Interview with a 2020 graduate

Genna Nucci, a 2020 Saint Stephen’s graduate, gives us the inside scoop about what attending the University of Alabama is truly like.

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Genna Nucci posing with friends in front of her sorority.

Lina Graf, Social Media Manager

Former Gauntlet Social Media Manager and Saint Stephen’s 2020 graduate, Genna Nucci is currently attending the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and pursuing a degree in Communications and Information Sciences with a minor in Business Management. I asked Genna a little bit about what it’s like to attend one of the nation’s biggest football schools.

Why did you choose the University of Alabama?

“I wanted to go to a big football school over a small liberal arts college, for example, because I wanted to be able to have the experience of big lectures, a large and diverse student body, and a strong athletic program (specifically football). I wanted to be able to walk around campus and always see new faces. But, I also wanted to stay close to home and Alabama perfectly fit the criteria. Also, while touring, I fell in love with the campus and the people (everyone is really nice!).”

How did you choose Alabama?
“The process I went through to choose Alabama was kind of difficult. I originally found Alabama because of an old Saint Stephen’s alumna, Taylor McCart. We were on the cheer team together my freshman year, and I saw how much she loved ‘Bama, which made me want to look more into it. The only problem was that my mom really wanted me to stay in-state. After various meetings with Ms. Schuman and a lot of convincing, my mom finally agreed to go take me on a college tour there. After that, my decision was very easy- Alabama was my dream school, and I had to go there.”

Would you rather attend a big state school or a small university?

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Do you have any advice?
“Some advice that I have is to really explore your college options. I never thought that I would be going to a school out-of-state, yet the schools outside of FL were the ones that I loved the most.”

Attending a big state school is a big deal. How did you know it was right for you?
“I didn’t always know that I wanted to go to a big state school until I toured both private and public universities. The large campus, busy social scene, the Greek life, and athletics made me really fall in love with going to a huge state school. I really came to that decision by the feeling I got when touring big schools like Alabama and FSU versus smaller schools like High Point University.”

How does a student know attending a big state school is the right move?
“I believe that a student will know attending a big state school is the right move for them by touring their options and really putting themselves into that atmosphere. When you’re on a tour, I think the most important questions to ask is: Can I actually see myself attending this school?’ and ‘Do I want to constantly see new faces on campus and have large lectures or do I want to remain in the Saint Stephen’s-esque atmosphere where everywhere I go I will see a familiar face.’ Both are great options, but which one is actually right for you?”

What has this year taught you so far?
“Say ‘yes’ to a lot of opportunities (clubs, organizations). When you’re going to such a big school amidst Coronavirus, I can’t meet that many people, so joining clubs and organizations has helped with making new friends.”

What’s your daily college routine:
1. 8 A.M. Advertising and Public Relations 271 class
2. Walk through the campus to my sorority house
3. Lunch with my friends
4. Study time in the library
5. Online lectures and Zoom meetings
6. Head back to the sorority house and eat dinner and after that we watch a movie and hang out
7. Catch the bus, go back to my dorm, hang out with my roommates, clean my room, and complete any homework that I have
8. Sleep!

What do you do on the weekends?
“We usually have football games so I’ll be at Bryant-Denny Stadium or hanging out with my friends on the strip (AKA Main Street- restaurants & shops).”

What is it like being in a sorority (Delta Zeta)?
“It’s really fun. It helped me get acclimated to the campus really quickly and opened me up to a lot of opportunities like leadership positions and my academics. We have a mentor program where you can meet up with older girls in your major and attend study halls to keep you on track.”

What was initiation into Delta Zeta like?
“It’s a secret,” says Nucci with a smile.

What advice would you give to this years’ seniors in regards to acclimating to college?
“Don’t stress about being in a new environment and meeting new people. Just say ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as you can and things will fall into place.”

What’s your favorite thing about Alabama?
“The people I’ve met there and the welcoming and friendly environment. I’ve never had a rude encounter with anyone and even though you’re doing your own thing, nobody judges you because they don’t really care.”

What are classes like this year?
“I have one in-person class out of six. So, my teachers and I had to navigate through new forms of learning which has made this semester a little harder, but, at the same time, Saint Stephen’s prepared me for that.”

If you were to go through the college process again, would you still choose Alabama?
“Yes, 100%. I love Alabama wholeheartedly. There’s nowhere else I’d rather go.”

So, once this years’ seniors become freshmen at their university, it’s important to welcome next year with an open mind, step out of their comfort zone, and take advantage of any opportunities.

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