Great Series To Binge Over Winter Break:

1) The Walking Dead: Nothing Screams winter break like Zombies. With 6 seasons full of gore and intriguing plotline, the walking dead is a really good candidate for a weeklong binge-fest.

2) The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Produced by Tiny Fey, this mini-series is a hysterical comedy about a girl who was tricked into thinking the world was going to end by a crazy priest, prompting her to live in an underground bunker for many years. The series explores her return to the surface and her attempt to adjust to the modern world.

3) Bob’s Burgers: Although it’s a cartoon, this show is absolutely hilarious. The episodes don’t particularly follow a specific order so you can watch whichever, whenever you’d like. It feels very similar to The Simpsons, so fans of the series should appreciate both.

4) The 100: Although it seems corny and cliché from the onset, this series quickly builds into so much more. It promises so many unforeseen plot twists and it will certainly leave you on the edge of your seat with the action scenes.

5) American Horror Story: This show promises exactly what’s in the title: Horror. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you can muster through it, the show provides a well-written and diverse plotline featuring most of the same actors and actresses every season.

M

To the Incoming Class: You Have Nothing to Lose

The first semester of college has taught me a lot of things. First of all, I have finally learned how to do my own laundry. I have learned that no matter how hard I try, I will end up losing socks on my way from the laundry room to my dorm. I have also learned to ALWAYS take my room key with me, even to the bathroom, because being locked out of my room in a bathrobe is not a fun experience. I have also learned to navigate the crazy bus system, figured out what dining halls have the best food, and learned what places on Easton Ave are worth the hype. But most of all, college has taught me the following motto: I have nothing to lose.

College provides a surplus of experiences and opportunities to take advantage of. But, oftentimes, students are afraid of being judged. They do not want to take risks. They do not want to put themselves in uncomfortable positions. But, I have learned that these uncomfortable experiences are usually the most valuable.

As a freshman, you have the advantage of being open to new clubs, new activities, new people, and new ideas. You have nothing to lose. You do not have to worry about finding a job or an internship like juniors and seniors. You do not have to worry about rent and other adult responsibilities. Instead, you can take chances and try new things, even if they take you out of your comfort zone. I have taught myself to try new clubs, even if they seem weird at first. Try out for dance teams just because. Go talk to new people, because who knows, they could end up becoming your best friends. College is a chance to create yourself. It is the time to take risks and make mistakes. You have nothing to lose, because apart from the GPA and the education, college is about the lifetime of experience and memories you make.

 

10 Things I Learned from My First Semester of College

I still cannot believe I finished (or got through, however you want to see it) my first semester of college.  I also cannot believe I have to do this seven more times to earn my bachelor’s degree, but that’s an idea I’d rather not dwell on right now. In all seriousness, this semester taught me so many things about grades, college life, independence, and most importantly, myself. As per tradition, here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from my first semester of college.

1. Budgeting my meal swipes and my money in general

Now just to clarify, I was never a big spender, or the type to blow money. But college is a place of freedom and with great freedom comes great responsibility. Budgeting my cash and my meals really helped me understand what it feels like to be responsible for myself.

2. Setting multiple alarms, and setting them at least half an hour earlier than when I actually need to be up

If you think college means sleeping in, think again. Regardless of when your first class begins, you will almost surely be sleep deprived. I learned that the best way to wake up is to set many alarms, and to set them much earlier than when you actually need to be awake. Take it from me, getting from your dorm on Busch to class on Douglass in 10 minutes is neither easy, nor possible.

3. Going in for office hours

Office hours exist for a reason, and I learned a little too recently of how helpful they are. There’s nothing wrong in needing help, but there is something wrong in being too lazy or too shy to ask for it. Professors actually don’t bite, I promise.

4. Actually sticking to those lofty to-do lists

I’d say I’m a pretty proactive person, and I’ve always been the type to make to-do lists. But sticking to them? That’s a whole different story. If you make to-do lists, make sure you also follow them, because not only should you learn to plan, but you should also plan to learn.

5. Calling my parents even when I don’t need money or permission for something

Your parents care about you, and are actually interested in hearing about your life, even if you’re not that interested in hearing about theirs. Learn to talk to your parents even when you don’t need more money on RU Express, or permission to go to that Weeknd concert. A phone call takes not even 5 minutes, but does wonders for your loved ones at home.

6. Walking to or from class, even when taking the bus seems really tempting

If the weather is nice, and your feet don’t feel like they’re about to fall off, just walk to class. You’ll save time not waiting at bus stops, and you’ll avoid that freshman 15 you know your grandma will surely point out during break.

7. Always carrying my charger and my laptop

In college, plans change, and to be really equipped to handle these change of plans, carrying your phone charger and your laptop is a must. When I started taking an extra minute to pack these things, I ended up saving minutes and even hours going back to my dorm.

8. Making an Uber account

Things happen in college, and emergencies, though avoidable, are a part of life. If you don’t have a car on campus, it’s a great idea to make an Uber account for such events. Even if you have a definite method of transportation to or from an event, having an Uber account will never hurt.

9. Being aware of my surroundings

As college students, we tend to get soaked in the college bubble that is our dorms, our friends, and our classes. Watching the news, talking to family and friends outside of school, and reading articles keeps you more aware of the world that extends past Rutgers.

10. Being aware of myself

My first semester of college taught me the importance of being aware of myself and my needs. Stress, pressure, and distractions are a part of college life, so take the time out of your day or week to unwind and listen to your own needs. College is temporary, but your satisfaction and mental health are forever.

I look forward to my second semester and to making more of these lists. Happy Holidays, Rutgers. I cannot wait to see what the year ahead brings.

Got Questions? We’ve Got You Covered!

If you’re considering attending Rutgers, you are about to make one of the best choices of your life! Receiving my acceptance letter was one of the most exciting moments of my senior year. Without a doubt, you deserve to celebrate and anticipate everything that’s in store for you. It’s understandable that you might have some questions about what to expect in the next few months, and during your first year at Rutgers. Here are some of the questions I had, and the answers I found along the way.

 

Will I make friends here?

YES! I am an out-of-state student from Connecticut, and I didn’t know anyone coming in. Just remember that many people are in the same position. Everyone is looking to make their “college friends,” so they will most likely be very sociable. To ease your nerves before setting foot on campus, get involved in the Class of 2020 Facebook group. It’s a great way to get acquainted with some friendly faces before move-in day, and it can even help you find a roommate! I found my roommate through Facebook, and we get along fantastically!

 

Is it too expensive for me to come to Rutgers?

Financing a college education is a huge undertaking, wherever you decide to attend. Because RU is a public university, there is a difference in tuition between in-state and out-of-state tuition, which is important to consider. Before making any big decisions, I recommend waiting for your financial aid package, if you apply for aid. More that 80 percent of students receive financial aid, so this may be a big factor in your decision- it was for me.  Also, don’t forget to apply for scholarships! I know that this is something everyone says, but I cannot stress it enough. Filling out all of those applications is more than worth it. It’s tough to give a good answer for this, because everyone’s financial situations are different. My best advice is to wait for all necessary information to be given to you, so that you can make a more educated decision, if cost is the determining factor.

 

Is Rutgers too large of a school for me?

With more than 67,000 students from all 50 states and 115 countries and 5 distinct campuses in the New Brunswick/Piscataway location, Rutgers may seem daunting at first. The sheer size of the school, both physically and student-wise has the potential to make one fear that they will get “lost in the shuffle.” The good news is, Rutgers can be as big or as small as you make it. Each campus has a totally different feel, so you can figure out what works best for your lifestyle. For example, you can choose to live on College Avenue (which has the most urban feel of all 5 campuses) and take buses to your classes on each of the other four campuses. Or, you can call Cook (which offers the rural farm-feel) your home, and schedule most of your classes there. Rutgers truly is what you decide to make of it.

 

How big is the party scene at Rutgers?

As with any large state school, you can expect there to be a fair share of parties. Of course, it is fun get ready and go out will all your new friends, but it is important to realize that there are many other things to do that don’t involve making your rounds at the fraternities. If you decide going out to parties is something you want to do, great! If you’d rather catch a movie on Livingston, or grab something to eat on Easton Avenue, or stay in and relax, great! Deciding to explore the party scene is truly your own decision.  If this isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There is plenty else to do on the weekends.

 

As cliche as it sounds, Rutgers has something for everyone. You are guaranteed to pursue your academic passions, find some of your best friends, and make some incomparable memories. You should be very proud of your acceptance, and start stocking up on your scarlet (don’t worry, red looks good on everyone)! If you have any questions that I didn’t answer above, which I’m sure there are a few, leave them in the comments!

 

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Even a cursory glance around a social media outlet of your choice this time of year will do it’s best to convince you that finalare the academic armageddon. While it’s true that deadlines, word counts, presentations and exams pile up at the end of the semester, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. 

There’s tons of research on how study breaks: exercise; and getting good sleep; help you study more efficiently and retain information better for your exams and papers, but did you know there’a specific organization on campus dedicated to keeping your stress levels down during exam time?

Who ya gonna call? stress busters!

The Rutgers stress busters are heroic people who visit the libraries during finals weeks with snacks and puppies! They also organize mindfulness meditation workshops and back-rubs. Yes, it’s exactly amazing as it sounds.

The stress busters drop by the libraries to make sure you stay in the studious groove, but they also make sure you’re not drowning in a sea of stress in the style of academic dedication. When you find yourself trapped in writer’s block, or staring at the same page of notes for hours, don’t forget: Who ya gonna call?

 

Christmas in July?

It’s a day that we will never forget- on December 13th, it was 75 degrees and sunny in New Brunswick. The timing could not have been better.  Getting some fresh air and exercise is the perfect way to burn off some energy during a study break, especially with finals just around the corner.  All over campus, you can see students riding bikes, playing sports, or just simply taking a walk with friends.  No one is letting this weather fluke go to waste!

In this weather, you can pretend it’s spring again.  Break out the sunglasses and opt for your favorite iced latte or coffee, instead of bundling up and sipping hot chocolate.  This is totally unusual for the middle of December, but I’m not complaining.  I know that Winter is coming soon.  My only hope is that it doesn’t get too cold and that we have an early spring… but maybe I’m asking for too much.   Winter always lasts WAY too far into the new year than anyone really wants, but a girl can hope, right?

I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas. I’ll take this weather any day of the week.  

i-forgot-how-to-weather_c_4957873

Last Minute Cramming Tips

Before we get into the list here’s one general piece of advice: Don’t cram. However, since you’re already at the point of no return: that final brief stretch that will either make or break you, you might as well do something about it. Give it your all in order to pass the semester!

cram1cram2

 

Tips:

  1. Don’t cram alone:

A lot of people are probably in the same boat as you, so why not study with them. It’ll be like learning everything for the first time, plus the positive reinforcement from your friends will help you much more than going at it alone and stressing out.

  1. See Tutors or Friends for last minute questions:

If you are having trouble understanding concepts immediately seek someone for help. Even if it’s the professor. Although they may not be happy with you not understanding the basics with the exam so close by, they will still gladly help you.

  1. Fail with Honor:

At this point everyone is mature enough to know not to cheat in college. Even if you’re not the strict regulations for cheating will definitely detour you from it. Don’t cheat. Period. Failing is far more honorable than passing by cheating off of people around you. Just don’t do it.

  1. Expect that you’re probably not going to do as well as you’re hoping:

You had to cram, of course you’re not going to do well. You should strive to be a realist when it comes to receiving your grades, so that you’re not upset over it.

  1. Ace the Final

Finals are, for the most part, basically your grade in the class. As long as you prepare well ahead of time and give it your all you should be fine. Never stress over the other little exams. Use your failure in those to fuel your motivation to study hard for finals.

 

~M

Theater Kids Unite!

Even though Rutgers has so much to offer its students, at times, it can seem as though all of that is drowned out by the athletic scene.  Of course, it is always fun to cheer on our Scarlet Knights, but sometimes, the Big Ten buzz can be a bit deafening, especially for students who don’t necessarily favor the athletic side of Rutgers.  I have heard many people say that they are not sure if they would fit in at Rutgers if they are not interested in watching football or playing club or intramural sports.

The theater scene in New Brunswick is thriving.  Between State Theatre, Crossroads Theatre, and the George Street Playhouse, there is sure to be a production you feel inclined to see.  If you’d rather be a part of a show rather than sit and watch one, there are plenty of groups on campus that put on shows year round.  In addition to various improv groups on campus, there are organizations that put on full shows that are entirely student-run.  The Livingston Theatre Company recently produced the famous musical “Anything Goes” and The Cabaret Theatre on Douglass Campus just had auditions for “Spring Awakening.”  If musicals aren’t your thing, come down and try out for the College Avenue Players! They produce excellent comedies.  Their production of The Bold, The Young, and the Murdered” is premiering in Scott Hall this weekend, starting December 4th at 8 PM!

 

There are countless of theater and other artistic organizations on campus, whether you are interested in theatre, art, dance, or something totally unique!  I guarantee that you will find some way to get involved in the arts very early on in your college journey, whether it is on campus or in the New Brunswick community.  Visit https://rutgers.collegiatelink.net/organizations to browse a complete list of the 734 listed student clubs and organizations for more information on how to get involved in the arts and beyond.

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