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Sit in the Open Seat on the Bus.

October 17, 2011


I’m currently writing this tip on the bus because it’s really irritating to me and I’m sure the people who have to stand on the bus.

Say you’re getting on an LX, EE, H, or A. It’s not too crowded yet, but you know it will be at the next stop. This is common sense, but seriously, if there’s an open seat on the bus and you’re already standing, TAKE THE SEAT. Then the fact that you’re blocking the way means that people getting on the bus at the next stop have to stand and can’t get past each other TO take the seat. Just go sit down, the person next to you isn’t gonna care, and you’re not doing anyone a favor by just standing there next to an open seat.

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How to Use Webreg

September 30, 2011


This will be the tip you should be looking at on or before September 1st. I’m gonna break down how exactly to use webreg when you need to add/drop classes. In case you didn’t see, Webreg is Rutgers’s registration site where you add or drop classes.


1. Go to and log in.

2. So you’ll get to a page that looks like this:

You wanna click on “Fall 2011” and continue.

3. Once you do that, you’ll come to a page where it lists all your classes for the semester like this:

All of your current classes will be under “registered courses”. What you wanna do is click on the top left gray bar on this screen that says “course lookup”.

5. Once you click course lookup, it brings you here:

On this page, you can look up your classes. So say I were to look up General Biology as an example. I would click on the dropdown that says “010 – accounting”, and look for “biological sciences”. Once you find what you’re looking for, click on it, and click the red and gray button “show courses”.

6. This is what comes up once you click that:

Now if you see the 2nd gray bar there, it says general biology. You wanna click on that arrow, and from there you’ll see this:

These are just a few of the MANY sections of General Bio. Now during add/drop period, there might be sections that say “OPEN” instead of “CLOSED”. These are the ones you wanna add. TO DO THAT:
1. SEE WHICH SECTION FITS IN YOUR SCHEDULE (next to where it says closed are the days, times, campuses, and buildings those sections are in. You need to read them)

2. See any notes (some sections will say they’re for “discovery housing only” or “honor students only”. Again, you need to read them.

7. Once you know which section you want, you need to click on the left check box, scroll up and you’ll see a button on the left that says register. Click that.


It’s much easier. You wanna go back to this page:
 On the right side of your screen, you’ll see a gray bar that says “drop”. If you click that, it drops the class.

Also as a sidenote, on this same page is where you add special permission numbers. Whatever the number is, you type it in on the left side where it says “index” and click ‘add courses’.

**A VERY IMPORTANT WORD OF ADVICE: Always try to ADD before you DROP, just in case a class closes quickly, then you’re out of luck. There will be instances where you might be picking a class that happens at the same time as another that you wanna drop and you won’t be able to add it first. In that case, work very quickly and hopefully it doesn’t close on you.

To sum it up: Read this over carefully before add/drop period so you have an idea of how it works.

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Reading Days and Why They’re Important

September 30, 2011


Rutgers is generous around finals time. After classes end, there will be 2 days where, well, there aren’t classes or any meetings or anything like that, and they’re meant for students to have 2 solid days studying for finals. It’s really helpful and you’ll be grateful you have these days to do nothing but study and prepare for your exams. Especially for all my people out there who won’t study until last minute, this is your chance to totally procrastinate until reading days start. You might have review sessions for classes during these days that are meant to help you out, too which is also pretty good. So yeah, if anyone brings it up to you or you hear “reading days” anywhere, now you know what they are!

Also, take advantage of the midnight breakfast every dining hall has the night before finals start. Literally at like 11, the dining hall opens up and it’s all breakfast food. It’s great.

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Learning How to Use Degree Navigator

September 30, 2011


This is something pretty important for once you get into classes and stuff, and I wanted to explain it now so you have an idea of what to expect when you get the email and are confused as hell about it. You don’t have to worry about it now, you can probably log into it now to check it out, but remember and make note of this tip for the future.

There’s this website. It’s called degree navigator. It’s something students can go on to check their progress toward their degree. In other words, you log in, you type in the major you want, you can see what your liberal arts requirements are, and what your major requirements are. A lot of people who are sophomores/juniors don’t even know wtf it is, and that’s why I’m here!You don’t need to know this until school starts like I said, but at least now you’re familiar with it and can pass on the info.

Here’s how it works:
1. Go to the degree navigator (DN) website ( NB students)

2. On the left side you’ll see where it says “student login”. Click that.

3.  You log in with your net ID and it brings you to this page and on the left hand side it’ll have this bar:

The “2 programs” or whatever programs you’re listed under will be the school you’re in and their liberal arts requirements. The other program will be your “matriculating” or undeclared major. In other words, if you’re in SAS, when you click on the 2 programs, it’ll look like this:

The part under that where it says “my planned courses” is where you wanna go in and pick the classes you’re taking this semester, and if you know any other classes you’ll be taking in the future. If you were to pick courses for them, you click that, click add courses, and in the keyword, type in the class you wanna look for. Once you find it, you click the course number, and clikc “add to planned courses”.

