Rutgers University-New Brunswick Top Questions

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

Csilla

College is, to some extent, what you make of it. Surely you want to pick a school that has a good environment that you can imagine yourself situated in for the next four years, but in terms of money, the pricier school may not always guarantee a better education. Clubs and teams and social life exists at all colleges, you just have to seek them out. The best bet would be to talk to acutal college students in their day-to-day experience, not just advisors trying to sell their school. Studets are usually honest about both the good and the bad points of college.

david

Go see if the school is right for you. It's not about the schools credentials, go were you feel you will get the most out of your education, and how well you feel you fit into the school's environment. Though to make the most of one's college career, just become active in the school and it's community, it'll be a choice you wont regret.

Steven

Do not just look at the academic success of the college or university you plan to attend. The important part of being succesful in college is the adaptivness of the student to the university. If a student is uncomfortable with his or her surroundings he or she will never succeed

Matt

Every college has all kinds of different people... whichever school you choose you should be fine.

Brittni

Visit each campus and make sure you go where you feel comfortable. Don't attend a college just for its prestige.

Meghan

Take advantage of Student Orientation and make sure you get to know your advisor. Even though Student Orientation can be lame, it often gives you important information about campus life and access to various services the college offers. Your advisor should be able to help you on your degree track and will assist you in deciding what classes to take. Your advisor should also help you plan for graduation. Without the assistance of my advisor, I would likely still be taking classes. In addition, stand up for yourself and what you believe in. If you're being taken advantage of, or your professor is just not up to par, make sure you talk to the dean, or to your advisor. These are the key people who can make your college career a success. Lastly, don't forget to relax and have fun! Work hard, but schedule some time for yourself and your friends, too!

Sevasti

First you need to decide what is best for your child and not for you as parents. The student needs to go wherever he will feel that he will achieve his goals, otherwise, if the student feels pressured into a specific college/university, he/she will hate it. Take your time, and visit different schools, look at the academic/social scenes and if you're really stuck make some sort of list to possibly narrow it down.

Tara

I would tell parents and students to look for the college that offers the best and the most things that they love and are interested in. Look for your academic interests and research the departments and what they have to offer at each college. Make sure to look for special opportunities like study abroad programs and internships, and look for schools that offer a variety of student activities that you are /could be interested in. Be sure to find a campus that you are comfortable with, a small close-knit community or a large diverse community or anything in between. Financial aid is also very important: schools that offer merit awards and need-based scholarships are essential (fill out your FAFSA!). I would also suggest visiting colleges that offer in-class or overnight visits, informational tours and open houses. Remember to check out the security at each campus you visit, its always good to know where to go/call for help. I would also suggest looking at the transportation services that are available (train station? buses?) that you may need to go home or to visit places nearby. The most important thing is that you fall in love with it.

Gia

Be sure to get an early start on the application process, and always apply to at least 2 or 3 schools. Make a point to try and visit them and become familiar with them. When you arrive at college make sure to meet a lot of new people and partake in many activities.

Oliver

Make sure you speak to the academic advisors inside the high school & make sure your child's choice is a sensible one!!!

Elizabeth

Always go visit the school you're interested in if at all possible. You will get a feeling for the campus and the students, see what goes on during a normal day, maybe sit in on a class or get food in the dining hall, and see a dorm. Look through all the facilities, and see if you're excited. If the campus isn't something you can get excited about, why bother going to that school? Every student should be comfortable at their school, and the campus is the first place to start. The greatest academics in the world do not make a difference unless you actually like your room, or worse if the water comes out brown.

Shaina

I think the most important part of college is to make sure that 20 years from now you aren't going to look back on your college years and think, "I wish I had done that." My advice to is try everything! Join any sport, club or event that you find even the least bit interesting. Go to football games, see a student run production, go to guest lecture events, join an intermural sport. These are the things that make your college experience memorable.

Helen

I would not be the person to ask this question to. I do not dorm, I cannot afford it, and I only chose this college because it was cheaper then going to any other one. My entire life consists of studying, doing homework, and maybe having some leisure time if I'm really lucky. If you want to succeed in school you must work very hard at it. A lot of students coming right out of high school and diving into the books is a big shocker. No one person at your university or college is going to hold your hand or offer you help. You must hold your own and find help on your own. College is very difficult, expensive and the best advice I can give is choose a major in which you will find a good paying career and get your money's worth out of your school.

Gregory

Its hard to really grasp what the experience will actually be like, but the school should fit both the academic and the social aspects of the student's personality.

