Why Busy Should Not Be the Word You Are Looking For

My transition from freshman year to sophomore year has really allowed me to redefine the word busy. Last year I was always busy, so I thought I was being successful. I was always at club meetings, taking difficult classes, practically living in the library and constantly overwhelmed. At the end of the semester though, I didn’t have much to show for all my busyness, I had developed horrendous dark circles, developed a coffee addiction, forgot to wish some very important people in my life happy birthday, and had a not so great GPA. This year I am also constantly working, but I drink no more than one cup of coffee every day, I get at least 7 hours of sleep almost every night, I am able to cross off more on my to do list than ever before, and I even make time for the occasional workout. I think the biggest thing I have learned from the stark differences of my freshman year to my sophomore year is that busyness is not equivalent to productivity. I felt as though social media – primarily memes for college students – normalize things like pulling all-nighters, procrastinating, and binge drinking coffee. All these things give off the impression of being busy and feeling busy may make you feel as though your work is important; but staying up till 4 studying after watching Netflix all day does not make you any superior to the kid who finished their work ahead of time and was fast asleep at 11 PM. Another reason why I feel that college students like to pursue the mirage of the overworked teen is because when you’re busy you are pitied. If you see someone show up late to an exam and it’s someone who is always busy you might feel bad for them, but the kid who does the same work but manages his time better and shows up late is called an idiot.

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There’s also a maturity to not being busy all the time. When all your work is accounted for and you have time left over, that time is enjoyed much more than the bursts of instant gratification you receive through procrastination.

The biggest thing that I have noticed however, is that when you’re aspiring to be productive you should only hand pick a few necessary priorities and work to achieve them, and the payoff is often much greater than trying to be the best at everything which leaves you overwhelmed, and discouraged from not reaching all your goals.

For me the definition of busy has changed drastically from my freshman to my sophomore year. I no longer aspire to be busy, I aspire to be content. It’s because of this mindset that I have come to love my sophomore year so much more than my freshman year. Am I stressed? Yes, of course. But for the first time my ambitious goals seem attainable rather than impossible and that’s because every day I find myself getting just a little bit closer to my dreams. I encourage everyone to look into their day and realize how much more you can get out of your day when you stop aspiring to be busy.

 

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Tips to Make Friends at RU

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Hm, I don’t really think there is a step-by-step guide–that effectively works–to make friends. That’s because making friends is a process. And processes sometimes mean taking steps back to go forward. Now, keeping that in mind, it must be somewhat difficult to make friends in a huge community like Rutgers. Classes constantly change, and so do dormitory arrangements, and if you’re a commuter, it might even seem impossible to find a friend. But it’s not! You can make a big place smaller–forming bonds with people–but you can’t make a small place bigger. So here are some tips to help you build meaningful friendships:

1: Talk!

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Yes, being a chattermouth may work to your advantage at Rutgers! In classes, especially if they’re in lecture halls, you may feel like you’re just another student in the crowd. Simply turning to a person near you and saying “Hi” can really make a difference! Now, I know that introducing yourself to a stranger may not be “simple” at all. But this is one of the first steps of the friend-making process: putting yourself out there. Introducing yourself signals to the other person that you’re willing to be open-minded. Chances are, the people around you are also scared and just looking for someone to chat with and connect to. In smaller classes, such as those that take place in classrooms, talking to someone may be just as intimidating. Something that has helped me make friends is contributing to small group discussions. When we’re done talking about the assigned topic/question, I try introducing a question of my own–“How is everybody doing today?” That gets the conversation started and soon enough, my group members and I are asking each other about where we’re from, what we’re studying, and other “getting-to-know-you” questions. Try it!

2: Make Plans

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So once you’ve established a connection with a new person, how do you go about sustaining it? One way is to pipe up and suggest that y’all do something together. Remember, this doesn’t have to be as lavish as heading to a fancy dinner place! In fact, try inviting them for a cup of coffee or to attend a campus event together. Even asking them if they’d like to study with you for that class is a great way to keep the relationship going. During whatever you guys choose to do, you’ll see that you almost automatically start conversing about several things, sharing details/experiences in your life—things like that. Ultimately, humans like to know that they’re not alone; therefore, we want to make connections and hope they last long. 

3: Keep in Contact

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Oftentimes, when semesters end, the friends you worked hard to make suddenly disappear. Now you guys don’t have classes together, don’t take the same bus routes, don’t live on the same dorm floor. Whatever the case may be, you still both have the ability to keep in touch. This is even more possible nowadays, with all the technology and social media that surround us. Make use of these tools! Once in a while, pop a text to your friend from last semester’s Literature class and ask how they’re doing. How are their new classes? How are their professors and the work load? Would they like to meet up? The last question may be a hard one to type out for some people. What if that friend doesn’t really want to hang out anymore? Of course, there are a lot of What If’s, but if you don’t try asking, how will you know the answer? Challenge yourself; give it a shot! 

