Rutgers University-New Brunswick Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


If I had the chance to take a journey back to the year 2006, I would have several pieces of advice for myself. The first would be to tell my lazy high school senior self to cut out the senioritis and take physics as an elective instead of Digital Photography. This would have benefitted me so much as I would have had a head start in college physics rather than staring perplexedly at the muddled physics formulas in the textbook. Another valuable piece of info that I wish I could have known was to take a summer class pior to entering college. I would argue with my high school self that these 4 credits would ultimately benefit me in the future and lighten my course load. The third and most important advice that I would give myself would be to relax and try to enjoy my time at Rutgers, as they were the best years of my life and helped mold me into the young woman I am today.


Homesick Is A Given: You will feel homesick, uncomfortable, scared and confused. This is often part of the initial college experience and it will pass if you stick it out.Become Involved on Campus: It is a great way to meet new people, learn new things and become open to new perspectives.Choose Your Major Wisely: Before declaring a major, research employment opportunities related to that major.Find Balance: College life should be fun and allow you to become independent and hopefully more responsible, but ultimately it is about getting the best education possible to support your future goals and life style.Stay True To Yourself: Especially with making new friends and making healthy choices, physically, socially and emotionally.Work Hard and Study...A LOT: Do not just “keep up” with the work, work hard to “get ahead” of the work because cramming for exams and to meet deadlines is not fun!Do Not Forget Your High School Friends: Many of them have been friends since grammar school and most will remain friends for life. Do Not Burn Bridges: Treat everyone with respect and kindness. ENJOY: College time passes much quicker than high school time - enjoy it all!


I would tell my high school self not to worry so much about the workload and rather focus more on getting active. I would assure myself that I could handle the work but that I would need to make the effort to participate more in extracurriculars and such in order to make a smoother transition.


I would tell myself to be more out going and possibly dorm instead of living at home and commuting. That way, I could get the full college experience, since this only comes once. I would also suggest to my younger self to really start thinking about being truthful to myself and start applying to internships earlier, and not following the life path of what your parents want you to be.


Going to college to further my education is me dream i would be very grateful to receive this money to help me. I would like to be a social worker and helping me is what i dream of. This money can help me learn even study with books i could buy. Hopefully i can generously be offered this great amount. If there is anything i could do to receive i very much so would. I would like to thank you for letting me apply and i hope i can be very lucky in being granted this award.


I always have the tendency to get really involved in my schoolwork, whether it is academic class or an art/design class. Sometimes it goes to the point that I overwork just in case I don't get the desired grade. As a result, I don't allow myself to have some fun once in a while and get involved around campus with my friends like taking dance classes, or even going out to eat. That is exactly what happened during my freshman year of college. Although I did very well recieving a 4.0 my first semester and a 3.9 my second, I still wished that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried new things outside my schoolwork. The advice that I would give myself is to stop worrying about how much extracurricular activites, or extra fun classes will effect my performance in my school work. I should just get into it head on, participate more, and learn how to balance my work with my social activities including time for myself. It would make my college experience more enjoyable and would give me an opportunity to add these extracurricular activities and experiences on my resume.


I would tell myself to treat time as money. The four years of college go by really fast and I do not want to have nay major regrets. I must treat each day if its my last day. Stay on top of my academics and courseload, especially in my freshman year. There is a famous cliche of those who work hard, can play hard. This cliche applies to almost every college and university. I would tell my 18 years old self to lose my ego, and embrace intellectual curiosity during these next four years. I would also tell myself to expand my horizon of networks, and connect with students of my age group, upperclassmen, and university faculty.


As I look back at my High School years I am able to see all of the decisions that I have made and how I would of decided to do some things differently. One major thing that I wish I did differently was gain more knowledge about college financially. As the youngest and only child from my father to attend college I had very little knowledge about the whole college preparation process and finacial planning. I believed that it would be possible for myself to obtatin in-state tution for Rutgers University because of my residence with my aunt in Plainfield, NJ. However I was wrong. Since my father, the one that financially supports me, lives in New York I am not eligible for in-state tution in New Jersey. Therefore, 4-5 years ago I would of told myself that i really need to be wise about where I go to High School because all of the decisions that are made within those four-years will determine how comfortable you are in the college that you decide to attend. If I knew any better then, I would of tried my best to attend H.S in NJ.


