4 Reasons Why I love Rutgers

I remember growing up, I never even entertained the thought about going to Rutgers. I remember thinking that Rutgers must be an easy school because it is so close. I thought that Rutgers was too big for me too handle and I would not get to know anyone here and be too overwhelmed to see so many people. Truth to be told, I decided to go to Rutgers mainly because it was financially the cheapest choice. Many people chose Rutgers because it is the cheapest choice but there are so many benefits to coming here.

  1. Diversity: Since there are so many people here, there is so much to do. There are so many clubs and extracurriculars to join, so many classes to take, and so many different people to meet. I love the fact that I can do so many different things such as Korean dancing, or a neurology club. On top of that I meet so many people who different than me, have different ideas than me, and who believe different things than me. Those differences are the reason why I love it here.
  2. Size:When I came to Rutgers in a college visit, the Scarlet Ambassador said that you can make a big university feel small but you can never make a small university feel big. Obviously Rutgers is physically a big university since it spans 5 campuses and 2 cities. I feel like that makes Rutgers unique because not that many universities have multiple campuses. Because we have 5 campuses, every campus has its own feel to it. So if you don’t like one campus, you can always spend your time on another. Personally I’m not really a big fan of College Ave, so I can purposefully not live in College Ave and not take classes there. You can do that at many other universities.
  3. Research: I’m a STEM major, so research is very important to me. For first years, they can apply for the Aresty Research Program for the summer between freshman and sophomore.
  4. Friends: Honestly my friends are the main reason why I love Rutgers. I remember being so nervous to make friends because there are so many people around. But it is possible and they motivate me to keep going. We eat, study and live together. I can’t imagine college. So what I am trying to say, when you make amazing friends, then the college experience is amazing.

Looking back to when I was deciding colleges, Now I can’t imagine going to some other university.

Spring Break: Cleaning Up and Getting Ahead

Like an anticipated reward for making it through the first half of the spring semester, students embrace Spring Break with great relief and visions of relaxation in mind (or in some cases, visions of vacation in mind).

However, Spring Break is an excellent and convenient gap of time to physically clean your living space; rejuvenate your mind and body; and get ahead or stay afloat in academic studies.

Personally, after cleaning my desk and my bedroom, I feel satisfied, refreshed, and more eagerly ready to work and study my materials. When my desk is without clutter, and without dust, it positively influences my thinking and my mood. My thoughts are less reflectively cluttered or disorganized, while my mood is calm and prepared to contently accomplish tasks. I advise to take the notion of ‘Spring Cleaning’ seriously, especially in dorms or apartments, where crowded nights and busy study-group afternoons can leave the cleanliness of an environment neglected. Before classes are back in session, move furniture around and sweep the abandoned corners of dirt and crumbs. Wipe down any desk(s) where studying takes place, and when finished, re-organize any notebooks, utensils, or gadgets that are resting out of order on the surface. When I step into a clean environment, with a new presentation of organization, I feel inspired and motivated into action.

Over Spring Break, I also suggest becoming more physically active (despite the recent snow) in an applicable and manageable way. Before working, studying, or gathering with colleagues, stretch and loosen any physical knots. Listen to soothing ambient music or meditate in order relax the mind (and simultaneously, stressed muscles). For a moment, disengage from social pressures; academic stresses; worries about a sub-par grade or the upcoming busy work shift in the morning. Whether this rejuvenation of the mind and body takes five minutes, or fifteen minutes, such dedicated time is time that makes a small and beneficial difference in the rhythm of the day. An aligned mind and body not only assists in executing studying without feeling physical aches and pressures, but assists in all aspects of life.

Finally, Spring Break serves three ultimate purposes as far as academics is concerned, while only two are majorly important and effective. Spring Break can be used to relax, step away from academics for the week, and return completely once classes begin. Or, more intelligently, Spring Break can be used to recover from a bad score or get ahead in a course. During free time, the break can be used to look over old chapter materials in order to detect and discover the reasons as to why a score is low or not as high as one might have expected. The break offers the chance to learn from this score; discuss the score with other fellow students through common material; and aspire to do better for the next assignment or project. On another note, the break can be used to get ahead on any homework assignments, readings, online classwork, or essays – so that perhaps, the week after Spring Break will not feel as heavy or hectic upon its return.

Conclusively, use Spring Break to your advantage – keeping in mind your personal needs; your type of schedule; your desires; your current health; and your free time. Remember to relax as needed, but do not neglect the convenience of the week and its available days. Balance your time and be smart and positive in making decisions.

 

 

There’s An App For That

The life of a Rutgers student is jam-packed with runs to catch buses, quick dining hall stops, long study marathons, and more. Just when you think life couldn’t get more complicated, life always seems to find its way to do so. But, have no fear! There are some computer and phone applications which I have described below that might help with alleviating some of your problems as a Rutgers student… Some you might have heard of, some you might not have ever seen before…

RUTGERS APP This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised at how many upperclassmen I’ve met who don’t have the generic Rutgers App on their phone. Especially since that the NextBus automated display scrolls haven’t been working at the bus stops, this app is convenient for looking up bus schedules and relatively accurate arrival times. Along with that, this app also gives you a comprehensive menu for breakfast/lunch/dinner/takeout at all of the dining halls, as well as access to Sakai.