Dan

Make sure you know a lot about yourself. You have to know what you want out of your school and how much you want to challenge yourself. A liberal arts degree can be very easy or very demanding and whta you do after school will reflect how much you put in while you were there. It's important to understand that mediocrity and complacency are easy to slip into with an easy major but if you challenge yourself and do more than just the work you have to you'll end up with greater reward. It's worth it to be hard on yourself but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy college as well. A good amount of self-relfection would be the best advice I could give, you have to know what you're willing to do before you can try it.

Courtney

Make sure that you pick somewhere that you can live for four years! Just because a school has a lot of name recognition does not mean that you will be happy. Do some overnight stays, talk to students, and make a choice based on what feels most natural, most exciting, and overall best to you!

Jesse

Never find a school that is scrictly academic. Social life is imporant as well.

Kathleen

Remember that choosing a college is an entirely personal endeavor. No one can tell you what you should like or should not. Make a list of criteria which you think your "dream" school would meet, such as your ideals pertaining to size, geography, and culture. Find schools that meet those criteria on the surface and visit them if you can. In my experience, the vibe you get from a college, good or bad, will be accurate because you are getting the sense of whether or not that school will fit you. Keep your options open when you apply to schools. The feeling that you have diverse choices will empower your ability to make the best decision.

Kelly

As a senior psychology major who will essentially be starting over as a freshman fashion design major in the fall of 2009, I feel that the best advice I can offer is to embrace the "mistakes" you've made. My "mistake" was being a shy kid who chose to attend a huge university instead of following her dream of studying fashion design. Sometimes I wish I'd been braver and pursued my passion, but honestly if I stumbled across a time machine today I wouldn't change a thing. Being in such a large environment has taught me that life is what you make it. Here at Rutgers I can enjoy my own niche or lose myself in the crowd if I want. This experience has also challenged me to overcome my timidity, which is invaluable. I've also met what I truly believe to be lifelong friends. Now that I'm embarking on a new chapter in my life, I feel a new confidence & capability that I simply didn't possess as an 18 year old freshman. So while I'm not saying that certain mistakes aren't lamentable, I do believe that often they're worth making.

Tommy

Choose a college in which fits your personality and interests.

Jonathan

search around for colleges with programs that interest you and will help build your future career. While in college make time between studying to meet new people and take part in extracurricular activities

Diana

The competition of getting into college and going to the "perfect" school often clouds the judgements of parents and children. It is unnecessary to feel compelled to meet the expectations of others or simply go to the best school. It is much more important to find a school that is the best match for you individually, as a student. Parents must let go of their children and let them explore their options so students can find the best academic and social fit. Talking to students who attend the schools one is interested in is important because they are usually the most straight-forward and honest sources of information. They will let you know what they like and dislike and how their transition was from high school to college. Choosing a college should be a fairly personal choice that takes finances, academics, and social life into account.

Lauren

Picking the right college can be an overwhelming and sometimes frustrating decision, but when it comes down to it, whatever you choose should be based on basic principles. These include location, tuition, as well as what you want to major in. There are plenty of good schools out there, so don't be devastated if you don't get into your first choice. Where ever you decide to attend, its ultimately the right choice for you. College can be a fun and enriching experience as long as you put the work in and set goals for the future.

Sarah

Make friends at some of your top choice colleges. Their personal experience can be great advice for you.

Hannah

The main goal for both parents and students is find a school with the most oppurtunities possible. You can go to a school thinking you will participate in one thing and somehow find something different. Trying new things makes your college experience so much more rewarding, being that it is a once in a lifetime oppurtunity. My advice is to look for a school that has infinite possibilities both academically and socially. In this way, whether you spread your roots down somewhere or not, there are still infinite other things to try and learn.

Lindsay

I would receommend to parents and students to research thouroughly. It is extremely important to visit all the colleges that the student is thinking about attending as well as looking into the size and availability of dorm housing. If at all possible I recommend that the student attend a class lecture in the area that they are thinking about studying, that way they can see how big the classes tend to be at that university. Once the student gets there, I recommend not rooming with friends from home, that way you can meet new people and create a larger social group then you would with already knowing your roommate. Also, attend meetings for clubs until you find the right club for you. Also, to make sure that the student keeps their priorities straight because it is easy to get inovolved with partying too much. Therefore I recommend putting time aside each day to study and particularly with people from that class, that way they can still make friends and focus on their school work. The most important sugession that I can make though is to make sure that the college they choose is the one that best suits their needs.

Emily

The best advice I can give parents and prospective students on finding the right college is to physically go to the campus and put yourself in the middle of the action. It is very important that you feel you will belong at whatever school you decide to attend. I would suggest visiting the school during the week and weekend to get a feel of the action on the campus. Do you want a busier campus? Do you want a campus that stays active on the weekends? The only way to know how the campus operates is to visit it and get a feel for the atmosphere. A great college experience differs for each individual. Many will find their best friends the first week of school while others will seek friends with common interests by joining clubs. Some will be more into the party and greek scene, while others will prefer to hang out with friends without alcohol. Whatever you find to be the most fun, find people who like the same things. Don't feel pressured to do things that you aren't into and get involved on campus to meet new people and have new experiences.

Sylvia

I wish someone had told me to not be to trusting in the beginning with people I make friends with. Freshmen are excited to be there and do a lot of crazy things just because they can. In the beginning everyone are friends and are constantly around eachother, by Novemberish this does change, so watch out and don't get sucked into peer pressure. In addition, make sure you are taking the right classes, ask more then one person. If you don't understand something ask again because your paying those people to eduacate you, so get your moneys worth. Finally prioritize your schedual, school always comes first, but college is also about having fun. Try your best to balence the two and you should have some great college years.

Rafael

I think that parents and the students should visit each school they are interested in. I also believe they need to factor all financial costs., campus life, graduation rate, job-placement after schools, and how far the travel is from home.

Ali

The most important thing about finding the right college is finding your niche. I know it is a complicated one word answer. But you need to really get to the heart of it. Feel comfortable on campus, dissect class size, racial diversity, where to eat, what is nearby, remember you are spending 4 yrs here (at least). Don't just go for the one with the best parties or best Med program. Go for the one that makes you relaxed. What is the point of a great college, if you are not relaxed? Hypocritical to be honest. Don't be influenced by missing out on friends, etc. This is YOUR degree, YOUR four years, YOUR peace of mind, and most importantly, YOUR future.

Gina

To find the right college, the most important thing to not focus on that seems like the most important thing is finance. College is hard to budget these days regardless of where you go, so do not let it be you biggest priority when selecting. Focus more on what school seems to fit your needs and wants better. In the end, getting a better education at a pricier school will offer you more options when it comes time to selecting a career than choosing otherwise. I would also recommend taking the time off to go away to those college's orientations and tours. I spent a weekend at my university while I was still in the process of selecting a school, and after that weekend there spending hours on campus getting the feel of the life, students, and atmosphere there I knew what my choice was. It is imperative that you are positive what exactly you want out of your college experience, and then you should make it a top priority in your decision making process to visit all schools as much as possible before deciding and then compare a pro and cons list off the schools. Good Luck!

Emojevwe

I have learned alot in these my years as an undergraduate, and I love helping others and giving back, as those have done for me. Not everybody comes into school with the same amount of academic knowledge. The statement that everybody comes into college on a clean new slate, is not 100% true. Some students are smarter than others, but dont let that get to you, just be ready to give it your all and do your very best. You cant feel like you didnt do well if you honestly gave it your all the hole way through! Just never give up on your main goal, and you will make it to the finish line, because there will be people that will come to help you when they see you struggling, but still giving it your all, as they do for me till today!! Finances are also a big thing, when choosing a college and the prices for their tuition, just think of it over a period time ,4-5years, and know that it will go up every new school year, and just make sure that you'll be able to afford it. Especially as an out-of-state student.

Akash

I would tell parents and potential students to focus on their aspirations when applying to schools rather than shear status of the potential school. I originally did not believe the university I chose to attend was one of my top picks. However, after putting my focus ahead of my prior misconceptions, I realized that my university made far more opportunities available to me than other schools where I was accepted. The magnitude of research, innovation and openness to all ideas allows me to speak leaps and bounds about my university. Although the focus of my university was primarily on academia, all students have the ability to join a club or society that allows them to express themselves. The number of opportunities available for such expression should always weigh equally on a student?s decision for college. I say this because it is through these doors that students will be able to discover their creativity and skills. Student government was one such organization that allowed me to ascertain my political ability, leadership strengths and my targets for future projects. I would highly recommend all students to first analyze their goals and then focus on their needs when applying to colleges/universities.