Truthfully, I wish I would be able to tell myself that everything in college is fun and easy, and to not worry about all the decisions I have to make that will affect my future. But this is not the type of advice I could or would give. Instead, I would tell myself that I will be out of my comfort zone, but that there will be people that I can relate to and I will not be alone in my misgivings. Overall, the best advice I would give is that college is just a door, not some hall filled with holes to represent possible failures. It is a door that as a high school senior may seem daunting, but simply leads to hundreds of more doors. I would tell myself that those doors would be the scariest to open, and I would have doubts about even trying, but that I shouldn't. That I should go forward, and attempt to open them because you realize upon entering college that there is more to this next stage in your life than just classes and parties.


If i could go back and talk to myself as a high school senior, the first thing i would say is to stay determined. Classes are tougher in college, but not the material itself. I would tell myself that no class or work is too hard. Its the determination to study and constant urge to progress that will shape my grades to my own standards. With all the academics, i would also tell myself to remember to have fun. College ive noticed is a lot about learning. Not just academics but life as well. I would tell myself to enjoy every moment in college and with friends because it only really happens once. The combination of determination and skill to enjoy life will give me a great first year. Thats what i would tell high school senior me.


I would tell myself not to procrastinate and when something needs to be done, no matter how insignificant it seems, to get it done as soon as possible just to get it out of the way.


I would go back and tell myself to prepare earlier for college and apply for scholarships. Don't be lazy like me cause i was and had to pay for two semesters by myself and it was really hard to do. Just get ready and apply for as many scholarships as you can so you can have a good time in college and enjoy it. And be ready to do a lot more studing by yourself cause your not gonna have a teacher thats there to answer your questions all the time. I hope you take my advice and have a good college experiance.


If I was able to return in time and speak to myself as a high school senior, I would convince myself to make a decision about college from my heart, not simply what makes the most logistical sense. Attending Rutgers was a choice based on ease of commuting, price, and proximity to home. If I could advise myself, I would urge myself to look into other schools in the area that have similiar logistical advantages, however are a smaller size and more personal services are provided. There are many schools in New Jersey that are close to home that are smaller, perhaps higher priced, but these are sacrifices that should have been made in order to ensure that I receive the best educational experience possible. I would like to warn myself that while it is possible to "ease" through college, never to forget that academics are the primary reason for attending college, and that they should not be sacrificed for social fun. The two can coexist, but it is important to begin college the same way I wished to end it: with a high GPA and impressive resume.


Dear younger, less wise Me, What are you doing man? You’re doing it all wrong. Just because you’re a senior does not mean you should slack. My advice to you is simple, do not give up. Give yourself that extra push to finish the year with straight A’s. Why should you just simply go to school when you can go to school with scholarships? Listen to mom and apply for them! In my first year alone I discovered how hard it is to afford everything. Books alone are more money that you have ever made, and scholarships will help make everything better. Also, sign the papers to get scholarships from highschool. I didn’t, and had 4 different teachers come up to me saying they voted for me to get one, but was not given one because I did not fill out the paper work. Lastly, you got into Rutgers University, but do not act confident now! Make sure you place higher on the placement tests so you can be in higher math and English. Trust me you do not want to waste your time on the easy stuff like I had to. Take my advice, please.


If I was given the opportunity to go back and talk to myself as a senior in high school I would tell myself not to be afraid to take risks. The reason why I would tell myself not to be afraid is because as I entered my freshman year of college I was very shy and because of my shyness I was afraid to join different clubs and organizations on campus. I love community service and being a part of different organizations that are trying to make the world a better place but it took me a few years to be outgoing enough to try new things. I was afraid of the unknown and that held me back from what I wanted to do. Knowing how foolish I was as I entered college I would tell my high school self that I have nothing to be afraid of and that taking risks will not only allow me to be involved in great organizations and community service programs but it will also make me a better person.


It is not as far away and difficult as it seems. You can find means to support yourself through programs. You are making the right dicision ans it is irrevocable worth the money. You are doing an amazing thing by aspiring for higher education. You will absolutly learn things that will help you in achieving your goals and there are people that will help you along the way. Never underestimate the kindness of the community, and do not forget to be gracious. Never forget where you came from and what it means contextually to be yourself. There will always be a way to express yourself. You will not lose your past by continueing your future. There are so many ways of finding help when you feel overwhelmed, but noone knows to give you help if you do not ask. Do not be afriad to ask for help. You will find professors that will even further inspire you, you are not a rock. It may seem scary, overwhelming, and redundant at times, but the strengths, gains, and experinces you achieve will never even leave the question was it worth it. It is worth it.


