live on such a beautiful campus. Kappa Karnival is my favorite Eckerd event. Everyone is just happy and having a blast together. It never ceases to deliver a great time for everyone.

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