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Undoubtedly, friends you might’ve been close to for years may grow apart, for a number of reasons. That’s something difficult to go through, but it’s not the end of the world. Friends come and go. There are so many people out there for you to befriend. I’m not saying finding new friends will replace the valuable relationship you might’ve had with someone, but it definitely will give you hope that you do have people who care about you. You just gotta find them!

–Tanya B.

Managing your Life

So if you remember from my last post, I talked about how junior year is when responsibilities increase and life starts feeling more “adult” like. Well these past few weeks, all those responsibilities started to quickly and quietly pile and pile up! From exams to managing an organization to scheduling all my other extracurricular activities, I started to get real swamped with too many deadlines and things to complete. Luckily today I finally finished most of the major tasks in my calendar. But I realized a lot of things especially about time management that we need to keep in mind so we don’t go crazy.

  1. Just breathe! Sometimes when we are swamped with so many task and things, we start to spiral into a dark void. When we are in these situations, it sometimes is best to just forget about everything for a minute. Just take one moment to bring yourself to a calm state of mind. A calm mind is a productive mind. Once we are calm and at rest, we can think much more clearly about how to tackle each of our tasks and responsibilities. 
  2. Write everything down. This varies for people. Some like to use a calendar, some use a notebook, some even fill their Mac Dashboard with sticky notes! Whatever the way, just try to get your assignments and deadlines in writing. This way your mind is not busy remembering when and where your tasks and projects are due, but how and why you can and need to complete them.
  3. Prioritize. Sometimes we are going to have too many things to do or so many places we need to be at once. That type of cloning technology is not yet available for consumers yet. So we must sacrifice, compromise, and prioritize. It’s ok to skip that party if you have a essay due. You can hang with your friends anytime if it’s not today. For me for example, I decided to delay drawing up an agenda for one of my events because I had an exam to worry about. You must decide what is important and what is not. You also need to decide what is urgent and what is not.
  4. Don’t let the responsibilities pile up! AKA DON’T PROCRASTINATE! When certain tasks are spaces out nicely, it is easy for us to complete them. But if you allow them to pile and pile up, it will be much harder for you to complete all of them. Especially if you have two exams on the same day; try to start studying for them earlier. 
  5. Treat yourself! One of the best ways I have found in my life to prevent the stress from building up is to frequently let yourself relax and enjoy. Now this doesn’t mean take a break every 10 minutes haha! But if you finish one task, maybe give yourself 20-30 minutes of relaxation. Your stress level will go down and you will feel much more energized when you resume your work again.

And remember Rutgers has a bunch of resources if you are ever feeling down. RU CAPS is a great resource that you can recommend to others. And always remember you can count on your friends and family if you ever need someone to talk to. Life is only as hard as we make it.

Cool Websites

Hello everyone! It’s finally fall!! Yay! In this cold weather what better thing is there to do besides wrapping yourself in a blanket, sitting on the bed, and surfing the web? I thought this month I would share with you a compilation of websites that are weird, cool, and/or useful. Enjoy and be sure to check out the websites you find interesting!

    1. Brain Pickings

This is a blog run by an MIT Fellow student named Maria Popova. She basically amasses thought-provoking content in pretty much any subject you can think of including philosophy, art, history, politics, anthropology and more! She recently wrote about how the tale of Big Wolf & Little Wolf  teaches us about the importance of friendship and having a sense of belonging. If you would like delve into topics and love to ponder upon things in the world, then this is the site for you!

2. TED


I am sure, or at least I hope, most if not all of you have heard of TED. TED hosts many talks that are truly inspirational and amazing. From the newest breakthroughs in science to how to start a good habit, TED talks will keep you updated on the most innovative and enriching discoveries happening around the world. My personal favorite would be there inspirational videos. In particular, I loved “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over” talk given by Mel Robbins, “Why 30 is not the new 20” by Dr. Meg Jay, and “10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation” given by Celeste Headlee.

