Stillman NewsStudent Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Payton Costenbader

By Daniel Mahon
Stillman News Editor

It’s not often that I would look towards a freshman as someone who embodies a shining and involved student at Seton Hall, but Payton Costenbader is a special case. The type of involvement that Payton has on campus is comparable to peers that are years older than her. Payton is involved as a frequent writer in the Stillman Exchange, a member of the Accounting Club, member of Women in Business, and a certified peer educator for Dare to Care. She’s an accounting major who will be pursuing the 4 + 1 M.S.P.A. (Masters of Science in Professional Accounting) program; she is not like most freshmen however, as academically standing she is classified as a junior.

Payton has made quite the impact in her short time at SHU.

This is a challenging task, taking classes with juniors and being singled out as the youngest in the room, and it is something that Payton has been striving to get used to. “I’ve been surrounded by students older than me since I walked the halls of community college in Pennsylvania. People tend to think I am stuck up or bragging when I say I started college at 16, which is why I prefer to not tell people my age or year in school in class until prompted with people who are curious as to why I’m in a freshman dorm or why I’m in a junior level class but still don’t know the names of some on campus buildings.” She further goes into explaining how it can even be a challenge during her freshman level courses, as she says, “I sometimes struggle to take classes with freshman as my classmates are just now adjusting to coursework I have been acclimated to for the past years, but at the same time I struggle to seamlessly fit in with juniors being new to clubs and professors that they’ve been involved with the last two years.” She makes the best of both sides and learns to get used to the unique situation that she’s in.

Part of Payton’s involvement was becoming a peer educator as part of Dare to Care. It is one of the things she enjoys most in her time here so far, as she feels like she can make an impact in our community in her role. She says, “Being a resource on campus for students to learn about the mental health services that SHU provides gives me a sense of pride in my school and allows me to take on a leadership role on campus.” She’s able to plan events through Dare to Care as well, including a tabling event in Galleon Hallway on February 29th from 11AM to 1PM.

Fun at the accounting club, one of many things Payton is involved with.

Payton has written an abundance of articles in a short amount of time at Seton Hall. She especially enjoys writing about current events. She says, “Not only does it allow me to stay up to date on what is happening, but I get to relay that information to students. I feel as though I am providing students with a comprehensive account of what’s occurring and saving them the time of reading multiple articles on the subject.

With all of the involvement that Payton has, one could wonder how she balances all of this with schoolwork. The best thing that she has come up with is making an outline of all her commitments for the week so she has a set schedule of the obligations she has to stick to. “Every Sunday I outline my commitments for the week: homework, interviews, going out with friends or other tasks. Beginning my day with something beneficial for myself, usually the gym, sets me up to have a productive day. I dread waking up early so the best way for me to get out of bed is to begin with something fun.”
Everything seems to be working out for Payton, as she is already getting noticed by and having interviews with various public accounting firms. The pressure for Payton to be committing to so many tasks at such a young age must be at points overwhelming, but she steps up to the challenge when needed. I know that Payton has such a bright future inside of Seton Hall and out, and she is a great embodiment of an excelling student at Seton Hall.

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