Kayla Spence

IMG_1454My name is Kayla and I am a junior here at STJ. I am majoring in Health and Human Services and minoring in Business. This fall I begin my term as President of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).  I started here in fall 2012 as a transfer student. I left Los Angeles looking for a new adventure, and neither NYC nor STJ has disappointed. I have made some amazing friends (the litter) and it doesn’t matter whether we are out in the city, or hanging out in the hen pen (Henley Hall), we are always having way too much fun.

Final Goodbyes

August 30, 2013

Final Goodbyes

“You’ve done this before, it’s okay.” That’s what I tell myself as I watch my dad pack up the car. I tell my mom how much I love her and how excited I am to go back to my friends. I give my brother a hug and give him some lame speech about making good choices or something an older sister is supposed to say. Then I’m silent in the car ride to the airport. My dad pulls up and I get out give him a hug and walk in.

I’m going back to my girls and my unbelievable boyfriend. Still I will get on that plane and begin crying. As you move in tomorrow and your parents pull away I want you to know that it’s okay to feel torn. Happy and excited to meet new people and finally have some freedom but at the same time sad and scared because you’re missing the one thing that has always been there for you, your family.

My first year at SJU I had an amazing roommate who used to quote Carrie Bradshaw like it was her day job. She told me that “The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.” So yeah I’ll admit I cry a little on that 7 hour plane ride because saying goodbye to my family is hard.  I’m always reminded by my old roommate that family isn’t always blood and I will always have a second one with the litter (regardless of what city or country we are all in).

So cry on the plane or car ride. You’re allowed to be nervous. You’re allowed to be scared. Just remember you’re not saying goodbye to your family, you’re just making a new one here at SJU.


Transfer Advice

August 13, 2013

The waiting game has begun! New transfers like most of you are patiently waiting for your housing packets and dying to move in to your dorms. I remember playing that waiting game last summer so in order help you guys out I have asked a couple of my fellow transfer students to answer some of your questions.

1. What was the hardest part of transferring?

Darylin: The hardest part was that I didn’t know anyone, and my family wasn’t there to help me adjust. I didn’t get that extra push from them. Once I was here it was all up to me. Of course I got the pep talks on the phone, but it wasn’t the same. It’s hard coming from so far but you learn to be independent.

Sarah M: Not knowing what to expect and wondering if I would make any friends. I learned that if I was myself and put myself out there eventually I would meet some amazing people.

Manny: Leaving my family was hard because I come from a family of 8 and so we are use to being around each other all the time so leaving that safety net was definitely an experience. I dealt with it by consistently keeping myself busy with the many of activities that St. John’s has to offer.

2. What was the best decision you’ve made so far at SJU?

Kelly: Studying abroad hands down! I went in the spring with the friends I made in my first semester at SJU. I got to experience new things with them and some people we met along the way. Going to school in three different countries was awesome. The global studies office was helpful and the process was easy! Everyone should discover the world!

Manny: Joining a fraternity because it gave me an unlimited network of people to be able to associate myself with and a forever-lasting bond of brotherhood that will follow me for the rest of my life. Plus with all the community service and leadership development training that I have received I know I will be prepared many years after graduation.

Tricia: Getting involved with Red Zone because I love the whole sports aspect of school. The Red Zone is the student section for all St. John’s sports. We do BBQs, giveaways, and trips. Follow us on twitter @SJURedZone and look for us at the activities fair!

3. What is the best advice you have for new transfers?

Kayla: Get involved. From day one hit the ground running. Join a club or a sport. I used to go through the halls of Henley just to make conversation with people. If you sit in your room all day you aren’t going to make friends. Transferring is hard because you feel like you’ve already missed out, but that’s even more of a reason to get out of your comfort zone!

Mike: Have a plan. Going somewhere new and not knowing anyone is tough enough. If you go in not knowing what you’re doing there it’ll be easy to become extremely overwhelmed.

Sarah P: Don’t work yourself up and be nervous. You made the right choice.

Transferring is stressful but you’re not alone. One reason I picked SJU was all the resources they offer you. I hope this post made you even more excited to start school and confident in your decision.  Have more questions for any of us? Just comment below and I promise we will try and answer them.

Welcome to SJU!

– Kayla

Summer Plans!

May 23,  2013

I never expected to fall in love with New York and St. John’s as much as I have my first year here. As I have said before I came from Los Angeles and it was all I had ever known. However I have decided to stay and spend my summer here at STJ. I got a job working for the conference services department on campus as a student ambassador. I get to spend my summer giving tours of the city to international students that are staying at St. John’s.  It is quite possibly the coolest job ever. Especially  because it comes with free housing! I get to stay the whole summer in the hen pen (Henley Hall).

Many people ask me why I don’t want to go home for the summer, and quite frankly my whole life is really here now. My friends all will be in the city (hopefully! Fingers crossed you get the house guys!) and my boyfriend lives in CT which is only about an hour and a half away. I couldn’t imagine going the whole summer without my best friends.

I definitely miss home a lot, but I have made my own family here at STJ. They have helped me through so much this year that I couldn’t imagine not getting to spend the whole summer with them. So for all the future johnnies worried about coming from so far (shout out to my CA people!) my advice is don’t stress it! Soon enough you’ll love it here and never want to go home.


April 19, 2013

In just a few short weeks seniors all around will be graduating. I remember graduating high school and how scary and exciting the whole experience was. I sat up the whole night decorating my cap, finding the perfect dress, and reminiscing with my best friends. Graduating high school ended a chapter of my life and began another major one – college. Unlike a majority of my friends I didn’t go away to school. I chose community college. It was really hard watching my friends have new experiences and make new friends while I was essentially in high school all over again.

Then it finally came my time to go away, and I ran as far as possible. I came to STJ looking for the “college experience”.  I wanted to make friends that would last forever and have some crazy stories to tell when I’m older.

This year has exceeded all my expectations. I found amazing friends from all over. I am so blessed to have one more year here at St. John’s and I am only sad that a few of my friends are moving on. One is going back to England, and I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to meet her through the STJ exchange program. I’ll miss our under 21 parties, and her awesome accent. I am also watching another friend graduate. She has been like the big sister I never had. She first introduced me to the C-Store, showed me all the great places in Queens, and even got me a job on campus.

The goodbyes are going to be hard, but they aren’t forever. STJ had given me friends for life in just one short year. I can only imagine how many more amazing friends and memories I will make next fall.

First Blog!

April 8, 2013

Well this is exciting my very first blog post. I have been thinking long and hard about what I wanted to talk about first. I decided I wanted to tell you a little bit more about an amazing man that unfortunately you will never get the chance to meet.

Professor Franklin Camerano was the chair of the health and human services department and my faculty advisor. I’ve also had the privilege of taking three classes with him, one I am currently enrolled in. On Monday, March 18th, the American College of Healthcare Executives club on campus hosted a spring healthcare panel. It was a great event in which students got to hear from major administrators at both New York Presbyterian Hospital and New York Queens Hospital. Of course as club advisor Professor Camerano attended. He spoke with each and every one of us, and then tragically passed away shortly afterwards.

That’s the thing about the professors here at STJ – they care. He cared about me not just as a student but also as a person. He frequently asked how I was handling the adjustment after transferring, and was always available to talk to. So this first post is about a great mentor who impacted the St. John’s community in a tremendous way. I hope that when you begin here you develop a relationship with a professor, like I did with Professor Camerano. It truly has made all the difference in my experiences here at St. John’s University.

2 Responses to Kayla Spence

  1. hi,kayla,i’m pranabesh from india.i,m in the pharmacy field.i heard about the university a lot.can u tell me about the pharmacy deparment?

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