It is a widely accepted fact that frazzled freshmen biology majors are ubiquitous among the Geneseo campus community. Freshman Leonidas Christofilopoulos, however, stands out from the masses. Christofilopoulos’ uniquely confusing and exciting persona matches his name perfectly. Totaling a whopping 25 letters in his first and last name combined, Christofilopoulos has led a life that is anything but ordinary. A Rochester native, Christofilopoulos chose to come to Geneseo for the biology program and for the attractive SUNY price.
In addition to majoring in biology, Christofilopoulos has a penchant for other intense activities. He explained that he loves to spend his free time participating in skydiving, bungee jumping and base jumping—basically anything that involves high adrenaline. Skydiving involves flying up in a plane and jumping out, while bungee jumping involves jumping off a cliff, building or bridge. Christofilopoulos described base jumping as “half and half of bungee jumping and sky diving.”
At the young age of 15 years old, Christofilopoulos started bungee jumping and base jumping. He was 18 years old when he went sky diving for the first time.
“My first actual skydiving experience by myself was [with] my cousin, who’s in the military,” Christofilopoulos said. “He took me on a plane with them and we just did a HALO jump, which pretty much stands for “high altitude low orbit.” It was 35,000 feet and he told me I had to go by myself.”
In addition to being an adrenaline junkie, Christofilopoulos is also an avid volleyball player. Currently the president of the club volleyball team here at Geneseo, Christofilopoulos played on his high school’s volleyball team.
“I played all my years in high school and I started playing varsity as a sophomore,” Christofilopoulos said. “I won two state championships and we lost in the championships my senior year.”
Christofilopoulos attributed his love of sports and of his major directly to making new friendships. He added that the ability to easily make friends is one of his favorite aspects of Geneseo.
“In Geneseo, it’s real easy to make friends just doing what you normally do,” he said. “I went to play volleyball and I’m really close friends with those guys; same thing with soccer. You just come up and chill. Everyone in your major is your best friend because you all don’t want to fail.”
Biology is known as one of the most difficult majors at Geneseo, with a rigorous course load not meant for the faint-hearted. While Christofilopoulos did explain that he truly does like the field, he is often frustrated by his constant time crunch and also described some of the professors as “meh.”
“I remember reading on Yik Yak that the best pickup line in Geneseo is ‘I’m not a bio major, so I have time,’” Christofilopoulos said. “And that can’t be more true because even as a freshman, I still don’t have time for anything.”
Christofilopoulos explained that he is interested in going to dental school after Geneseo. Specifically, he plans on going to University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine to fulfill his dentistry dreams.
For a biology major, however, Christofilopoulos seems to possess an unnaturally laidback and optimistic sense of self.
“I’ve been there and I’ve done that,” he said. “[My biggest philosophy is] to not look behind you, to keep looking forward.”
Christofilopoulos promptly went to go study for biology after being interviewed.