As a senior at Rutgers, I find that by looking back at the experiences I’ve had thus far, college really does fly by.
Coming into a big university can be extremely intimidating at first glance, but now that I think about it, coming to a school this size has only benefitted me. Whether it was getting on the wrong bus during the very first week of classes, realizing that having a set of headphones is crucial or trying really hard to get a good seat at a lecture hall and not look like a freshman, Rutgers is really only as big as you let it be.
Coming to Rutgers you will realize that you won’t always get on the first bus that comes around, and when you do you may be standing at an uncomfortable closeness to other students. Everyone and I mean everyone will have a pair of headsets in and on Thursday and Friday nights College Avenue will come alive with girls in tube skirts and guys in herds looking for girls to help them with the ratio to get into parties. Halloween is also a weekend long event, and you will need more than one costume. Chances are you will have a lecture hall your freshman year, and trust me it won’t be as bad as you think. Enjoy it because as you get into your major, some classes can become smaller than they were in highschool and your professor will know your name and whether or not you partied hard the night before you came into class.
But on a more serious note, Rutgers is wonderful, and I’m not only saying that because I go here. There are so many opportunities not only to excel as a student, but also to excel as an adult. Networking is limitless and everything you need is available to you. Here are 10 things about Rutgers that may help you understand a little more.
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10. HistoryEstablished in 1766 as Queen’s College, Rutgers University is the 8th oldest university in the U.S. and was founded prior to the American Revolution. It was renamed Rutgers College in 1825 after Henry Rutgers. Today, Rutgers University is considered to be the largest institute for higher education in New Jersey. Rutgers has three campuses located in New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark and Camden, NJ. It’s main campus in New Brunswick is home to the original college and has expanded across the city of New Brunswick and Piscataway.
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9. The Fat SandwichAs a Rutgers student, a fat sandwich is tradition. So what exactly is a fat sandwich? Well the combinations are really endless, but my favorite would have to be the “Fat Beach” (usually goes by the name it sounds like). This sandwich consists of cheese steak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and French fries, completed with a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise in between a slightly toasted roll. As unhealthy as it might be, the fat sandwich is really unlike any other sandwich you’ve ever had. Chances are you will love it and regret it later, but don’t worry it’s totally worth it. The original sandwich, the “Fat Darrell” which originated here at Rutgers, was featured on shows such as Man v. Food. The challenge: Eat five sandwiches in 45 minutes and name your own sandwich. Host, Adam Richman could not complete it, eating only 4 ½ within that time frame.
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8. The FacultyAs a student, I think it’s important to be sure that the professors at our university are knowledgeable in the field that they are teaching. Just like any other university, I find that there will always be times that you are stuck with a professor that you might not exactly see eye to eye with. Ratemyprofessor.com is you’re best friend in college, but use it with caution. Sometimes it’s best to try a class with a professor for yourself during the add/drop week to make up your own mind about them instead of hearing the opinions of those who are still upset they failed a course. Rest assured, every professor I have had in college, despite any opinions I may or may not have held with them throughout the semester, have been professionals who have either worked or are working in the field or who hold expertise in the subject matter. Since starting college in 2011, there is not one class that I have ever felt I didn’t learn something valuable in.
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7. The Big 10As I’m sure many people are well aware, sports are a really big thing at Rutgers. Despite some unfortunate controversies over the years with former coaches, Rutgers is proud to announce that they have joined The Big 10 conference bringing it to a total of 14 institutions in total.
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6. Proximity to nightlife and downtownLet’s face it, college is a lot of work. It can be overwhelming, stressful and tedious. Therefore, as a college student myself, I think it is important to go out there and find things you like to do nearby. Yes, Rutgers is known to be a party school, and maybe depending on how you look at it, it can very well be for people who like to party. For those of you who are interested in doing things besides house parties, Rutgers has an array of restaurants, theatres, and lounges on and off campus. There is even a Rutgers Cinema, Nail Salon and technology store located on the new and improved Livingston campus. For those 21 and up, Easton Avenue downtown has bars such as the Knight Club, Old Queen’s Tavern and Stuff yer Face known for their stromboli’s and fishbowl drinks. Looking to intern or visit the city? There is actually a train station located right on campus. Everything is accessible by foot and Rutgers bus.
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5. RUPAThe Rutgers University Programming Association known on campus as RUPA is such a large contribution to the activities on campus. The organization, made up of undergraduate students, host events such as comedy shows, concerts, the annual bed races, performances and other projects across campus to appeal to all of the students that go here. Last year there were performances by DJ Snake and ASAP Ferg, although I’m pretty sure nothing has beat seeing Kevin Hart freshman year, definitely one of my college highlights. I also got to meet the group Karmin and see them perform just before their first single was played by Z100 the very next day.
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4. RU PrideThere is honestly no better feeling than going to a school that you are proud of. You don’t even have to go to Rutgers to see that no matter what age, or how long ago someone has graduated; a scarlet knight will always be a scarlet knight.
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3. OrganizationsRutgers is extremely big on their student life. With over 400+ student organizations, programs and other services there is literally something for everyone. Organizations range from academic to social organizations as well as sports and developmental programs such as RUSA, the Rutgers University Student Assembly. Pretty much anything you can think of, there is a club for it. Our school publications, such as The Daily Targum, are student run and are among some of the largest college newspapers in the nation. Rutgers holds involvement fairs at the beginning of the semester to introduce students to all of the organizations the university offers. It is a great way to get information and get involved with things that matter to you.
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2. DiversityWhen I was in high school, one of the biggest things that drew me to Rutgers was diversity. It still amazes me how many people from different cultures and countries I have met since coming to school here and I think learning about different people, cultures and just attitudes in general has helped me grow not only as a student, but also as an individual. Coming from a town that was predominately latino I was used to a certain environment and coming to Rutgers has allowed me to meet people from all over the world and learn about different traditions and similarities as well. It’s been a very exciting and enlightening experience.
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1. Just Ranked top 30According to the Center for World University Rankings, this year Rutgers was ranked 33rd in the world and 24th in the U.S. making it to the top 30 Universities nationally.