3. The Useless Web

Okay, so this is when you are so terribly bored that you don’t really care about what website you want to go to. The Useless Web will take you to pointless, but somehow entertaining websites that might just cure your boredom. All you do is click the “Please” button and, voila, you’re directed to a unique site each time. Oh the places you’ll go. You’ll never know where you’ll be directed! Have fun. I definitely thought this site was perfect for when you have just taken a brutal midterm and don’t really want to start that episode of your show you’re obsessed with because you know you’ll end up watching for at least 3 hours

4. Giphy

Please embrace yourself for this one. This is a website filled with GIFs of every possible thing you can imagine. Not only can you search for endless GIFs, but also make one of your own!

5. Unplug the TV!

Even if no one might still watch TV, here is a website that gives you random, but informative videos to watch. The best part is you never know what video you’ll get! If you don’t want to watch something, then you can always skip to next random video. Just to show you the randomness: my first time I got a video about three moons that could be planets, then I got a video about the end of the Arctic, and just now I got one about what Cannabis does to your brain!

6. The Oatmeal

If you are looking to laugh, and who isn’t, then this comic website is your best choice. Matthew Inman’s illustrations are so funny, humorous, and will surely lighten your mood.  Most of the comics are relatively short and sweet, so you don’t have to worry about finishing pages of comics in the little free time you do manage to have. Do check this one out!

LIVING ON BUSCH, CLASSES ON COLLEGE AVE, WORK ON COOK- The Life of A Daily Rutgers Bus Hopper

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Every Tuesday for me starts at 8 AM, as I get ready to catch the 8:30 REX B from Allison Road Classroom to Red Oak Lane. At Red Oak, I switch to either an EE or F bus which will take me to Biel Road (hopefully) in time for me to start work in the Cook Cafe at 9AM. At 1:30, I get on a bus at Biel again to take me to College Hall where I can get back on the REX B to take me back to ARC ( where I usually get on an A OR B bus because at that point I’m to lazy to walk to my apartment). All these buses and it is just about 2 PM, I haven’t yet proceeded to go to class on College Ave.  On Tuesdays, I take an average of 7 buses through the day or more sometimes. That is the life of this daily bus hopper.

I lived in Frelinghuysen hall last year and I didn’t know how much I would miss it till I left. I’m a Journalism a major so therefore all my classes are at SC&I and while living in the river dorm, I took for granted the easy walk to class, the quick power nap I could take before my next class and the way I was able to avoid most of the bus stress. But the great thing about Rutgers is that on every campus there are little spots where you can relax, study and sometimes avoid the stress of the bus. For me, that is the Art Library on College Ave.

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Nestled in between Murray and Voorhees hall, the library is located inside a wide brick building. With the fading gold-lettered sign proclaiming its name, it is easy to ignore and move on with your day, but for those who know it, it is a haven. I first encountered this building, during finals season of the first semester of my freshman year. The study lounges in my dorm were full and Alexandra as always was packed. I hated taking the buses, so going to a library on another campus was not even a possibility. I finally decided to just study in a class, and as I walked to Murray hall, I noticed the building beside it with letters that seemed to say library. Having no other option in mind; I walked in and fell in love because a lot of people didn’t know it existed there were tons of space. My favorite place to study in the library is the couch chairs in front of the big window. The chairs are amazingly comfortable and have a table attached to them so that’s practical and we can’t forget about the wonderful view of voorhees mall ( there also happens to be excellent lighting here for selfies). It has become my sanctuary- where I can relax in between classes and work instead of heading back on the bus to Busch. 

So my advice for my fellow bus hoppers ( and I know there are many) is to find your own space on whatever you campus you are on, that will be your place to rest or study or watch a movie, just where you can feel at home. P.S. I wouldn’t mind sharing mine with you.

Enter the World of Insects

In my last year at Rutgers, I wanted to challenge myself.

Step outside of my comfort zone. Confront my fears. Go WILD. 😎


So what did I do?

I signed up to take a class about insects.

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Now I should clarify: I am one of the most squeamish people around. I flinch whenever a bug flies near me. My mom worries that one day my reaction to insects will give someone a heart attack. I scream when I spot an insect inside the house.

I think my fear of insects stems from the fact that there are so many different kinds with so many different appearances that it seems impossible to distinguish which kinds are harmful, neutral, or beneficial.


In the past few weeks, however, learning about insect classification, body systems, and behaviors, and even looking at pictures of insects of all shapes and sizes has given me a grudging appreciation for their evolutionary success and abundance, which according to Wikipedia, “potentially represent 90% of the differing animal life forms on Earth”. As much as I would like to ignore them, insects impact fields that include agriculture, medicine, forensics, and ecology. Yes, insects might “bee” creepy and crawly. They “bug” me. They make me want to “flea“. But in spite of all this, I gained a newfound respect for how diverse they are and how important entomology, or the study of insects, is. While my instinct may always to respond to insects with fear, a part of me now also admires how well the group as a whole has flourished over millennia. #respect


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A couple of weeks ago, as I was getting ready for my 8:40AM class, I spotted a beetle like insect about the size of my thumb crawling on the windowsill in the kitchen. I ignored it, because ain’t nobody got time to deal with that at 8:00AM. When I came back from class, it was still there, trying unsuccessfully to climb out of the open window. Now normally, I would have left the creature alone, but this time I saw that it was missing a leg.

