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Inside Beat

Tips for turning Rutgers into your home

Coming to such a large university can be scary, but don't worry, check out these tips to help you better adjust to campus life here at Rutgers. – Photo by Rachel Chang

Rutgers is known for being a very large institution, and that may seem extremely intimidating to most people, especially when coming in as a first-year student. But in college, you tend to learn a lot about yourself, and that largeness can either be taken as a fault or a means for more opportunities and challenges that lead to growth.

When you look at the size of Rutgers and choose to see it as the latter, you can realize that the University truly has so much to offer when sought out. Eventually, this school does not feel so large when you have found your niche and your people on campus. When you become involved, at some point Rutgers goes from being just your school to being your home.

Here are some tips if you are looking to speed up the process of gaining this familiarity with all of Rutgers campuses.

Look for a place that you will be easily comfortable in

In college, there are already so many changes taking place. A new place to live, being surrounded by all new faces and adjusting to different class schedules can already be a lot to take in.

Try finding an environment on campus where you know you may already feel more acclimated. Chances are, no matter what types of extracurriculars you were a part of in high school, you can find a similar option on campus!

Joining the University’s clubs and organizations is a great way to meet people who share your interests as well. Attend the Involvement Fair to talk to group members and learn more about each one before joining.

This can also include finding a cozy place to study, read a book or watch a movie, such as Starbucks at The Yard @ College Avenue with your favorite drink.

But also, don't be afraid to try new things either

As I said earlier, college is where you begin to learn a lot about yourself. Part of the fun of this period is discovering new interests, passions and hobbies you may be great at that you never knew before. When you're at the Involvement Fair, try to make your rounds to a wide variety of tables, aside from only the ones that seem familiar to you. You never know what you might come across.

Additionally, try to scope out each of the campuses and find a favorite spot. After you have familiarized yourself with one campus, move onto another. Rutgers won't feel so big when you know you have already explored each area. It's also really fun to get to know the University better and will help build on your Scarlet Knight pride!

Don't feel strange doing things alone

Not having someone to accompany you often makes it easy to hold back on doing things. Though, there is inevitably going to be a time in college, especially during the first year, when you won't always have someone to join you in an activity.

While it may seem intimidating, don't let this hold you back: It only leads you to potentially miss out on things. The more comfortable you become doing things on your own, the more doors you will open for yourself, and the more you will be able to grow!

Take the extra measures to find your people

Being around all new people at the beginning of your time at Rutgers can be pretty tiring. And, with the number of students at the University, it can be easy to let yourself feel like just a number.

Finding the right people to surround yourself with can change this. Even when it's difficult — which it is for most people — it is so worth it to continue to try and put yourself out there.

The night that I met two of my closest friends at Rutgers was a night at the beginning of my first year when I did not feel like leaving my room in my residence hall, and my social battery felt drained from all of the events held for first-year students.

But when offered the opportunity to join people from my floor in meeting more people, I decided to go, and I'm so thankful for it. Given the opportunity, take every chance you can to make connections with others around you. Rutgers will feel like home so much quicker.

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