Rutgers is an easy place to find yourself a home. The only thing that isn't easy is deciding what you want from Rutgers. The University offers so much, that it can be difficult to narrow your focus. Personally, I had a difficult time deciding what i wanted to study. Through high school i knew where my strengths were (biology and computer science), but was not sure i wanted to make a career of them. I was afraid to choose a major and regret it. My first semester at Rutgers didn't help. i took classes that i knew i wouldn't have a strong interest in. i knew in my senior year of high school what area of study i was leaning toward, and because i wanted to be sure i wasn't making a mistake i took unrelated classes. Two years later, i declared a major in biotechnology. Declaring late cost me valuable time and money, and I likely won't be able to graduate in 4 years. If i could give my younger self any advice then, it would be to follow my heart and my gut in deciding what i want, and then actively pursue it.


That Rutgers can fit the mold for any student. Also that there is never a dull moment if you need things to do!


Do things that you never have done before. Try out for a team. Audition for a play. Try a new club. You won't regret it. You may like it. Remember how in high school you did a lot of different things? Well, in college you need to focus on one or two activities to do. Even if you don't like one activity, there is a lot of time to try more out. Be social. Not everyone in college is going to be the nicest or coolest person, but how would you know unless you tried talking to new people? Who knows, you may meet your future roommate just by saying you like someone's shirt. Take classes that sound interesting to you, even if they have nothing to do with what you want to be in the future. There are a ton of classes offered in college that high school doesn't even begin to touch upon. It would be foolish to not take one or two. The most important thing I can advise to you is not to stress yourself out. College will be fun, but rough. Hang in there, take a deep breath, and have fun!


I was a bitter high school senior. My parents had decided that because of the close proximity of the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus, I would commute, instead of living on-campus like I originally planned. I resented them until the end of my freshman year. I missed out on being "independent." If I could tell naive high school senior Christina anything, it would be to not spend her freshman year longing for something that could not be changed. I would tell her to instead focus on becoming active with activities and organizations--that commuting does not equate to not being a part of the Rutgers community. I would tell her that our parents had our best interest and mind and thanks to them, we graduated debt free.


Looking back at my naive high school self, there is so much advice I would give him to set myself up for an extremely successful future. The most important idea to convey to him is to understand that he is not a genius. Compared to the many people he is going to meet, he is going to realize he is just barely above average. Even though he found high school to be extremely easy and thought he was going to conquer the world after he breezed through college, nearly everything coming up in the next 10 years at least is going to be exponentially difficult. I would also like to convince my high school self that he is going to fail many times in areas that he was sure he never would. Even so, it is important to not let any of my advice discourage him from reaching his goals. I would actually remind him that success is going to be attained, it is just going to be a lot tougher than high school falsely portrayed it to be.


college is money. is not a game once i entered to college i have to take it very seriously, because education is my future.


Take advantage of a higher edcuation.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a highschool senior, I would tell myself many things. In highschool, there is only so much you can take advantage of and unfortunately, you may not be informed of many scholarships or grant opportunities that you really need in order to afford college. With that being said, I would have told myself to apply for more scholarships, and not just the ordinary scholarships that appear everywhere online but those that actually will give me a fair chance to win and help pay for my tuition. Living with a single parent, it is extremely hard to afford a college education and to pay for books so I tried my best to apply for as many scholarships as I could but most of them seemed as if they were scams or there were thousands of applicants and I was just viewed as another number in the bunch. If I could go back, I would tell myself to apply to more local scholarships and pray that I would be that lucky applicant to receive funding for my college education.


If I could go back in time I probably wouldn't tell myself anything. Part of the college experience is not knowing how things will turn out and learning from those experiences. Even though there were things I wish I knew ahead of time such as how for some reason it always seems the hardest around the middle of the sememster or how tests work for each class is different, but at the same time I'm happy knowing I figured these kinds of things out on my own.


Go where your heart really wants to. If I could do it all over again I would have gone to a warmer climated area such as Hawaii, California, or Florida.


I would encourage myself to take more risks in life and at school - study abroad, act in a play, run for city council, develop an independent course to study my family history. I would encourage myself to smile more and be more open to meeting new people, especially people who seem different. I would suggest that I start running and cooking clubs to share my love of running and great food! I would also encourage myself to look at failure as a means to success, as incredible learning experiences and not through a negative lens, so that I would take more risks at school and in life. Finally, I would suggest that I take more pictures because it goes so fast and it is such an amazing experience. I wish that I had more photos to remember the amazing friends that I made and the fun that we had as college students.


