There’s a lot to love about the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University the world renowned academic programs, the party scene, and the school spirit. Yet, like all things, it is not perfect, and Scarlet Knights quickly learn how to navigate all the subpar and headache inducing things to be found on campus. These are the top things to avoid at Rutgers University New Brunswick.
1.) Brower Commons.
College Avenue’s dining hall embodies every stereotype about bad dining hall food unidentifiable fried objects, pizza with plastic cheese, goopy sauces, and sushi that disgraces its name. It’s been reported that the kitchen staff puts laxatives in all of the food and we’re pretty sure that’s a rumor but we choose to believe it anyway.
While the dining halls on Cook, Busch, and Livingston are all light years better in quality, Brower does have its quirks, such as the ice cream cone that is perpetually smashed on the adjacent sidewalk, the most adorable ID swiping ladies around, and a homey ambiance that we can’t quite put our finger on.
2.) The RU Screw.
The RU Screw is the inevitable occurrence of some type of ridiculous and unfair obstacle and is pretty much an unofficial graduation requirement. It’s the result of Rutgers’ weird bureaucracy and cannot be escaped or ameliorated.
It ranges from difficulty registering for classes necessary for graduation (the most common being Organic Chemistry), minimal credit recognition when transferring from another school, insane parking costs, and being screwed over in the housing lottery, just to name a few. It’s just a fact of life at Rutgers and the only thing we can recommend is to save all your receipts, letters, documents, and correspondence and to fight for what you want.
Those who choose to live off campus should be wary of New Brunswick’s slew of corrupt and sub-par landlords. They’ll charge you too much, do maintenance too little, and may even show up without the required 24 hours beforehand notice. Don’t let them scare you away from living off campus because the experience of doing so is incomparable to anything else, but do be scrupulous when choosing a house and be diligent about representing yourself and your rights.
4.) The bus system.
During normal daytime operating hours, the buses are generally great and an integral part of Rutgers culture, the biggest complaint being people that think it’s okay for their backpack to occupy an entire seat. Before and after football games and late at night on the weekends, however, is an entirely different story expect frat guys to hit on you, drunk girls to barf on you, and your ears to ache from the sound of the entire bus chanting the fight song. And when the weather is inclement you can count on the bus to come late and inconsistently.
5.) The library during finals.
Sleeping under tables and in the book stacks. Consuming only coffee and Skittles for days at a time. Snorting Adder all in the bathroom. These are the kinds of antics one can expect to see in the libraries during finals at Rutgers, especially Alexander Library on College Avenue. It’s a place of determination, distraction, and seeing what you can withstand in order to get a good grade in the class you skipped all the lectures for. It pays off, though, when it turns into a nightclub once finals are over.
Kirsten Volkert graduated from Rutgers University in 2013 with a BA in English. She is currently accepting the fact that she’ll never have a clever byline.