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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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Find Quiet Places to Study

September 30, 2011


I’ve found that the best way to study and really focus on learning stuff is to do it in a place that’s quiet (semi-common sense, I know). It really does work though. There’s a big, BIG difference between studying in a semi-quiet dorm room with 4 other people in it, versus studying in a library and campus center where it’s completely quiet. When I study, I can’t do it with my friends or anything; I need to be by myself. I’ll go to my campus center, sit down with my books and my chill playlist on my iPod, and it’ll help a lot. Obviously, everyone’s got a different way of studying, and that’s cool, but if you find that you’re not getting the grades you want when studying with other people around, try it a different way. Studying in quiet or quiet with an iPod isn’t so bad.

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Sign Up For Dance Marathon

September 29, 2011


The Rutgers Dance Marathon is HUGE at the university. What it is is this charity event that raises money for the Embrace Kids Foundation (they give money to children with cancer and blood disorders). The actual event happens around the end of March-beginning of April, and is a 32-hour nonstop dance marathon that happens in the College Ave gym, and you don’t have to be DANCING the whole time, you just have to be on your feet doing something for the whole 32 hours, and they give you plenty of things to do. You can register as either a dancer, a captain of a team, or a volunteer. To be a dancer, registration starts around October 1st and you have to raise a minimum of $350 dollars for Embrace Kids, and they have a finance team that can help you fundraise and what not. To be a captain, you have to raise like 400 dollars, and a volunteers just helps out at the event. A lot of organizations and sororities/fraternities do it. I didn’t do it last year but I’m definitely doing it this year with my friends and it sounds like it’s a lot of fun. It’s a great way to get involved at Rutgers and from what it sounds, they make it so that the whole 32 hours are super fun. So get involved in it and I’ll see you there next year!

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What to Bring

September 29, 2011


What a better way to make the 100th Rutgers Tip than to make it the most important one of all! I could have copy and pasted freshmantips’s list, but a lot of the stuff was excess and well, I’ll give you a more centralized list)

-XL twin bed set (comforter, sheets, a fitted sheet, pillow cases)
-mattress pad (makes the bed much more comfortable)
-pillows (I had 2, I’m getting another next year)
-extra set of XL twin sheets (just in case you don’t wanna do laundry
-extra blanket/snuggie
-optional: some of my friends had those cotton sheets that are for bed bugs. I never had or heard anyone have problems because of the mattresses, but it’s a good precaution.

-laptop (as opposed to a desktop)
-lap desk/cooling fan (I’m buying one for next year. Will definitely come in handy if you wanna sit on your bed, which I and many others do a lot)
-laptop case
-printer (this is semi-optional. The school gives you money to print but I had the printer so I brought it)
-printer paper
-an extra set of printer ink
-ethernet cable OR router (go for the router but avoid NETGEAR… it sucks)
-a USB flashdrive
-surge protector
-pencils/pens/highlighters/a black sharpie
-plenty of post-it notes
-tape dispenser/extra tape
-cup to hold the pencils and such on your desk (my roommate had a desklamp that had a holder for this stuff. It was pretty neat)
-extra staples
-paper clips (and those black and silver type clips. They’ll come in handy)
-a few envelopes/stamps
-pencil bag to keep the shit in you bring to class

-easy mac. Lots… and lots… of easy mac.
-water bottles (trade off with your roommate who’s gonna buy the packs when you run out)
-tea, lemon juice, honey
-a mug
-plastic plates/utensils
-oatmeal (Quaker makes super awesome oatmeal to go that you just microwave.)
-granola bars
-basically whatever snack food you have
**a bin or something to keep it all so it doesn’t take up a bunch of space on your dresser

-shower caddy
-enough shampoo/conditioner/soap
-an ample amount of shaving cream
-razors/extra blades
-Multiple towels
-toothbrush (and maybe an extra normal one if you use a spin brush. I had one that broke twice :| )
-toothpaste + extra
-floss + extra
-obviously tampons/pads for the ladies. 
-whatever type of facial cleaner you use.
**Anything you use in your shower, bring, and bring extras.

-all your shorts
-all your jeans/pants (even the nicer stuff
-plenty of t-shirts (for the ladies: some days you’re not gonna wanna look nice lmao)
-sweatshirts you know you’re gonna wear
-all your underwear
-plenty of socks
-flip flops
-regular shoes
-specifically for the ladies:
-all your skirts
-all your nice shirts
-any type of jean jacket/leather jacket/nice sweaters or whatever that you have
-boots, heels, nice flip flops, flats
-dresses. All of them
-all your bras
-a small purse or clutch to bring to parties
**seriously. bring everything you have, even if you think it’s ridiculous, you’ll end up making use of it for a party
-for the fellas:
-any type of polo shirts you have
-any button down shirts/dress shirts
-nice pants/trousers
-nice shoes

-lysol spray
-lysol wipes
-swiffer dust and shine wood spray
-a rag you can use for the swiffer spray
-a vacuum
-a broom/dust pan if your dorm will be hard floor. The towers in Livingston have hard floors, I know.