The advice that I would have given myself based upon the experience that I have endured about the college life and making the transition is to practice time management according to the material that I am studying. Time management is very important to overall performance. The more time that you have to study and complete work, such as papers and assignments, the more valuable and qualitive it will be. Also, do not just take the notes that are given on the projector in class, but also notate signinificant points of the professor's dialogue. It is very beneficial and may assist with overall understanding and higher scores on tests. Last, prepare financially as possible prior to each semester by applying for as many scholarships, grants, and even saving financial aid money that is left over, if you receive financial aid. This way you do not accrue a large amount of debt post graduation. Also, your education will always be secured, if your financial aid is cut at your school or if the tuition raises and you only had a certain amount of money, this will be your cushion to fall back on to still reach your goal.


Every freshman should know that they dont know! What I mean is that no matter how u think the college experience is going to be, what you are anticipating, you are wrong. Is this a bad thing? NO! Its good because you will have the chance to get used to things and become adapted. Make this place your environment, explore, become habituated, and make this place feel like home. It is nervous at first, yes indeed, but that feeling dissipates fast and comfort settles in. Just be ready to get on top of your TIME MANAGEMENT! You will have a rough few months here if your time management is far off, so please buy yourself a planner, utilize that app on your phone, something.


USE THE COURSE SCHEDULE PLANNER! I apologize for the caps, but it had to be done. This is seriously the best tool ever invented for registering for classes. You can type "course schedule planner" into the main Rutgers website and it should come up. It helps you find classes and arranges all the possible schedules for you to scroll through and see which ones fit best for you. Nobody told me about this before I registered for my first classes and I really messed up my schedule. Other helpful hints: Call before you go to an office to work out any problems/questions you might have- there's a lot of bureaucratic red tape at Rutgers, and I've gone to an office more than once only to be told that my question was handled by a different office on a different campus and that the people there could not help me. I wasn't very happy, but I should have called and found out first. Come up with pneumatic devices to help you learn the bus routes quickly. It's really not that hard once you've been here a while, but I remember being very intimidated when I first got here and that helped me. The bookstores downtown will let you rent books to use for your classes if they have them in stock. This means that there is no reason to buy textbooks for classes that you know you're never going to look at ever again, and it is much easier than trying to sell back books at the end of the semester.


You mean besides the fact that college isn't easy? I'd say the biggest thing is GO SEE AN ACADEMIC ADVISOR! Rutgers is so big that it's easy to get lost in the crowd and take a bunch of wrong classes, like I did. Advisors aren't going to pursue you to figure out if you're doing ok. I mean, how can they? There are tens of thousands of students at RU. A few wrong courses can totally throw your groove off track and you'll end up spending a bit of time making up for your screw up freshman year. Also, freshman year is the year you really have to be careful about what you choose to prioritize. It's incredibly easy to get caught up in all the fun and forget about studying but if you screw up freshman year, let me tell you, it takes tons of work to make up for it. Balance is key (I'm sure this is true at every school) and after freshman year when you get into the flow of things, fun will come just as naturally!


I would tell my past self to not slack off during my last year in high school. While others believe that senior year is a year for relaxation and enjoyment, it really is not. By studying hard and staying ahead of the class in terms of grades, you actually ensure that you willl continue this attitude when you enter your college year as a freshman. Also, I would tell myself to not only study, but also relax. By studying hard, but also giving myself time to relax, I will be able to understand that by mainitaining a good study schedule I will make the maximum effort that I can when entering my freshman year. I would tell myself to understand that when in college, even though your are by yourself, you are not alone. You can attend study hours, office hours, and even create a study group with a bunch of determined students to help you stay ahead. Lastly, I would tell myself that besides from studying hard and creating a study group, participate in a club or club sport, as to allow yourself time to relax and also have fun and enjoy your college experience.


Relax. Take a deep breath. Diana, you've made it this far and you're going to go on to a whole new world. Living in college, away from your parents, on your own is exciting-and a little overwhelming. You're going to have more freedom than you have ever had in your life. Freedom to express yourself, freedom to meet new people and new challenges, freedom to decide who you are going to be. Take a good long look at yourself in the mirror. Are you are who you want to be? It's okay if you're not. One day, you're going to find yourself, understand yourself and you're going to feel so proud of all of your accomplishments and of the person you're going to develop into-and are still developing into! Take each day as it comes and don't sweat the small stuff. Keep a sharp, careful eye on the future and, please, don't let ANYTHING, your fears, your shyness, your quiet demeanor stand in the way between you being able to burst through the doors to your brilliant future.


