Annie Yu: How did you end up at New Paltz?
Steve Hodgens: I chose New Paltz because of the atmosphere and academics, specifically the business program and the intimacy of it. And I love the town, the tie-dye, the hippies on the street, the grime. And the financial aspect of course was important. It was cheaper than any other private school.
AY: What are some of your fondest memories at New Paltz?
SH: I loved every second with my friends and I think that experience is my fondest experience and outweighs all the academia. I love that everyone single one of my friend’s apartments has a name. La Cucaracha. La Cantina. I’m upset that in my last semester, Clare Ford isn’t here. She’s studying abroad in Australia. I seriously met the best people I’ll ever know in New Paltz.
AY: Where is your favorite place to go to in town?
SH: My favorite place to go in the town of New Paltz is the mountains, the Overlook and Cow Spot. Cow Spot is this way on the Rail Trail where you can look over the mountains and see the cows and there’s a stream running there. It’s a good place to have wine with some friends.
AY: What has been the best part of New Paltz in general?
SH: I think that New Paltz allowed me to come out, which is a big thing. It is a wholesome, all encompassing community so it was easy to find my own identity here and break away from my high school self. Break away from the fake person I had developed and New Paltz made that fricken easy. So that’s been the most important thing to me that New Paltz has provided.
AY: If your friends had to classify you as an animal, what would they say you are and why?
SH: Perhaps a grasshopper. Because I am tenacious and driven, but I also chill, hop around. I’m always moving and can kind of be annoying sometimes. Yeah, grasshopper.
AY: Speaking of graduation, what are your plans for after graduation?
SH: I am taking a year off to do some internships and travel. I am going to Chile to visit Ryan Reutershan, who will be studying abroad there. And Greece to visit some other friends. And then I’m applying to seven grad schools and I’ll go to one of those in September 2012.
AY: What advice would you give to the incoming class?
SH: Get out of your room. Be outside. Have an open mind towards people who aren’t like you. That’s what college is for.