-allergy pills
-cough medicine
-sore throat medicine
-an ice pack
-optional: if you can find aloe gel, bring it. It’s AWESOME.

-laundry detergent
-dryer sheets
-bra bag for the ladies (if you don’t know, you put your underwear and bras in there and it cleans them a little more delicately)
-drying rack (good for drying nicer shirts that might otherwise shrink in the dryers)

-jewelry/makeup, etc (ladies. I don’t wear jewerly or makeup ever. I found myself pulling out what I had for parties sometimes. Bring it just in case!)
-hair dryer
-straightener/curling iron/etc.
-hair spray
-hair gel
-extra hair ties/headbands/bobby pins/clips
-if you can buy a bigger mirror, bring it. I was too short to really use the ones they have in the dorms.
-a little mirror
-nail clippers/tweezers/nail file
**anything you use or think you might use, bring it.

a floor lamp or 2 (seriously, the dorm lights make you feel like a prisoner
hooks (those 3M hooks work really well. I’d get 2 packs of them)
-if your dorm has no air conditioning, bring a box fan or 2. If it does, I’d still bring a small fan just in case it breaks. It happens.
-DON’T BRING TRASHCANS/RECYCLING. The university will give them to you fo’ free!
-pictures/posters/whatever you want on your wall
-your phone chargers, iPod chargers, whatever chargers
-batteries (if you use a graphing calculator)
-TV (a small one)
-picture frames
an extra bin to keep extra stuff in
-a calendar
-a dry erase board for the outside of your door/dry erase markers
-plastic water bottles (you probably got one at orientation—keep it!)
-an iHome
-alarm clock if you don’t use your phone alarm
-social security card/insurance card/driver’s license/YOUR RUTGERS ID
-As a commentator pointed out condoms (better safe than sorry)

some tips:
-don’t overpack. Bring what you know you’re gonna use
-if you can, bring some of your warmer stuff with you if you don’t foresee yourself going home before the middle of October
-Buy an ID holder or put it in your wallet if it’s small. But if you DO, buy a lanyard at the bookstore so you can keep everything in one place.
-memorize your ID number. Like I’ve said before, it’s really helpful
-you really don’t need a bunch of extra plastic drawers or any of the gimmicky stuff they sell in stores. You do get a decent amount of space.

To sum it up: Read through the list. If you have any questions, let me know!

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My Favorite Off-Campus Eats

September 29, 2011


(First off, my friend Amanda goes to Camden County and she frequents the Rutgers Student Center there. She came up to visit me, we went to eat, and she fell in love. She’ll appreciate that this post gives her honorable mention haha.)

Three places that are in the vicinity of campus but aren’t exactly ON campus: Stuff Yer Face, Old Man Rafferty’s, and Hansel and Griddle.

Stuff Yer Face is a Rutgers staple. Like… you ask any alumni, they went to this place and they probably LOVED it. It’s delicious. You’ll end up going here at least once during the year, probably once+ a semester. They’re famous for their many variations of stromboli’s, but everything else they have is pretty damn good.

Old Man Rafferty’s is the type of place you go with your parents or with your significant other. It’s a little pricy but the food is outrageous. Also a pretty well-known place with Rutgers students/alumni. Make sure you go there at least once.

Hansel and Griddle is amazing if you wanna order out. I haven’t been to their location on Church Street. They have really good sandwiches and things of that sort.

To sum it up: Go to these places. Seriously. They’re awesome.

**btw, no, I haven’t gone to the grease trucks yet. :( I intend on going next year and getting me a fat darrell. That’s right.

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Registration, Webreg, and other Academic Things

September 29, 2011


These are a few things specific to the university that you should remember as far as registration/academics:

At APA day, you probably wrote down a few classes that you were eligible to take. I remember I didn’t get all the ones I wrote down on my actual schedule; if that happens to you and you wanted a class you didn’t get, don’t stress it. On Sept. 1 when classes start, the university has what’s called an add/drop period. You go on webreg, and you can look up the courses you wanted to take and see if they’re still open. Two imporant pieces of advice about this: 1) Always ADD a class before you DROP IT, just in case it fills up fast. I’ve had to take the risk of adding a class after I dropped something before only because what I wanted didn’t fit into my schedule, so when you do that, proceed with caution. 2) Make sure you do this relatively early. I think webreg opens at like 6. I’m not saying get up at 6 (unless you want to, if I was paranoid, I’d be crazy and do it), but don’t wait until like, the last day to add a class you want (add/drop lasts for 2 weeks). If there’s a class you’ve gone to in the first week and you’re worried about it, don’t wait to drop it. Seriously.