I’ve always felt bad for insects that I find inside the house who want to leave but can’t. Because once they’re inside the house, there’s only two routes: survive or die. When I can, I let them outside, but when I can’t, they either inevitably perish, or are killed.

This creature was one of those insects that was trying to escape by crawling on the window, with the outside world so tantalizingly close. After observing it warily for a couple of minutes and seeing that it didn’t fly (flying insects scare me so much more), I enticed it to crawl onto a sheet of paper where I set it free outside. A couple of days later, it happened again, during which I felt a small sense of pride at taking steps to “overcome” my fear.

However, I am currently barricaded in my room due to the presence of two stinkbugs (which can fly 😱) crawling on the living room window of the apartment. So I still have a long way to go before I actually overcome my fear.


Overall, I am glad I made the decision to step outside my comfort zone and take a class on insects. Knowledge is power, and by learning about what may be one of the most abundant groups of organisms on the planet, I am familiarizing myself to creatures that have since become less frightening. Yes the pictures on the slides gross me out sometimes, and my belief that insects can be dangerous has been confirmed, but by challenging myself to learn more about my insects, I not only became more knowledgeable, but also developed a sense of accomplishment at taking steps to overcome my fear. For all the readers out there who are afraid of something, I encourage you all to challenge yourselves and learn more about that something. Who knows? You may end up enjoying it.

The Truth About Freshman 15

I remember the first time I was introduced to Freshman 15 like it was yesterday.  Health class during my junior and senior years of high school, my teachers cautioned us about the dreaded weight gain college students experience in their freshman year.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard about it.  15 whole pounds?!

But, when I stepped foot into college, I realized how possible it truly was.  The tempting aromas, the endless options in cafeteria buffets, the abundance of cool restaurants everywhere I turned and could not wait to dine at…Freshman 15 almost seemed inevitable.

Also, just think about it.  For many people, college is the first time that they are in complete control of their eating choices.  Students are at liberty to eat whenever they want, wherever they want.  With hours worth of free time between classes and an overload of tasks to stress about, snacking becomes the perfect solution distraction.

After a month of college, I am tempted almost every single day to grab some hot chocolate, delve in ice cream, maybe even treat myself to bubble tea! Being a commuter, I do not have meal swipes, and get home-cooked meals.  Maybe that makes it a little easier for me to avoid unhealthy eating habits, but I can imagine how difficult it is for residents to resist the temptation.

   

So, we all seem doomed, don’t we? Actually, no, we aren’t.  There are several myths floating around about Freshman 15, making it seem more dangerous and unavoidable than it actually is.

  1. People typically 10-15 pounds of weight gain. The truth is that the average weight gain 2 to 5 pounds.  Some studies show the average to be around 7 pounds.  Of course, it is difficult to compute a mathematical average because every individual is unique, and different factors, including metabolism, family history, medical history and environment, influence one’s chances of weight gain.  Although 15 pounds is an exaggeration, it is not impossible–about 10% of students gain that much.
  2. Weight gain only affects freshmen. Changes in eating habits and lifestyles are constant throughout adulthood.  Metabolism slows down as people approach their 20s. While most weight gain is said to occur during a student’s first year in college, it is possible in any year.  In freshman year, most students are in the transition phase.  They are prone to experience homesickness, elevated anxiety levels, sadness and loneliness.  All of these responses can trigger stress-eating.
  3. Weight gain is due to partying and drinking.  The truth is that Freshman 15 is the result of a combination of different factors. Large meal plans, excess snacking, lack of exercise, binge drinking and increased stress can contribute.  Although partying and drinking are unhealthy, it is a jump to conclude that they are the cause of Freshman 15. The overall changes in eating behaviors, such as irregular eating times and large portions are more likely to cause weight gain.
  4. Weight loss is impossible. Sometimes, just the fear of Freshman 15 can put students at risk of body dissatisfaction and potential eating disorders.  The paranoia can lead to unhealthy dieting and habits.  Instead of skipping meals, the best way to avoid weight gain is to adopt healthy practices. Rather than making drastic changes to diet, it is far better to make small adjustments and set attainable goals.  If you feel guilty or over conscious about your food intake, talk to your doctor or seek counseling at Rutgers (CAPS).