4. To actually USE this site, you’re gonna wanna make use of the search bar. When you search, you can search for majors, courses, or school core requirements. On the top right, you’re gonna see this bar:

Click search, then whatever you wanna look up.

5. **EX= Say for instance, I wanna research SEBS’s core requirements. I would click on “programs of study” after hovering over the search bar, and type in “SEBS”. It’ll come up looking like this:

6. You wanna click on the general education requirements, and then it’ll bring you to this page:

7. Basically, if you wanna navigate this page, you have to read it. It’ll tell you what classes you’ve completed, how many more you still need, and how many you WILL complete based on your planned courses.

To sum it up: This website is really good for you to keep track of how you’re progressing with your major. It’s good to be familiar with it your freshmen year, but it’s gonna be important toward the end of freshmen year when you start really getting into your major. No, I don’t think any of you will look at it now, and yeah, I expect you to be confused as hell, but just read all of my steps and it’ll make a little sense when the time comes.

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Know What Special Permission Numbers Are

September 30, 2011


So there might be a class that you really wanted to get or need to take and it’s closed. This happens to a lot of people, where you’ll need to get into a class and there will be no more openings. This is where what’s called a special permission number comes in. A special permission number is this specific 6-digit number that you can put into webreg in order to reserve you a spot in the class. Everyone gets a different one, and there are only so many that a professor can give out. There are 2 main ways that you can go about obtaining a special permission number:

1. Email the department of the class you wanna get into and they might give you one.

2. Go to the class on the first day it’s held, and talk to the professor AFTER class is over. That’s probably the most common way. You have to go the first day of class and ask in person though; that way, they’re more likely to give it to you.

Now be forwarned. Not all classes will have special permission numbers, or sometimes they’ll have been given out by the time you ask. I got lucky twice last semester because my quantitative methods and sociology lectures were both filled. Quant didn’t give out special permission #’s and my sociology professor gave out all of them the first lecture. The reason I got lucky is because I woke up early one morning, logged onto webreg and both classes were open, so I easily joined them without a number. If you can’t get a number, make sure you check webreg every day, multiple times a day. A class CAN open up when you least expect it, so make sure you check for it.

To sum it up: Know what a special permission number is before classes start so that if there’s a class you wanted/needed, you know another way of getting it.

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Know Your Dining Halls

September 30, 2011


Know your dining halls

My first piece of advice is to not trust Tillett lol. If you hated Tillett at orientation, join the club. Most students do. Every other dining hall is pretty damn good though and no matter what you eat, they have options for you. I wanted to break down each dining hall and how dining hall takeout is organized so you know once you come to school.

There are 4 dining halls, but since the new dining hall on Livingston will be opening this fall, I’ll only discuss the other three:

Dining Halls
Location: Cook/Douglass
Closest to: The Biel Road/Henderson Apartments/Katzenbach bus stop (EE/F buses)
Good for: The large space it offers (2 separate dining rooms)
My opinion: I love Neilson. I think it’s the best on campus (a semi-biased opinion). They have a variety of delicious food and I like how it’s very easy to move around it and get food because everything’s kinda in one big circle.

Livingston Dining Commons
Location: Livingston
Closest to: The student center, Beck Hall
Good for: The awesome food and really nice dining area
My opinion: This dining hall is the polar opposite of Tillett. The food they have is really good, and I’m looking forward to trying their takeout and burgers from The Pub. I also like how much space there is in it. Very nice dining hall and certainly boosts Livingston’s rep.

Brower Commons
Location: College Ave
Closest to: Rutgers Student Center bus stop (EE, F, H, LX, A buses)
Good for: 
It’s location right in the middle of most of the major dorms on College Ave.
My opinion: 
Pretty good food. They have a nice sushi bar and more of a selection of ice cream.

Location: Busch
Closest to: 
The Busch Student Center stop (A, B, H buses)
Good for: It’s location right next to the campus center.
My opinion: I think Busch has a really nice dining hall. A lot of people believe Busch is the best dining hall at Rutgers and it really is great. Huge dining hall, really home-y (there’s a fireplace lol), and they have great food.

Dining Hall Hours
During the week: in the morning, the dining hall usually does breakfast from 7-11, lunch 11:30ish – between 3 and 4, dinner from 4:00-9:00
On the weekend: Breakfast is either 9 or 9:30-10:30, brunch/lunch 10:30-2:30, transition b/t lunch and dinner: 2:30-4:00, dinner 4:00-8:00

Yeah, I know. It kinda sucks that the dining hall isn’t open later when you have late classes, but it is what it is.