SPOTIFY Spotify is the first app in the bottom dock of my iPhone home screen. That’s how important this app is to me. And it should be to all college students. Using your Rutgers email to sign up for a premium account gives you access to all the music and playlist creation you could possibly want at the discounted price of $5.33/month. I won’t go into the Apple Music vs. Spotify debate, but I’d certainly say Spotify is the way to go.

THE HW APP For someone who isn’t a fan of the paper-back agenda, this phone app gives me a simple, organized, and, most importantly, digital alternative. I’ve fooled around with a bunch of different homework/agenda apps, and this one is certainly my favorite. You even get to choose the color for each of your subjects, and the color for the homescreen of the app. Organize your tasks, set reminders, and swipe left once you’ve completed an assignment. If you want to get organized, get The Homework App.

QUIZLET I hope that everyone reading this has already familiarized themselves with the 8th wonder of the world that is Quizlet Premium. I purchased the premium upgrade to the generic Quizlet account for about $20, and I couldn’t be happier with my newfound ability to insert my own pictures to my terms in my anatomy sets. Truly, for anyone who is taking a bunch of classes with visual-based material, I would recommend buying Quizlet Premium. If what you need is just a simple, term/definition flashcards website, the basic Quizlet account will prove to be extremely helpful. It’s not the only resource I use to study for my exams, but it certainly helps with active learning, especially if you utilize the “Learn” feature.

RIBBET I use the Ribbet Photo Editor online, which has drawing and sticker tools that make learning and memorization much easier. For instance, I’ll upload a picture of a brain that I took in Anatomy, and add arrows for cranial nerves, circles for lobes, and green dots along the brain stem, and then save it to my desktop to use in my next Quizlet set. It’s a good online way of “drawing” on a picture of something you need to memorize the components of. It has a lot of other features too, like adding text boxes. It’s basically the new “Picnik” (remember? from when we were all in middle school?), except now I’ve found it has academic relevance! Ha-ha… Check it out.

REEF POLLING Basically just the iPhone-app alternative to an iClicker. $15 for 6 months of use, which is about 20 bucks cheaper than buying the clicker, itself. Definitely worth it if you’re only in one class that requires one.

I hope one or two of these apps will help you get through the day! Have a great rest of spring break, Knights. Cheers!

Always Look Back

They say you should never look back. Well, I’m here to tell you that you should. I’m at the midpoint of my college career: the second semester of my sophomore year. I could not be more grateful for all the people and events that have shaped me in the past year and a half. It’s safe to say that we fall into a lull, a monotonous routine broken up by bursts of excitement, as we go through our semesters. Day-to-day things seem static, there is no change, no life-altering decisions to be made at our age, our college lives are busy yet routine. We always notice when seasons change, semesters pass, people come, and people go. We always remember that 94 on the paper or that below-average score on the exam. We remember dates, events, parties, people… but what we fail to notice is that every little change in our surroundings and in our lives brings about a change in us. You are not the same person you were yesterday. Don’t believe me? Look back on your life even half a year ago. If something changed, so did you. We as students tend to overlook the little things. But slowly little things turn into big things. Your college life, no matter how stagnant it may seem, changes everyday. And with those changes, you change too. Looking back doesn’t stop you from seeing what’s ahead, it helps you evaluate whether you are where you want to be. What’s ahead is certainly more important than what’s left behind, but it is so important to be aware of what exactly you’ve left behind and what road you are paving. I encourage you to take some time and reflect on your college experience so far, whether you’re a first-year or a graduate student. Appreciate how far you’ve come, and love yourself regardless of the past.

Tips for Making Friends

As a freshmen, I was really nervous about making friends in college. When I was applying to colleges, I tried to look for colleges that were small because I wanted to get to know people which I thought would be difficult a big university. But when I joined Rutgers, I was honestly worried about how I can make meaningful relationships because I believed it was hard to get to know people unless you saw them everyone on campus. So here are my tips for making friends. 

