College isn’t just a degree, it’s an opportunity to explore your abilities, meet new people, and have experiences that will shape you for the rest of your life. This is especially true at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University, where the large student population, culture, and caliber of academic excellence offer endless chances for both enjoyment and discovery. These are the things you gotta do in order to make the most of your time at Rutgers.
1.) Speak up for yourself.
Nobody is going to tell you why you should get a good grade, make friends, or go to the gym. Nobody is going to hold your hand or give you a push. With over 30,000 students occupying the same space and fighting for the same recognition, it is entirely up to you to ask your professors for help, introduce yourself to new people, and do what you need to do to be productive and happy. The most successful people at Rutgers are the ones that speak up for themselves and don’t expect the individualized treatment one may get at a smaller school.
2.) Get involved.
Got an interest in something? Rutgers probably has a club for it. Want to meet people similar to you? There’s probably an event where you can find them. Rutgers has an incredible array of clubs and organizations, ranging from academic fraternities to Firearm Safety Club to a Doctor Who fan club. There’s also a great selection of events and programming, including open mics, speakers, and concerts. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to meet like-minded people, learn something new, or help make a positive change.
3.) King Neptune Night.
Imagine lobster, crab, and lots of other nautical friends splayed out for you to indulge in to your heart’s delight. This is King Neptune Night, a Rutgers tradition that occurs every September when the dining halls offer a smorgasbord of seafood, complete with bibs and melted butter. There are even ice sculptures to seal the deal on fanciness. Get there early, though, to avoid long lines and bring Tupperware so you can save some of the joy for later.
4.) Actually learn.
For people with adequate resources and strategic planning skills, getting a good grade in a class without doing any real work is a viable option. While we applaud these people for their bullshitting skills, we pity them for neglecting to take advantage of the academics that Rutgers has to offer.
With philosophy, engineering, and pharmacy programs among the best in the nation, professors that are experts in their fields, ample research opportunities, and a proximity to New York allowing for access to incredible internships, Rutgers is a place that would render anyone who doesn’t utilize it all a fool. Get to know your professors, move beyond the mentality that you’re only there for a degree, and try to learn for the sake of broadening your scope of reality.
5.) Explore the area.
Life on campus is great, but we recommend leaving once in a while. New Brunswick is positioned smack in the center of New Jersey, making it central to everything: a train ride to Philly or New York takes only an hour and a half, a drive to the beach or the Pine Barrens take about an hour, and a walk downtown to check out the theatre and restaurants takes about ten minutes. Get out and experience something new.
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.