If I could go back in time and could talk to myself I would tell my self to find some type of college class that I could take while I was in high school. I would tell myself to apply to college really early to get a great headstart. I would also tell myself to listen to all the teachers . Listen to what they say and to also follow up on every question that I had. Making the transition from high school to college has not been too big of a step, but I have learned to make wise decisions and to better myself through school. Starting early on college classes could have helped me a lot, but those classes was not offered to everyone in my school just to specific students i just think that if I would have gone to the college myself and sign up I could be in those classes. I would be ahead and not like an average student.


Be realistic about your finances. There are some things that are just not affordable and that needs to be taken into account.


I would apply to more schools and give myself a bigger choice instead of just going to Rutgers.


If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to be more outgoing with other students. I was nervous about making friends when I first attended college, so I shut down and kept to myself a lot. I managed to make a few close friends that I know I will keep in touch with for years to come, but as a senior I would have liked to know that every college freshman was in the same boat as me. Not many people knew each other and that made it easier to make friends. I would have told myself to be open to trying new things and discovering new talents as well as broadening my friendships. I would have loved to know that making new friends and discovering new things was not as scary as I thought it would be.


As a high school senior I was terrified of making the transition to college life. What if I chose the wrong major, or the wrong college, or what if the excitment of college life will consume me and I will fail out of school! As a current sophmore of Rutgers University and a twice consecutive visitor of the Deans List, I think Bob Marley said the best advice that I could ever give myself, "Don't worry about a thing, because every little thing will be alright." I realized that as long as you're studying a subject that you are passionate about, there is no better motivation than your thirst for knowledge on that subject. As long as you keep a level head, time manage studying and social life, and are completely passionate about your major, there is no need to worry about anything. As a member of the National Honors Society in high school and a graduate with a 4.0 GPA, i should have known that I was well prepared for any curve balls that Rutgers threw at me. I just wish that I saved myself the anxiety, which is where my advice would have been handy.


If I could back and talk to 17-year-old me, I'll describe to her how wonderful college life is- but that it involves a lot of work. As a high school senior, I have been told countless times how much work college students engage in. To some extent, I've been used to it. I was enrolled in numerous AP and Honor courses, and I always focused on staying on top of academics. But it wasn't until I came to college that I realized how much more reading and writing there really is, and how there is always- always!- homework. I'll emphasize on how excellent time management is a must! But I'll also be sure to stress that I'll meet marvelous people and make fantastic friendships. In numerous ways, I have grown out of my shell, and I want the shyer, younger me to be very aware and excited for all that lies ahead for her.


I would tell my younger self to not worry about the little things that bothered me in the past and to be prepared for a much tougher, yet more rewarding, time ahead. College has been much more engaging and demanding than high school ever was, and I simply was not conditioned for the challenge in the starting years of my college education due to the relative ease I had with high school. Passing on this knowledge and providing the warning of what would be coming to my younger self would have benefitted myself as a person and my work ethic overall.


Never underestimate yourself. Besides the benefit of a higher education, college will also allow you to prove to yourself and others exactly what you are cable of doing. In addition to learning about yourself, understsand that a direct route towards accomplishing your goals is not necessary. If I knew then what I know now, I would declare Spanish as my major instead of my minor because medical schools consider various majors as long as the required prerequisites are fullfilled. Also associating yourself with like-minded students and peers is as necessary as studying, becuase being able to share your thoughts with others also maintains your focus. Do not feel unfortunate or unlucky that you have to work yourself through school because in the end there will be an even greater appreciation for your education.


Being in college is the beginning of being independent from parents who have cared for me, and guided me through difficult decision makings. I know they will always be there whenever I need them, but this is a time for me to grow on my own and claim my education. It is valuable to attend college, to get involved in new experiences whether it is doing something new and taking part of a club; meeting interesting people from various backgrounds; and most importantly gaining knowledge that is essential for personal growth. Another experience I have experienced is having the opportunity to meet people with different views then I do and learn to appreciate each other’s differences. In college, the professors are always willing to help students and encourage students for office hour for unclear topics from class or just simply have an adult to adult conversation. It is great to be in an environment where it is both welcoming and nurturing.


Attending school has been a huge part of my life. When I decided to go to SCCC to receive my associated in acting I didn't expect to find what found me. I was doing mediocore work so I decided to talk to my teachers and see what else I could do to be apart of the theatre. Well the discussion went well with one professor, and he suggested that I try assistant stage manager for the next show. What an eye opening experience this was for me. I never heard of stage management and I couldn't believe all the things that were involved. Then I decided to take on a show with the most critical professor we had. I had never cried so much in a week; the experience was intense and brutal. Most of all he taught me so much about the business and myself. I am to this day grateful to those professors that have shown me a new me. They both opened up my world and stage management has become who I am. College is about learning about what you love, and what you are passionate about, but it is mostly about learning about yourself.


