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The fall semester has officially begun here at Rutgers! This year, the New Brunswick campus is estimated to see a record-breaking class of 7,150 first-year students strolling down the bustling sidewalks of College Avenue and learning how to navigate the complex bus system that takes them across all four campuses. Though freshman shouldn’t stress too much about nailing that last part during their first week – even seniors still get the many routes confused sometimes.

Now that most new students are just beginning to settle into their new home for the next few years, the current executive board members of Her Campus Rutgers would love to welcome this year’s incoming class to campus! Ranging from former transfers to out of state and local students, we’ve each learned a few lessons during our time here that we wish we knew coming into Rutgers.

Alishbah, Senior (Co-Campus Correspondent)

It’s totally expected to be a little nervous when starting out at a new school, especially when that new school has 60,000 other students. Don’t let that intimidate you from exploring campus and meeting new people. Also, it’s completely understandable if you don’t know what you’re doing yet but don’t worry; it’s only freshman year, you still have 4 whole years to figure yourself out! 

Cassidy, Senior (Co-Campus Correspondent)

The huge size of Rutgers may be intimidating at first, especially to those coming in without hometown friends on campus, but don’t let that hold you back from branching out and meeting new people! Going to the many on-campus events help, and between your classes, club meetings, residence halls and introductions from mutual friends, you never know where you could meet your future friend group or roommates. So keep trying, these things take time!

Jenny, Senior (Marketing and Publicity Director)

Coming from a small high school in a big city, Rutgers may be intimidating with its size and location. But don’t let that hinder you from enjoying your time here. College is only a short while, so make it last. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Make as many friends and connections as you can. Lastly, never hesitate to ask questions and always feel free to reach out.

Purva, Senior (Social Media Team Member)

While Rutgers is a huge school and can be intimidating, there are plenty of resources for all students. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, professors, and/or guidance counselors. One piece of advice I have from my own experience is to not to push back your classes. I regret not taking more classes my freshman year and then having to take extra credits during your other semesters. But remember to still have fun in your four short years of college!!

Kate, Junior (Social Media Director)

Welcome! Rutgers is going to not just be your school, but your new home. One bit of advice I have for you all is to expect the unexpected and embrace it! A lot of curveballs will be thrown your way and trust me, everything has a way of working itself out.

Sam, Junior (Treasurer)

Classes in large lecture halls with hundreds of students can be intimidating and may leave you feeling disconnected from the material. I definitely recommend attending your professors’ office hours and introducing yourself! Making connections with your professors is a great way to expand your network. Also, by attending office hours, your professors will recognize your dedication to understanding the material and will want to vouch for you. Professors can be excellent resources for you, especially if you need references in the future.

Shannon, Junior (Senior Editor)

Rutgers University is New Jersey’s state school so it’s not a surprise if you come into the semester with high school classmates. However, don’t stay within your comfort zone and stick to the people you know. College is the time to meet new people and explore new experiences. I remember being a freshman and being scared of making new friends so I stuck with people who went to my high school but I wasn’t happy. Sophomore year I began making new friends and joined clubs and a sorority, finding my fit and place at Rutgers. I probably wouldn’t have done these things if I didn’t branch out from what I knew.

Aishwarya, Sophomore (Secretary)

Rutgers has something for anyone and everyone. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore your interests! Although the massive Rutgers community can be overwhelming at first, it is the perfect place to meet people from various backgrounds and really find yourself. 

Catherine, Sophomore (Assistant Editor) 

Rutgers is a huge school, which comes with a lot of benefits but also means that no one will be there to hold your hand through the process. I had to learn a lot the first few weeks, from navigating the buses, to handling financial aid and scheduling my classes. There are a lot of resources for you, from advisors to social media to upperclassmen, so remember to reach out if you need help!

Christine, Sophomore (Events Coordinator)

When attending a university as big as Rutgers, it can be easy to forget that it’s okay to take things at your own pace! The transition from high school to college isn’t always smooth for everyone, so don’t push yourself around too much or compare yourself too harshly to others around you. Of course, college is the place for exploration, and you should expand your horizons past your comfort zone; however, you are in control of your own unique Rutgers journey, and aren’t obligated to mirror anyone else’s experience. Whether you adapt quickly to college life or take longer to adjust, you will be completely fine and have an enjoyable Rutgers freshman year nonetheless!

Sindhu, Sophomore (Social Media Team Member)

The idea of starting out at a completely new school, away from your family and in a brand new environment can be really scary at first. The most important thing is to always be open to trying something new. Whether it’s going to a club meeting or taking a class about a topic you know zero about, trying is the best thing you can do. Don’t let not knowing anyone in your class or having someone to accompany you to a meeting or event stop you from checking out the things you want to.

We wish the best of luck to our new Scarlet Knights as they embark on their college journey at Rutgers!

Alishbah Arsalan is a graduating senior at Rutgers University majoring in Health Administration and minoring in Human Resource Management.
Cassidy hails from Delaware County, Pennsylvania and is an undergraduate Journalism and Media Studies major and Psychology minor at Rutgers University with a passion for telling stories. She is the current Co-Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Rutgers.
Jenny Zheng

Rutgers '20

Born and raised in NYC, Jenny is pursuing Marketing and Psychology at Rutgers University with a passion for storytelling through words and photos. She is the current marketing and publicity director for Her Campus Rutgers. Jenny is an "aspiring" foodie and a sucker for aesthetically pleasing scenes, so you can always find her exploring the newest food and boba spots or the trendiest picturesque places. Follow her on Instagram @jennayyx3 for more.
Kate Dobbs

Rutgers '21

Kate Dobbs is currently a sophomore attending Rutgers University New Brunswick. She is currently majoring in History on a secondary education track with a specialization in Special Education and Public History. Additionally she is a spinning instructor at Rutgers University. She aspires to help her future students succeed and be set on a path of success. Instagram: katedobbs
Sam Fellin is a senior at Rutgers Business School majoring in accounting. She is currently the Co-Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Rutgers. With a passion for learning as well as teaching, Sam aspires to be a future leader in business. Her interests include reality TV, fashion, and anything Disney. For the latest on Sam, follow her on Instagram: @samfellin
Shannon is a senior attending Rutgers University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Journalism & Media studies. Although she is graduating this May, she will be staying to obtain her Master's degree in Communication Media. With a great passion for everything fashion and beauty, she hopes to be writing for a magazine centered around both. She loves puppies and can often be found in bed binging a k-drama on Netflix!
Aishwarya Sridhar is a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Cell Biology & Neuroscience and double minoring in Psychology and Health & Society. You can usually find her studying in a library or curled up on her favorite couch with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Hey, my name is Catherine Nguyen and I'm an undergraduate student at RU-New Brunswick! I'm planning on double majoring in English and actuarial mathematics. I love 90's hip hop, pineapple pizza and reading.
Christine Nguyen is a freshman at Rutgers University.
Sindhu is currently a sophomore attending Rutgers University. With a great interest in pop culture and fashion, she loves being a part of the Her Campus chapter at RU. Besides hanging out with her friends, she loves reading and writing. You can often find her listening to music and creating new Spotify Playlists.
Purva Patel

Rutgers '20

I'm a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Psychology. I love working with kids and am aspiring to become a pediatrician in the future!
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