Putting on a couple of pounds is not something to fear. As our bodies continue to develop, changes in weight are expected and completely healthy.  However, increased weight gain is problematic.  Many health risks, including high cholesterol, blood pressure and joint problems are likely.  A poor lifestyle can pave the path for future problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Even if some students do not gain significant weight, they should not continue to engage in unhealthy eating behaviors. They most likely do not have a balanced nutrient intake.  Their concentration, memory and performance, in general, can lag behind.

Here are a few tips to avoid Freshman 15:

  • Stick to an eating schedule to avoid unnecessary snacking
  • Avoid eating late night
  • Do not skip meals
  • Keep a watch on your meal portions
  • Avoid vending machines
  • Replace soda with water/milk/juice
  • Treat yourself occasionally 🙂
  • Do not eat while doing other tasks- watching TV, studying, etc
  • Work out for a minimum of 30 minutes daily (gym, fitness group activities, dance, jogging)
  • Sleep for 7-8 hours each night
    • Avoid caffeine or watching TV before sleeping (I know it’s hard!)

With a little bit of control and moderate efforts to maintain an active lifestyle, Freshman 15 is yet another challenge in college that can be conquered.

So I Lost My Phone…

I’ve got four exams next week so let’s make this quick.

I’ve always meant to talk about this whole incident, I just never got around to it for whatever reason. Maybe I was just blocking it out of my memory.

Looking backing on this, I’m the biggest idiot to ever live on the face of this earth, but never mind that! On to reliving horrible, stressful memories!

I had just come back from dinner with my roommates and I was looking for my phone. I couldn’t find it, but I wasn’t too worried because I’d misplace it all the time. It was in a white  case, I had a white bedspread, and my eyes are awful even when I’m wearing my glasses (I should probably get that checked out) so at this point not knowing where my phone is was part of the normal routine.

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I asked my roommate to call my phone and I didn’t hear anything, which made me incredibly Uneasy. Then roommate says that instead of ringing, she went straight to voicemail, which made me quite Nervous, because I knew my phone wasn’t dead so it had to be off.

So I ran back to the dining hall and asked very calmly and collectedly to be let back in so I can see if I left my phone at the table and therefore be set free from this swirling vortex of fear, anxiety, and self-hatred. I didn’t just lose my phone. I had lost my debit card and my Rutgers ID and my state ID and whatever tenuous control I had over my life.

I spent the next four days obsessively checking Find My iPhone just in case the heinous thief who had stolen my phone and turned it off suddenly became wildly incompetent at stealing phones. No such luck.

Let me just say that this story has a happy ending. My phone, debit card, Rutgers ID, and state ID turned up eventually.

But for the phone days I was phone-less, life was very difficult in ways I didn’t expect.

The lack of contact with my friends was strange. My friends and family were kind enough to switch all conversations to Facebook now that texting wasn’t an option (My dad just emailed me, but he did that anyway so there wasn’t much adjustment there), but I could only interact with them while I had access to a computer, which wasn’t always. So that was a bit odd.

without-my-cell-phone-i-wont-be-able-toYou also never realize how much you appreciate being able know anything at any time. How did people in the olden times do it? We have the power to find out breaking news in a country thousands of miles and also how tall Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is whenever we want. Appreciate that, kids. You’ll never know when that power will go away.

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I never knew when the buses were coming. I never knew what time it was. What if one of my professors suddenly sends out an email canceling class while I was on my way to that class? That never happens, but what if? Not having my phone felt oddly isolating. It was like I was cut off from the rest of the world and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.  

Anyway, on Monday I got an email saying that my lost property had been found and I could pick it up from Public Safety Building. Thank the Lord! I almost left in the middle of class to go get it, but there were only twenty people there so I figured it would be kind of obvious if I left.

So as soon as I could, I go to Public Safety Building and wait a good half-hour for the guy who returns lost items (AKA The Most Wonderful Man In The World) to get back from his lunch break and then my phone was returned to me, my debit card and IDs perfectly intact.

“So where was it?” I asked, turning over my phone in my hands to make sure that it was real. I could hear choirs singing in my head.

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“Oh, on the bus,” said The Greatest Man Who Has Ever Lived Or Will Live.  “Have a good one!”

“Thank you, kind sir! I shall name my firstborn after you!”

(I didn’t say that. That’d be weird.)