Taking a W vs. an F
After the add/drop period ends, you can only drop classes with a W. What that means is that you’re “withdrawing” from the class. Unlike add/drop, this will show up on your transcript. When you drop a class during add/drop, it won’t show up on your transcript. Now if you decide to go with a W in a class you can’t handle, it’s the same as receiving an F, but it’s not factored into your GPA. At Rutgers, if you get an F, you have the option to retake the course and whatever grade you get will replace your older one if it’s better. It’s really up to you how you wanna go about that if you get caught in that position. If you think you just messed up and believe you’ll end up doing better if you took it again, take the F. If it’s a class that you think you simply can’t handle, take the W. If you’re confused, talk to your advisor, but hopefully you won’t have that issue!

Academic probation
Rutgers gives academic warning to students who earn less than a 2.0 GPA after your first semester. That warning turns into probation once it happens for a whole year. In order to get off probation/warning, you have to get about a 2.0 the following semester. Again, hopefully none of you will be in this position, but I had friends who went on warning after 1st semester. Honestly, there’s really no reason you can get to this point unless you deliberately don’t do your work/don’t go to class/do papers extremely late, and that’s exactly what they did. So don’t put yourself in this position.

To sum it up: Know what you have to do beforehand. If you wanna add a class, be prepared to add it asap, same if dropping one if you’re 100% sure about it. And don’t screw yourself enough to put yourself on probation, it’s not worth it.

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Take Care of Problems Head-On

September 29, 2011


Since you’re paying for your education, if you have problems, don’t sit around waiting for them to solve themselves. If you’re confused about classes you have to take or you’re having serious issues in a class, talk to someone ASAP. Up until April, I was trying to figure out what to take for the psychology major since I wasn’t in SAS until a month ago. I didn’t wait until I got into the school, but instead I emailed a bunch of advisors, met with a few people, tried to figure it out that way, and I’m on track for the major. Even when it comes to classes, if you think you’re not doing well, talk to your professor. They’ll be able to help you out. It’s much better than just coasting and hoping for the best. Like I said, you’re paying a decent amount of money for tuition, so don’t waste it.

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How to Handle Expository Writing

September 29, 2011


Expository Writing: how to manage the dreaded class.

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t wanna scare anyone, even though you might think me adding a disclaimer to this post means it’s scary, but just listen to what I say and leave your expectations at the door)

Before I started classes, I wasn’t really worried about expos. I was like “I’m a pretty decent writer, got A’s in my AP English classes, know how to word things eloquently, I’ll be fine”. Well. I was wrong. Blatantly wrong. Expos is probably the most complained about, hated class at Rutgers… maybe besides organic chemistry, I hear that one a lot too. But anyway, the whole point of expos is so that they teach you how to write in such a way that you’re taking a position and making whatever points you can to DEFEND your position. For me, it was EXTREMELY hard to figure that out because it’s not so much a persuasive essay as it is you restating your thesis in different ways. It’s very hard to figure that out but once you get it, you’re gonna do well. Guaranteed. Here are a few things you should know about the class, itself:

1. Grading
Papers are graded on an NP, C, C+, B, B+, A scale. NP means not passing. Your paper grade is based on the average of all of your papers. You have 5 official papers and one critical review. The critical review doesn’t count. So that means if you get an NP, C, C, B, C, you’ll probably end up with a C+ or maybe even a B. If it’s NP, C, B, B, A, you’ll get a B+ and so on. Mine was NP, C, NP, C, B, so I got a C+. What determines that is your teacher will present your work to the committee of professors who oversee the class and try to convince them to give you a certain grade.

2. Reading the articles
So what’ll happen is, you’ll have your book and the book has a bunch of different essays, articles or excerpts from books by an author. You get a few days to read the story, and you discuss it in class. Once you discuss it, you write your rough draft which you get about 5 days for. You come into class and do peer reviews. We usually did 2 days of peer reviews but not all classes get the option to do that. Once you do that, you go back and do your final draft and hand it in. Then you repeat the process.

3. Writing the paper
So the rough drafts have to be 4 full pages + works cited. Final has to be 5 pages + works cited. Yes, it is a pain in the ass. My advice though is to let yourself ramble in your rough draft. Like it’s seriously okay because you could say literally anything as long as it defends your thesis. Then for the final, they pretty much expect you to do LOTS of editing and additional work to get it to 5+ pages. My advice on that is to disregard the 4 pages limit for the rough draft and just try to get to 5; that way, you worry about writing less.

4. Editing
Something important is to get other people to read and edit your papers. A lot of times something you think is clear, they may not know what the hell you’re talking about, so the best thing is to find people who will read your paper for you outside of class. Everyone’s got different expos teachers who have different techniques, so they may point something out that you never noticed. 