  • Just talk to people who are around you
    • Yes going to General Biology lecture with a class size of 500 students is very intimidating (that was my first class in college). But you will have smaller classes. For first years, the Byrne Seminars and the FIGs are available.
    • Personally, a lot of my closest friends actually live in my dorm.It is just so easy to always be in contact because we all live down the hall.
  • Join Greek Life and Clubs
    • The great thing about greek life is that it is a community of people who will support in whatever your passion and interest is. There are chapters for those who are religious, pre-law, pre-medicine, pharmacy and so many moore. It is only a matter of finding the right one for you.
    • Clubs are very similar situation. You are ‘forced’ to hang out with people and have other people with similar interests.
  • Think about what you want from a friendship
    • Some people want to make very close friends. The type of the friends that they can turn to when they are upset or very happy. Basically the person that they can turn to at all times. Other people just want the company or to be study buddies. It can vary based on the person that you meet. For example, for some friends, I don’t expect to stay friends with them throughout college, just to have someone for the semester. I have other friends that I want to keep for the rest of college and beyond. So just be aware of what you want from the friendship and what the other person wants from a friendship.
  • Go Out of Your Way to Make Friends (at least at first)
    • You have to make making friends a priority in the beginning of a friendship. That will show other people that you are committed to the friendship and depending on how close you want to be.
  • Come up with Cool Things to do
    • If you want to have close friends, then it’s important to spend time with them. And other people might be feeling the same way you do, nervous and worried about making new friends. So why not suggest dinner or to go to an event. It honestly wouldn’t hurt
  • Take a FIGS (First-year Interest Group Seminar) and a Bryne Seminar
    • These are only 1 credit courses and offered to only first years (FIGS only in the fall semester). They are a great way to talk to other new freshmen who share common interests.
  • Don’t stick to your high school friends
    • Then you would be too comfortable and won’t feel tempted to make new friends. Obviously maintain contact with your high school friends but don’t be afraid to branch out and feel uncomfortable.

Making friends is a struggle but is very important. Having friends makes the college experience so much more enjoyable and increases your motivation to succeed. Also making the right friends is just as important.

March Forward: Staying Healthy While Staying In

Although we’ve been hit with sporadically warm days these past two weeks, I’m sorry to say that winter is not yet over. Marching through March, we all begin to notice the extra cookies and cake we might have eaten throughout the winter. Everything starts to catch up at this point in the spring semester– the weight gain, the dry skin, the empty wallet, and that feeling of being trapped inside for much longer than necessary. What makes it all worse is that warm weather is on it’s way and the panic to quit your unhealthy, energy draining, winter habits sets into full gear. No worries– you don’t have to give up on your dreams of getting in shape and being healthy for spring break or for the summer. There’s still time to get back on track and start feeling ready for the outdoors. There’s plenty of cost-free natural alternatives you can try as the cold weather fades to boost your energy and get back to feeling like the best version of yourself in no time.

  1. Beat the bloat: Winter is a time for comfort food and carbo-loading. You may feel bloated and bogged down as a result. A perfect home remedy for this is a warm honey lemon drink every morning. With a mix of warm water, half a lemon, and honey in a glass every morning, your winter bloat will soon disappear. Lemons are a diuretic in warm water, which can detox your body from the excess salt causing your constant bloat. This mix will also boost your metabolism and energy throughout the day!
  2. Yoga: Yoga is a great way to work off that extra winter weight. You can do it anywhere without any equipment– even when it’s cold. There are a myriad of instructional videos online for different levels and types of practices. Stretching for 20 minutes a day can be a great destresser as well, leaving your mind clear and your energy boosted.
  3. Winter Breakouts? Try Apple Cider Vinegar: The chocolate and candy from the winter season not only causes weight gain, it also causes a decrease in energy and an increase in facial acne. Dry skin is also one of the biggest causes of acne, as we apply many pore-clogging face lotions and touch our faces more often in the dry winter air. Apple cider vinegar is my go to facial cleanser and home remedy. Find a bottle of Apple Cider vinegar (make sure it has the “mother” in the mix– this is what makes it work). Mix about 1-2 tablespoons with water and gently apply to your face, making sure it soaks deeply into high problem areas. Rinse with water and then apply your facial lotions and moisturizers. Using this as a toner has made an immediate difference in my skin and can even be the best treatment for people with severe acne.

These three techniques are all feasible and inexpensive ways to use products at home to reverse the winter body damage we’re all guilty of. Make the most of the end of these indoor days and get ready to march forward right into summer days. 

Reasons Why March is One of the Best Months

  1. Two beautiful little words: SPRING.BREAK.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to a tropical vacation, (but if you are I’m really, really jealous) a break from midterm chaos and cramming in the library can do all of us Rutgers students well. Also, I think I’ll definitely be okay without dining hall food for a few days. So get your tan on if you’re one of the lucky ones going to Cancún, or just hit up your hometown friends and enjoy some much needed rest.

  2. March Madness.

    Basketball fan or not, you can’t even deny that filling out a bracket and competing with your friends isn’t super fun. And if you’re anything like me, you LOVE to brag to your dad and boyfriend about how you beat them every year. Sorry guys! Pro tip: sometimes it’s okay to choose the team who has the nicest uniform, never forget that.

  3. St. Patricks Day.

    Bring me all the green bagels, shamrock shakes, and four-leaf clovers you got. This girl is only 25% Irish, but it still counts, right?! If you’re feelin’ wild, head out to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC for a good (but inevitably crowded) time. If not, soak in all the Irish fun with some of your friends and family.

  4. Summer is ~almost~ coming.

    Has this tease of warm weather been extremely painful for anyone else? Because I don’t think walking outside in the brisk, 40 degree air has ever hurt more after being in the hot 70s. I know summer is still months away, but Daylight Savings is March 12th which means extra hours of sunshine! Goodbye winter, helloooo spring.

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