My college experience thus far has been a very rewarding experience. I started a community college, which was a great way to transition from a high school mindset to a college mindset. I have learned so much from my college experience, and not just in the classroom. College has taught me a lot about myself, and what I want out of life. It's helped me grow emotional, and transition from a teenager into a young adult who is actively involved in her surroundings. My experiences and the things I’ve learned have been invaluable to me. As my college experience continues I know that I will learn so much more.


I experienced a broader type of view of fine art, culture, and health care. I also experienced different types of healthcare settings. I was also exposed to writing a proper research paper.


The only valuble experience that I got out of Rutgers were the extracurricular activities which involve me being a member of my student government (RUSA), an RSU member and having a part-time job as a food taster. Rutgers is a great place to be but when term bills come around it is a total mess. It's not all of Rutgers Student Accouting's fault, the funding for higher education in NJ also has their share of the blame. The reason why I need this scholarship is because I, along with many of my other fellow students, got ripped off when we got our Tuition Aid Grant (TAG). My story is that I was supposed to get around an estimated amount of $4,200 from TAG and since I have had TAG before, I knew that the estimated amount would be very close to the actual amount so I knew I was prepared to pay the rest of my term bill. For some reason Rutgers Student Accounting took until mid-term (fall 2010) to finish processing everyone's aid. In short, I only got around $1,600 and I'm still trying to pay off my fall term bill.


My college experience, as of this point, has been rewarding on different levels. I have learned a tremendous amount as a student, friend, and roommate. I have gotten a great education from professionals that are the top in their fields and actually know how to teach their craft. With this knowledge, I will be more apt to getting a job as soon as I get out of school. I have also learned how to be a better person by meeting new people and being more open to their ways of life and points of view. Being an acceptable - and hopefully great - roommate is also a difficult feat to accomplish. By being more openminded, willing to change, and by making sacrifices, I have been able to live in an uplifting environment that allows me to succeed in all parts of my life. I do not think that by attending any other institution I would be able to get anywhere near as rewarding of a college experience.


I have learned that nothing is going to be given to you just becuase you go to college, you must go out and tkae what you want. Because Rutgers is such a big school most teachers view you as a number, which can be hard coming from a small high school where every teacher knew each and everything about their students. My most challenging obsticle that I had to overcome was starting a the bottom of the totem pole again, this experience was hard, but has made me a stronger person without a doubt. Rutgers has a very big and diversified campus that allows you to experience many different cultures and racial groups first hand, which is also a learning experience within itself. I feel as if the most important experience that I have gotten by attedending Rutgers was just the fact of going out on my own and taking the initiative to make thing happen, because I learned from day one that nothing is going to be given out.


Coming from a small town in self-proclaimed "South Jersey," I'd always known one thing: nothing changes. Nobody is from a foreign country, you knew everyone from the pretty girl next door to the quiet boy two classooms away, you eat the same cold pizza every Friday. Deciding to go from that lifestyle to Rutgers, from a class of 800 to a class of 7,300- that was a bit scary. However, as soon as I waved goodbye to my parents and had a chance to look around with free eyes, I saw that this place is not only a college- it's a condensed version of the world around me. I've learned things I'd never seen before in high school, such as terror the hour before an exam, excitement when you meet someone special, curiosity when you see ethnic clothing you've never seen before. I've felt the pain of yoga, the joy of freshman freedom, and the loathing of Chemistry 161. Who knew such a world was only an hour away from home?


Though I have spent only one semester away at college, I have learned much more than I ever imagined. I have learned what it is like to truly step out of my comfort zone and experience the world anew. I knew no more than five people attending Rutgers when I initially stepped on campus. In an institution with an enrollment that surpasses my hometown's population my thousands, that number seemed dauntingly low. Living on campus, however, has been the most insightful experience that could have happened to me. I have not only learned how to make friends, but I've learned self-discipline and how to be independent. I do my own chores, eat sleep, and study without being told to do so, and if I have a problem I consult an advisor on my own. That being said, I have also learned exactly how much I value my family. Though I have always loved them, I took them for granted. Through my experiences, I realize how much I value my family. Though I miss them dearly when I'm away, I see now how important it is for me to live on my own and persue my education.