Yes, we all know it’s finals week right now, but we can’t forget that it is also the holiday season!! I’m Jewish, and while I’m constantly studying for and taking finals, I’m also celebrating Hannukkah. And since Hannukkah lasts for eight days, I figured I would share eight things I love about Rutgers, one for every day of the holiday, to remind you (and me, for that matter) why you decided to come here in the first place and why you’re forcing yourself to suffer through finals.
1. The People
Seriously, I’ve only been here for one semester, and I’ve already made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I love spending time with them, and doing homework with them makes it all way more bearable. They’re lovely.
2. The Clubs
I’ve already joined more clubs in my first semester here than I did in all four years of high school. I’ve narrowed it down to four or five to dedicate the most time to, and I look forward to going to meetings every week (or every month, in the case of the Rutgers Book Club). There is seriously a club for pretty much everything I love, and I’m so glad there are so many other people that share my passions.
3. The Classes
Okay, hear me out. I know you’re not a huge fan of your classes right now, considering they’re throwing huge exams and papers at you, but can we at least appreciate that they’re better than high school classes? I don’t know about you guys, but my high school classes were boring, gave way too much homework, and just went on and on. I thought they would never end. So even though my classes this semester weren’t my favorite, I still at least somewhat enjoyed them, which is more than can be said for high school. I’m sure you guys have all had or currently have a class that you like. Some of the classes here are actually a lot of fun and quite interesting! A lot of my classes next semester definitely sound like they will be, so I’m really excited to take them : )
4. The Special Events
Something that is really unique about college is the many incredible opportunities we have for free or for a lot less money than normal. For example, I got to hear Joe Biden speak in October for free, something I never thought I would ever get to do. It was absolutely incredible. I always see advertisements around campus and on Facebook for cool speakers, exciting trips, and new experiences that I may not get to experience anywhere else. College is a world of new opportunities; it’s up to us to get out and take them.
5. The Music
I love music. Seriously, I wouldn’t be in an acapella group and I wouldn’t be pursuing a certificate in Recording Arts if I didn’t love music! When I was getting ready to go to college, I was really looking forward to the concerts on campus. Being only a short walk away from a concert that I could get into for free or for very cheap? Sounds like a dream come true to me! Since we go to such a large university, we can get some pretty prominent artists to come perform here. For example, we just had Khalid here a couple months ago. Although his music isn’t really my style, he’s definitely an up and coming artist and it’s pretty freaking cool that he came to our school to perform. Who knows who we’ll be able to have here in future semesters!
6. The Beautiful Study Spaces
I remember when I toured here how beautiful I thought the libraries and various buildings around campus were. Just looking at them made me actually want to study! It was weird. Since it’s been cold, I’ve only really been studying in my room, but the idea of being able to study pretty much anywhere I want to is wonderful. Once it gets warm again, I really want to go study in the Academic Buildings — they’re beautiful!!
7. The Religious Communities and Diversity
As I mentioned in the introduction to this post, I’m Jewish, so when I was choosing which college I wanted to go to for the next four years, a large Jewish community was really important to me. And this school certainly has one! Rutgers has the largest Jewish population of any public college in America, and I’m really proud to be part of it. But Rutgers isn’t just home to a lot of Jews, it also has a huge Muslim and Christian population. Rutgers is one of the most diverse campuses in every way: gender, religion, nationality, race, sexuality — the list goes on! I love how diverse Rutgers is; it gives me the opportunity to meet and get to know people who are different than I am.
8. The Food
No, I am absolutely not talking about Brower. Okay, it’s fine, but there are so many better places to eat on campus. Which brings me to my point: there are so many options of places to eat here! There are different chain and local restaurants all around campus, so no matter what you’re in the mood to eat, you’ll probably be able to find it. Even if you’re limited to what you can get with a meal swipe, there’s so much available: all four dining halls, Harvest Cafe, Henry’s Diner, even the Starbucks Truck! You can get STARBUCKS with a meal swipe here. That still blows my mind. And did you know that our Starbucks Truck is one of only six in existence? I think that’s pretty cool.
I hope this list reminds you why you love our wonderful school and keeps you going through these last few painful days of exams. Good luck with your studies, and remember, at the end of the day, we’re all here for one reason: to learn and get ready for the rest of our lives ahead of us. Keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel : )