So taking a break from the dining halls, I would like to talk a little bit about Figs: First Year Interest Groups, here at Rutgers University. Figs are one credit courses that provide a focus in a specific subject or career area. For example, my Figs is Exploring Business. This class focuses on exploring the different business options here at Rutgers and in the world in general. You do not have to be a business major or in the business school to take this class, but it gives students who are not sure about what they want to do the chance to explore a little more in depth about a subject before they actually take a full class in that area. It is also beneficial for students planning on majoring in that area to take a Figs in order to learn more about the opportunities offered to them in that major here at Rutgers.
There are Figs available for many different subject areas, such as journalism, mathematics, political science, etc. The great thing about them is that they only run for about 10 weeks and they are pass or fail. Also, the class focuses greatly on freshman success (they are only open to freshman). All of the Figs have a common core curriculum that students have to follow regardless of what Figs they are in. Of course, there will be different assignments here and there, but all students are required to complete a RIOT Tutorial which instructs students on how to use library and research resources here on campus. All students are also required to write an event reflection paper based on the Figs subject that they are in.
Some classes throughout the semester focus on involvement at Rutgers, others on how to plan your schedule, and others on how to register for classes. This gives freshmen the knowledge they need to succeed, and if you do not take a Figs it may be a while before you learn some of the information taught in one.
I highly recommend that every freshman take a Figs in a subject area that they are interested in but are not thinking about studying because it may change your mind about what you want to study or make you realize something about yourself and your talents that you did not know before!