I was a little confused about how my phone ended up on a bus because I am 100% sure I left it at the dining hall. I’m pretty sure someone took it, but did they have a change of heart? Did they look at my ID picture and think, “No, the world has done enough to this unfortunate soul”? Was my phone just really easy to lose? I may never know.

It was definitely an interesting experience living without my phone for a few days. Would I repeat it? No. (Have I? Yes, against my will.) And I’m sure one could say all sorts of insightful things about technology’s effects on society and how people experience the world. How connected everything is these days, friends and strangers and information.

But like I said, I have four exam next week, so I guess you guys can think about it. Maybe leave your phone and go on a walk and you’ll see what I mean. But make sure you know where you leave your phone and not leave it up to the will of the universe whether or not you get it back.

 

Overcoming my Rutgers fears

How I overcame my three biggest fears about Rutgers University:

1) Getting lost:

I had a big fear as a freshman, and still sometimes do, and that is getting lost within an extremely big crowd, or just simply getting lost…literally.

The first type of getting lost turned out to not be true at all. It is true that Rutgers has over thirty-six thousand students on campus, and that can be a source of worry; however, I found that this specific detail about Rutgers motivates even the most outgoing, social, and leading students to even become more of those traits, and the shy to step out of their comfort zone to be noticed and acknowledged for their hard work and desire to be given opportunities to succeed, which there are plenty of in RU. While that may seem so troublesome, it is the perfect training for the real world. Not everything is easy in the real world, and definitely not either in RU, but we scarlet knights manage just fine.

Getting literally lost; however, has no solution, except for just asking bugging people around you- the same exact people… every day…around the same time- to get to wherever on time. A normal person would definitely use their GPS to get around alright, but I am sure there are people out there, like me, who have no sense of directions whatsoever, right? Or is it just me? …

2) Sleep deprivation/ poor time management:  

Everyone’s advice to me the past couple of moths was to kiss my afternoon naps and nine-hour sleep shifts goodbye, because I was about to become a Rutgers student for the next 4 years of my life. Not true. If you write yourself little post it notes with a quick schedule of the things you need to study/get done each day, you would find yourself limited to finish within a certain time frame, and managing to do so successfully as well. Also, if you have a ton of things to do and sleeping in your dorm room or house is not happening any time soon, just take a two-hour nap in the library or anywhere on campus, really, and steal 10 minute mini naps on the bus here and there.

If all fails, STILL take a small nap in the middle of the day, and survive on caffeine, I guess.

3) Getting rejected:

It is ok to get said no to in the face. It really is. I actually discovered that it is kind of productive to get rejected every once in a while. This means that you are challenging yourself, and you won’t always succeed in all the challenges your face…normally. For instance, I applied for 14 positions in research labs. Only two professors replied with a reciprocated interest, and the rest flatly rejected me. Although the chances are that I won’t get any research done this year because of my predicted rejections within a week or two, I have come to strongly believe in the strength of a question or a request, simply because I managed to get an SPN for a course that is really hard to get one in, just because I was persistent in my question and resilient in my attempts. So, don’t ever give up on trying new things, even if the experiences do not always come out as desired.

 

Why We Love Rutgers!

Happy October! With leaves falling, colors changing, sweatshirts finally coming out of the closet, and pumpkin-flavored everything, it’s hard to believe we were just in the lull of the lazy, hot days of summer. But now, we have finished one whole month of surviving classes and surviving the dining halls, so let’s give ourselves a pat on the back. We wanted to take some time today to share with you our favorite things from this past month at Rutgers as well as what we think makes Rutgers, well Rutgers.

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One of my favorite thing about Rutgers, especially the first semester, is FOOTBALL!!!! Yes, I know we do not win games. Yes, I also know I don’t know the first thing about football. And yes, I know I can no longer get meal-swipe chicken nuggets because I no longer have meal swipes (It’s a tough life to be an off-campus senior). BUT, there is nothing that makes me feel more like part of the student body, more like a Rutgers Scarlet Knight than standing on the bleachers every Saturday game, chanting and singing and cheering along with the sea of scarlet and black around me. It is such a fun experience being surrounded by people who are so passionate about your school, whether they be your roommates, or those friends that you haven’t seen since freshman year, or the alumni who come back with their kids at least one game a season just because they just love it too. If you haven’t gone to a football game yet, I highly encourage it. It is 100% a REVOLUTIONARY experience (ha ha get it?) – Fairooz K.