What is dining hall takeout?
One of the cool things about the dining halls at Rutgers is the option you have for takeout. Dining hall takeout is when you go into your dining hall for a period of time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you swipe your ID and you can get food to take out instead of sitting in the dining hall.
-Breakfast is usually bagels, breakfast sandwiches, fruit, cereal, coffee, etc. There’s no breakfast takeout on weekends
-Lunch they have subs or you can take a cheese/pepperoni pizza out. There’s no lunch takeout on weekends.
-Dinner has a different rotation for each campus. Neilson generally has nachos on Monday, Chicken and fries on Tuesday, Chicken/Eggplant Parm and Pasta on Wednesday, Burgers and fries on Thursday, and Sunday was wings/pizza. There’s no dinner takeout Friday or Saturday.
**btw, for every takeout meal, there is a vegetarian or Halal option.

Dining hall takeout hours:
Every campus is different. Breakfast is usually 7- 10 or 11. Lunch is around 11/11:30-3 or 4. Dinner is mostly 4 or 5 to midnight.

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What is Sakai?

September 30, 2011


So Rutgers has this website called Sakai. It’s basically an online resource where all of your classes will be. In other words, you log in and you’ll have all of these tabs for your classes:

Each tab is for one of your classes. It’ll have your course number and “F11” which means Fall 2011. Once you get your schedule, you’ll have access to this website if you don’t already and your class tabs will start going up.
Once you click on a tab, it brings you to the “homepage” for that certain class. On the side will be a section for class announcements, your syllabus, tests and quizzes, possibly a gradebook if you’re in SAS, a chat room, and other things. This website is something you should be on multiple times a day.  That’s because you can usually ask your professor questions in the chat room, you’ll have online quizzes to take on this website, if class is cancelled or if the professor has any announcement or change to the syllabus, they’ll put it up on Sakai. It sounds simple, but I know people who never check it and didn’t even know there WAS a chat room on there. So when you get access to it, make sure you check it out.

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Don’t Always Listen to What Upperclassmen Say About Professors

September 30, 2011


One of the biggest misconceptions about being at college is that no, upperclassmen are not always right about what they say about professors. It’s all a matter of opinion, and that’s why I say take things you hear and things you read online and on ratemyprofessor with a grain of salt.

Two girls I was friendly with in one of my classes had different opinions about a class I was in. One said it was hard as hell, and the other didn’t think it was so bad. I ended up listening to the girl who said it wasn’t so bad because she ended up being right about it. Lots of upperclassmen may think a class is difficult because they’re bitter or they just didn’t study, so don’t always listen to them. When someone’s talking about a class or professor, listen to them only when they have a legitimate reason as to why they didn’t like the class. “Because he sucked and was trying to fail everyone” isn’t a convincing argument because if he/she really wanted you to fail, they wouldn’t be working at the university. Some professors can be hard-asses, but that doesn’t mean they want you to FAIL, they just want you to learn the stuff all on your own.

To sum it up: Don’t always listen to what you’ve heard about a class/professor (unless they have super bad ratings on ratemyprofessor), because chances are, it’s an exaggerated opinion. When someone’s telling you about a class, just take in and think about what they’re actually saying and make the call for yourself.

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Know Your Exam Dates

September 30, 2011


I did this my freshmanand I’m really happy I did because I could see when each final was and how far apart they all were from each other. This is especially important when finals roll around because the university has a policy where if you have 3 or more consecutive finals in a period of either 24 or 48 hours, you can move one of them. So it’s pretty important to at least be aware of when they are, so come finals time you’re not freaking out because you didn’t know when they were happening and it’s now too late to reschedule one. The same thing goes for your other exams in the sense that you wanna know when they are so you can plan ahead and figure out how and when you’re gonna study for them. So stay organized in this sense and you’ll save yourself a hell of a lot of trouble later on.

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Keep Track of Your Absences

September 30, 2011


Not all classes are optional. In fact none of them really ARE, but for a lot of lectures, there’s no way of tracking attendance. For smaller classes and even for lectures, physically keep track of how many times you miss class. For many classes you’re only allotted 3 or 4 absences, and they can go by very quickly if you use them all at once. So if you miss a class, make note of it. Write it on a calendar or something. Trust me, it might sound stupid now, but it’ll save your ass when you realize you might have missed all of your classes but you can’t remember if you did. For my dance classes my freshman year, I was allotted 3 absences. I used all of them 2nd semester; my one teacher told me that I missed all 3 and just gave me fair warning, my other one didn’t say anything, so I was stressing a little until I got my grades for the class. I ended up being fine, but it was two weeks work of stressing over nothing. That’s exactly why you should do what I DIDN’T do. Sometimes your professor won’t tell you how many you miss and it might screw you in the end because you can’t remember, yourself.

Also as a side note, try not to miss too many classes where you have clicker quizzes or in-class assignments, especially if they’re lectures. It affects your grade and you’ll be mad that you missed them in the end.

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