Rutgers University-Newark Top Questions

What should every freshman at Rutgers University-Newark know before they start?

Michael J.

I'd say take your time in choosing and/or deciding on a major. And start enhancing your time management and self-discipline skills. You'll sure need them for college and really for all of life!


The advice that I would give me if I could talk to myself as a high school senior would be to become fully involved in community service activities, internships, volunteering, and extra-curricular activities. Decididing your major, or career path is a complex process that requieres a lot of serious commitment. Therefore, participating in a diverse range of activities allow students to identify interest, passions, or hobbies that can help to make this process easier. Having a GPA, keeping up with good grades, and being a good student is important but devoting time to participate on other activities provide student with the skills neccesary. Working in a team, puntuality, integrity, and time management are skills that high school student are able to acquire from voluntering, interning, and serving. Having an idea of what you enjoy and dislike doing help to narrow your career path options. There is anything wrong with changing majors in college, but it has effect in the time, money, and effort to be spent. Thus, it is better to at least spend time doing activities related to what you would like to do, just to see if you enjoy doing while you are in high school.


The advice I would give myself is to know that everyday has its challenges but you learn to get through them. At first not so easy like getting through that first midterm or final, but after you succeed because you studied, you find it easier to move onto harder subjects. If going into a 4-year university, I wouldn't take all the easy classes first and hard last; I learned to balance out the classes so you can focus on some classes more than others in a semester, i.e. take an art history (elective) and a major class (biology). Research your major and see what options you have in your future career, i.e. aiming for the therapist job so are you willing to go for your masters? Some people find themselves in a job they didn't go to school for and what a waste that is. Or some people are doing the job but feel overqualified. Especially in this economy employers are no longer looking for that BA/BS, because the competition is more intense. They want to see Masters or higher and also relevant work/volunteer experience. Also get a job that is related.


The most important thing to realize as you enter college, is that you do not need to know right away what your major will be. Most people transitioning into college aren't too sure what they want to do for a career, and that is a common feeling. To me, college is where you are introduced to different fields of study, and within the first year you will find something that resonates with you. A person should always follow their passions, yet some don't get to realize them until their first two years in college. I recommend taking a diverse amount of courses such as natural science, history, art, and literature to get a feel of what is offered. My choice of a liberal arts major allowed me to explore different areas academically and I recommend this major to anyone who is not 100{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} sure yet what they want to do after college. This is a major decision a person must make, but a liberal arts major for the first year or two will definitely help guide you to your inner passion and will help you find what you are interested in most.


Prior to going to college, know what you want to do so you can set yourself up accordingly and put the research in to do so. For example, if you're going to be a business major, make sure, prior to attending Rutgers, attend a community college and take all the business classes there that will transfer toward your major. In addition, there's no point attending a larger, expensive school for all 4 years. Start at a community college, ease your way through college faster and cheaper, while taking classes that you've researched that'll transfer to the desired school. If you get good enough grades, and in community college you will, you will be all set up when it comes time to transfer. Dont lose hope and stay motivated. Class seems pointless at times but as long as you put in the work the good grades and rewards will show up.


Knowing what I know now, I would make sure that I tell my high school self to take school seriously. If I would have taken high school as seriously as I am taking college, I would only have one thing to worry about: my grades. Instead, because of my nonchalant behavior in high school, I now have to worry about getting kicked out of school because of lack of funds. If my high school self was not so interested in immediate gratification, I would be swimming in scholarship money right now and I might have had the opportunity to study abroad. The most important thing I would tell my high school self that my mother actually does know what she is talking about and everything that she told me, she already experienced.


When I was struggling with my academics and work in my first semester of college, I always wanted to go back in time and give myself some advice about the college life. If I could go back in time, first of all, I’ll tell myself to be more punctual than was then. It’s very important to have good time management skills in college in order to have a good academic career. Second of all, I would tell myself to set some goals for the first semester of college. For example, getting A’s in every subject, going to the gym every week, getting some volunteer hours done etc. These plans help a student in achieving his goals meritoriously. The last but not the least, I’d tell myself to be less scared about new college experience and to be more confident. Because anything can be done with a little bit of confidence and a little bit of faith in you.


I would love to be able to go back and start over from high school as far as my schooling goes. The transition from high school to college was one of the hardest things for me personally. I took many college level classes in high school only to find out they are nothing like real college courses. It is a big adjument when you are in a classroom with a teacher five days a week constantly telling you what to do and reminding you of assignments, then all of a sudden you are to only go to class a couple times a week and are to depend on a syllabus for instructions. While you may have a teacher they try to teach you to not be so dependent on them. Not to mention online classes where you have very little interaction and reminders other than the occassional email. It took a while but I got the hang of the college classes and am now furthering my education.


Dear High school senior self, use this last year as a practice exam to work and study at your full potential. Be determined to develop the best study habits you can , which will ensure a smooth transition into college life. You only have one more shot at pulling up your GPA to get into the college of choice. Take the focus off getting a job and try instead, to win a spot on the college basketball team. The skills of being a teammate and working with others will prove to be invaluable to you later in life where interpersonal skills will seem to be a commodity in the working world. Take lots of pictures this year of you , your peers, and teachers. you may not see them again and it's nice to be able to look back at those pictures with a since of pride. You never know who will become famous in those pictures. Lastly, develop good cleaning habits as it pertains to your room. You may be living in a shared space for atleast two years after high school. No one wants a junky roomate. Do this for twenty one days and it will become a habit.


As a high school senior, I acted out against my fellow classmates, and a few teachers, because I wanted to believe that they were inferior. If I were able to go back in time and give myself advice, I would have one all-encompassing suggestion: to not undervalue my self-worth. As a teenager, I doubted my intelligence, so I didn’t prioritize earning good grades. I requested to be placed in a special education-like program, and essentially coasted through my junior and senior years. Needless to say, some of my new classmates weren’t particularly studious either. During high school, many of these “friends” engaged in various activities that could have, and already have for some, come back to haunt them. Perhaps it was the fact that I was aware that I was capable of much more that took the biggest toll on my self-esteem. If I could go back, I would encourage “high school senior Mark” to stop feeling sorry for himself and that everything else would fall into place. Fortunately, two years after graduation, that same student would go on to be named among the top community college scholars in the state of New Jersey.