I commute, and I take pretty credit-intensive course loads just due to the nature of my physics major. So, I don’t actually do a lot of activities and such on campus. However, because of one of my jobs, the events I really like are Rutgers’ Day, which is the school-wide event in the spring, and an event that’s pretty specific to my job, which are the annual Faraday Shows. One of my jobs is working in the Physics Lecture Hall building, if any of you guy’s have classes there; I set up demonstrations and help maintain stuff in that building. For Rutgers’ Day, our boss hosts a show where he does physics demonstrations, which may not sound that exciting, but he really is an amazing showman. So he does a physics show that mostly younger kids attend, but anyone is welcome to come, and before that show starts, his workers (me included) stand outside the building and do a few physics demonstrations ourselves, which is pretty neat actually getting to teach a concept, makes ya feel smart. The same thing is done around the December holiday season for the Faraday Shows, and it’s fun seeing all the little kids get excited for these demos. It’s cool seeing kids actually get excited by physics (I try to talk to my family about this stuff and they get annoyed with me in like a matter of minutes I’m so insulted). – Becky K.

The number of people at Rutgers initially made me nervous, but it has easily become my favorite thing about this school. There are many perks to going to such a large college. I see new people every single place that I go, which is nice because I can potentially make new friends every day, but at the same time I don’t get sick of seeing the same people all the time. I think it would be a little overwhelming to never see familiar faces, so the splitting of the campus into five smaller ones allows me to run into people that I already know when I am on home on College Ave. As annoying as it can sometimes be to take a bus everywhere, having five different campuses means that I get to experience going to school in urban, suburban, and rural environments, and there is an always event with free food happening somewhere. Because Rutgers has so many people to cater to, there are enough clubs, activities, majors, and classes to interest every person. School spirit is very important to me, so I love knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of students and alumni walking around who are equally as proud to be Scarlet Knights as I am. – Nishita Patel

What I love most about Rutgers, in addition to all the games and the food, is the overall sense of belonging one achieves through spending time here. I dorm, but at the same time I don’t live too far from home, and I go home on most weekends, but while at Rutgers, I try to find the clubs, the classes, and the opportunities that make me go “Yes, that is me in the vision I see of this.” So far, over these past three years, I’ve been feeling more and more like I fit in perfectly with the enormous community here. There are so many opportunities to get involved, and many ways for everyone to tailor their own schedules, and at the same time, if new things feel a bit overwhelming, I can always turn to close by old friends and family to keep me motivated. Out of any other college, Rutgers is enormous, inclusive, and is the happy medium between my growing community at Rutgers and my past existing community back home in Edison. Of course, the fat sandwiches don’t disappoint, but one day will come where I can finish a full one without feeling like I ate an elephant. Maybe my sense of belonging is with those who can’t finish one no matter how hard they try… – Neelay Inamdar

When I got my schedule, I was initially disappointed to see that most of my classes were on Douglass.  Douglass. The campus that no one wants to be on.  I’d heard that it was boring, lonely, etc… Yet, when I first got off the REX B bus onto College Hall, I was pleasantly surprised.  I liked it.  Now, I cannot speak for everyone, but I absolutely loved the peaceful, rural vibe of Douglass. It was full of trees and quiet- perfect for studying! Some of my favorite spots to study on Douglass include the Mabel Smith Douglass Library and the Douglass Student Center.  The Douglass Library is one of the best ones in Rutgers.  It’s small and aesthetic.  Also, side fact, I was amazed that students gets $30 worth of free printing money which equates up to 750 pages! The student center has great study spots, including a commuter lounge.  Plus, there’s a Dunkin Donuts inside as well! While College Ave and Livingston seem like the life of Rutgers, Douglass is beautiful in its own way, and I’m glad I got a chance to experience it – Raaga Rambhatla

One of my favorite things about Rutgers, other than the people and the things to do, is the size. While going from campus to campus on the buses is sometimes a struggle (7 LX buses and 2 B buses passed before a REXL came), to me there’s something reassuring in knowing that I have four campuses to choose from, whether it’s visiting the Geology Museum or eating out on College Ave, or visiting Passion Puddle and the farm on Cook Douglass. Each campus is unique in its own way, yes, even Busch, who I have heard referred to as an “industrial wasteland” with the construction. But even then, the leaves of the ginkgo trees by the medical school continue to turn bright yellow in the fall year after year, while on Livingston, there’s the ecological preserve to gawk at trees and the Cinema to watch the latest movies. In addition to the whole host of study nooks and crannies on each campus, there’s so many opportunities out there and so many wonderful people to meet! – Jenny X.

