Eric Hilton, '14, poses next to a rock while on vacation in Bodega Bay.

Freshman Focus: Eric Hilton majors in business, minors in partying

Eric Hilton, ’14, is attending Rollins College. He is majoring in business. 

Q: So where exactly is Rollins College?

A: It’s in Winter Park, Florida.

Q: Winter Park isn’t actually cold, is it?

A: It is not. It’s actually hot all the time. Also, there’s a bunch of stuck-up people driving around in Mercedes and Maseratis. They’re perfectly nice people. They just think they’re better than everyone.

Q: So does that mean Rollins is a rich kids school?

A: Yes and no. It costs more to go here than it does to go to Harvard, but they have a really good financial-aid program. Most of my friends are on it.

Q: What are you studying?

A: I’m in the accelerated management program, which is a 3-2 program. I spend three years going to school for undergrad and spend two at the on-campus business graduate school. Acceptance after the third year isn’t guaranteed. I have to maintain a 3.2 GPA, work in an internship and get 102 service hours in six semesters. Traveling abroad isn’t required but heavily recommended.

Q: Do you have a favorite class?

A:  International Business Law and Ethics. It’s a pretty cool discussion-based class. It’s taught by Eric Smaw, who’s a fantastic human being. He’s just as likely to come into class wearing shorts as he is to come in business attire.

Q: You mentioned traveling abroad. Where would you travel?

A: I’d go to France. I love the people, and Paris is a beautiful city. I’m terrible at French, though.  I got a 69 percent on my last French test. But that was the third highest grade in the class.

Q: So I’ve heard that Rollins has a pretty big reputation for being a party school. Is it?

A: It is. I don’t do any off-campus or fraternity parties. They’re not my style— too impersonal. I mostly party within my dorm. I sent out a tweet recently that I almost got arrested.

Q: You what?

A: A friend of mine suggested that we go to a fraternity party. So we get an Uber cab, and all seven of us cram into  this poor man’s four-seater car and we drive over to the party. After we all got out, we realized that we were a mile away from our destination. Half of us wanted to keep going. Half of us wanted to go back. I went with the people who wanted to call it quits. We wandered back to Park Ave., the main street of Winter Park where all the shops and restaurants are. At this point, it’s 1 a.m. and everything is closed. My friends and I saw a whole bunch of  plastic flamingos in front of a dark storefront, so naturally we try to steal as many as possible to take home with us. As soon as we picked them up, this guy comes out of the storefront and yells at us to put them back. I was like ‘Sure, man. I just wanted to move them. They’d look better over here.’ It didn’t occur to me that this man’s sole job was to keep college kids away from that restaurant’s flamingos.

Q: You sound like you’re having a pretty good time. Was it an easy adjustment?

A: It was pretty rough at first, but Rollins is a small school, so I got over it. There’s like 600 kids in my class, which is a record high. I picked my roommate at summer orientation. His name was the same as mine, and we both liked golf. I got manipulated into joining the newspaper. They saw that I had experience on a paper and told me I had to join. Plus, there’s a girl that’s pretty hot and I’m, like, 80 percent sure I’ll get to make out with her if I join.

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