Gary

Finding the right college for your student is an arduous task. When one is searching for a college it is important to note a few things. First does the college have a diverse curriculum. This im important because people like to change their career paths. Secondly, does the college cater to the students as far as socially. These are the best years of the students life it is important that college is both balanced academically and socially. Lastly, does the college have a good alumni relationship. This is important for internship opportunities, job offers, and other benefits. If a school is complacent in these three areas than i feel that it is a good fit for the student. In time one adapts to his/her surrounding area and makes the best of it.

Janet

Take advantage of resources that your school offers. Students should follow their hearts with the major/career that they want to do. If you can't decide, do as much research as possible and the rest will follow.

Michael

I thought that throughout my college experience the most helpful way of deciding of where I wanted to go was visiting the school. If you visit the school you get a sense the people and this helps find the kind of people like you and the people you want to be around for the next four years.

Nicholas

It is important to narrow a search with criteria such as how many students attend the school, how far or close the school is to home, and what type of envirnment the school is located in. Once that is done, the best way to get a feel for the campus is by visiting it in person. Tours are great to take in as much of the campus as you can, but they do not give the whole picture. Stay with someone over the weekend and learn what the social life is like. After that, really consider price and scholarships because more than 9 out of 10 kids coming out of highschool will enjoy the school they go to where ever that may be.

Troy

really read up and investigate the institution you want to go to and visit the campus.

Amanda

As going the courses are the most important aspect of college, one must pick a school that offers classes which appear interesting. Therefore, doing extensive research as the the variety and the prestige of the departments in the school is vital. Ideally, a college should have respected professors that will make going to class more enjoyable and learning the material a lot easier. However, school is not just about what happens in the classroom. A college should regularly offer clubs or programs that excite the potential student.

Michael

Go to your favorite place, do ont go because of the name

Mike

College is what you make it. If you are trying to have fun, you will. And if you're being a debbie downer, you wont have a good time. Visit colleges that you're interested in, ask older peers about colleges they attend, but pretty much regardless of the school, college is about making the most of the situation you're in, you'll meet new people, experience new things, and the 4 or 5 years you stay will change your life. It's up to you if it changes for the better.

sarah

Follow your heart, not what all the other kids are doing... Shoot for the school that has the best program for whatever field you would like to pursue...If your not sure, pick 2 majors so you always have a backup..Visit the shool and most importantly speak with students that are already there...Try to find one with a similiar direction as you..Get all the likes and dislikes from them....It can be the best experience of their life....Be flexible and focused....and leave time for fun!!!!

hunter

hard work

Constantine

Try to go to the school and stay over night with someone you know there to get the full college life experience.

Tiago

be prepared for the cost

Liana

Parents and prospective students should attend as many open houses as possible, and before you attend the school do a little research on the school. When you're visiting the school, don't be hesitant to interact with the current students, we enjoy the interaction and take pride in our school and would only be ecstatic to know that we helped persuade a prospective student into making the right choice for them. Whether that student enrolls to Rutgers or any other college/ university we want them to be as satisfied as we are with our school. Once you are enrolled and admitted to the university the smartest choice for the student is to somehow live on-campus their freshman year. The best way to make friends and interact with students, otherwise you tend to not be as involved because you don't know as many people. If you are a commuter there are commuter programs and you should definately be involved with that program. College is an amazing experience, you learn a lot about yourself and others, you receive an education that will help your in the future, and networking is especially beneficial. Can't hurt to know alotta people.

Claire

When searching for the right college, I visited many state schools, but what made me fall in love with Rutgers was just walking around the campus: I felt at home. The most important part of finding the right campus is being able to feel like you belong. Feeling comfortable in your surrounds can make one feel more confident and outgoing, as it did with me, and it just opens up new doors. Being at ease and secure at your college can make you go beyond what your thought you could ever do. After all, in high school, everything is planned out for you, while at university you have to take charge of your life for the first time, and to do this it takes courage that you need to find within yourself. If you go to the college that is right for you, this is very easy. Nothing feels better than to find that niche with your classes and friends which gives you more confidence and happiness than you could have thought. Overall, having the confidence and comfort to make new friends and speak with your professors is the most important thing one can attain at school.

Lauren

In this day and age kids are growing up quicker and faster so parents should make a point to talk to their children about drugs, sex, and alcohol. Movies and television have made fun of all three of these topics so its easy for kids not to take them too seriously when going to college, but there are very serious consequences. For the students, never take a class before 9AM or on Fridays.

Jennifer

Make sure you visit each campus before you decide on a school and remember always to balance your social life with your academic life.

Kate

it's not about what you think you want for yourself. college is basically the same everywhere and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but make a decision professionally, regarding the department you want to major in.

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