My biggest fear about Rutgers was not being able to get my fresh start in college because so many people from my high school would be coming to Rutgers as well. However, I was still able to start fresh and find a group of people that where I felt I belonged. What I love about Rutgers is the opportunities. Regardless of what your interests may be whether it be singing, Irish dancing, debating, there is a niche for everyone here at Rutgers, and despite what you may think everyone comes to Rutgers with the hopes of a clean slate, so you can always be completely yourself and find a group of like-minded people where you belong! – Aarohi Apte

So in college, many people tend to gain weight. There are so many changes that is going on in your life such as lack of sleep, stress, and diet changes. With all these changes, I think that it’s very important to maintain a healthy diet to maintain a healthy life. In my opinion the dining hall food here is really good (shout out to Neilson), however I initially found it hard to eat healthy. There was so much pasta and pizza and the lettuce did not look appetizing at first. I didn’t notice that changes immediately, but I wasn’t as active and alert as I used to be and I never really felt satisfied. After freshmen year, I decided that I need a change in my diet. So at the start of this semester, I forced myself to make salad every time I went to the dining hall and it was surprisingly good. If you had some chicken or beans (if you are a vegetarian), then it gets really good with a little bit of pasta then you get a wholesome meal. I usually have this everyday, and I honestly feel fuller and a lot of energetic (although I am exercising more than I did last year). There are so many benefits to maintaining a healthy diet such as increase in academic scores, more energy, and less depression. – Akhila M

Need a place to chillax, rejuvenate, and/or study and work? Well, dear reader, I propose Hidden Grounds! One of my favorite places on Rutgers (and on Earth), Hidden Grounds is a coffee and tea café with a friendly, inviting atmosphere I certainly vibe with. Enjoy a warm, delicious Nutella Mocha or a calming, refreshing Rose Iced Chai with perhaps a famous Bombay Sandwich, while you work on assignments—or chat with friends—surrounded by some mellow tunes. I’ve never had coffee THIS good in an environment that’s filled with SUPER-AWESOME energy. My metaphorical home is located at 106 Easton Ave. Give it a shot—and get some espresso shots while you’re at it! 😉 – Tanya B.

One of my favorite things about Rutgers is the countless opportunities there are for everything! You have literally hundreds of choices for everything. For example, if you want to join a club, then there are over a hundred clubs. If you are looking for a place to study, then I will guarantee you that you will find a place that will cater to your needs. For instance, if you like to study in quiet places, then you have the third floor of Library of Science of Medicine on Busch, Alexander library’s beautiful lounges, and even Douglass’ artsy study areas. If you like it bright and not terribly quiet, then the Academic Building on College Avenue campus is probably the place for you! Now, let’s not forget about how many food choices we have! From Burger King, and Chipotle, and Popeyes in New Brunswick downtown to Qdoba, Henry’s Diner, and Asian Fusion on Livingston, food variety is not a concern. Don’t forget the multiple Starbucks on College Avenue and Moe’s on Busch campus as well! Whatever you are thinking of doing, you can find a way to do it here at Rutgers. It is crazy and so amazing. There’s never a dull moment! – Aishwarya Madhikar

A lot of the time, my schedule includes a class in the morning and a class in the evening. Being a commuter student, I don’t have a dorm room to go to in between classes. I have to find other places that I can spend my time and be productive. Of course it is always nice to go to the library to get work done, but sometimes I get bored and need a change. One of my favorite places is the Starbucks on Livingston. I personally really like the “coffee-shop” ambiance, so I don’t mind the noise level. I also like to study at the Academic Buildings on College Ave. They have really comfortable couches and the view from the huge windows is really beautiful! On Busch, I sometimes go to the learning center at the SERC, which is a really great place to study if you don’t feel like going to the library! If you are like me and frequently need a change of atmosphere to be more productive, there are a ton of great places to check out on each campus! – Amanda Siriram

One of the few things that I wish I knew about when I came to Rutgers was where to
get the best food. As a commuter, I tried to save money by not buying a meal plan.
Instead, I opted to get food from the food vendors around and in the student centers
whenever I needed to. So here are some of my favorite places:
1. Woody’s – A secret deli located deep within the Busch campus. Here you will not
only find RWJ medical students and pharmacy kids, but also you will find a fantastic
deli, salad bar, and convenience store.
2. Busch Campus Center – Moe’s Bar, Gerlanda’s, Szechwan Ichiban, and the
convenience store. Great diversity of foods. From sushi to burritos to pizza to wraps,
Busch campus center offers one of the best student center food options!
3. College Ave Student Center –  Just like the BCC, the CA student center also offers
many choices of food options. King Pita, Gerlanda’s (again lol), Subway, Wendys.
There are so many choices that you will be wondering what you wanna eat! – Saad Mansuri

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