The most important tip I can give you about expos though, is to go to your teacher’s office hours. Seriously. The only time I got a B on my papers was because I went to her office hours and she read my paper and gave me critical suggestions. It will save you.

To sum it up: Expos will be hard, but go to office hours every single time you feel confused or anything, which may be every time, and that’s okay. And DON’T PROCRASTINATE YOUR PAPERS. That basically means you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

**If anyone has any other questions about expos, let me know. It’s a tough class and this is just the summary of it, so if there’s anything specific you wanna know that I didn’t mention, I’ll be happy to tell you about it.

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Know Your Campuses

September 29, 2011


So I wanted to kinda break down each campus for everyone the best I could, just so you’re semi-familiar with each one before you come here. Just some info about them, what’s there, the lecture halls, etc. If you have any questions about something I didn’t mention, let me know!

Main campus for: SEBS, Rutgers Gardens
Dining Hall: Neilson
Campus Center: Cook Campus Center (CCC)
Freshmen dorms: Helyar House, Voorhees, Perry, Nicholas
Upperclassmen dorms/apartments: Helyar House, Newells, Starkeys
Lecture halls: Food Science auditorium, Cook-Douglass Lecture Hall
Hot spots on campus: Passion Puddle, the farm,

Main campus for: Douglass Residential College, Mason Gross School of the Arts
Dining hall: Neilson
Campus Center: Douglass College Center (DCC)
Freshmen dorms: Lippincott, Katzenbach, New Gibbons, Jameson
Upperclassmen dorms/apartments: Old Gibbons, Jameson, Woodbury Bunting-Cobb, Henderson
Special-interest dorms: Woodbury Bunting-Cobb
Lecture halls: Loree, Hickman Hall, Ruth Adams (one room)
Hot spots on campus: Douglass library, Voorhees chapel area

College Ave
Main campus for: College of Nursing, center of Rutgers New Brunswick
Dining Hall: Brower Commons
Campus Center: Rutgers Student Center
Freshmen dorms: Clothier Hall, Tinsely Hall, Mettler Hall, Stonier Hall, Frelinghuysen Hall,
Upperclassmen dorms/apartments: Hegeman Hall, Wessels Hall, Leupp Hall, Pell Hall, Mettler Hall, Stonier Hall, Frelinghuysen Hall, Hardenbergh Hall, Campbell Hall, Rockoff, Easton Ave
Special-interest dorms: Brett Hall, Leupp Hall, Frelinghuysen Hall,
Lecture Halls: Voorhees Hall, Scott Hall, Art History, Milledoler Hall, Van Dyck Hall
Hot spots on campus: Grease trucks, frat row, Easton Ave, train station, George Street

Main campus for: Engineering, Pharmacy, Football & other sports
Dining Hall: Busch
Campus Center: Busch Campus Center (BCC)
Freshmen dorms: Davidson Hall, Metzger, Allen Hall, BEST Hall
Upperclassmen apartments: Silvers, Nichols, Richardson,
Upperclassmen Suites: Judson, Crosby, McCormick, Morrow, Winkler, Thomas
Special-interest dorms: McCormick, Metzger, Barr Hall, Mattia
Lecture Halls: Hill Center, Allison Road Classrooms (the ARC), Science and Engineering Resource Center (the SERC), Wright Chem Building, Engineering building, William Levin Hall (Pharmacy), Physics lecture hall
Hot spots on campus: Rutgers Stadium, Werbler Rec Center, home to other sports complexes

Main campus for: Rutgers Business School, the RAC, other sports complexes
Dining Hall: Livingston Dining Commons
Campus Center: Livingston Student Center (the LSC)
Freshmen dorms: Quad I, Quad II, Lynton Towers (North Tower)
Upperclassmen dorms/apartments: Quad I, Quad II, Quad III, Lynton Towers (North and South)
Special-interest dorms: Quad I, Lynton Towers (South Tower)
Lecture Halls: Lucy Stone Hall, Beck Hall, Tillett Hall
Hot spots on campus: student center, the RAC for the basketball games, other sports, Livingston theater

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Go to all the events the first few days

September 29, 2011


When I moved in in 2010, there were a lot of activities the first 3 days or so before classes started. The first day we had a “convocation” ceremony, which is the opposite of graduation lol. All the freshmen go to the stadium and there were like short speeches and singing performances and stuff. After that, there was a carnival-type thing which was really fun. The second day we had this thing in the rec center called a “throwdown”, where you do relay races with all the freshmen dorms on your campus and try to represent your hall with spirit and stuff. That was pretty fun too. Then I think the next day there was an involvement fair on College Ave for everyone where you could sign up for extracurriculars and later that night we had the Target night. So take advantage of these things they have. I met all of my friends gradually through going to all the events and it’s a cool way to get used to being at Rutgers.

Also, my apologies to the 2015 kids since you guys got screwed because of Hurricane Irene. Next year’s a new year!

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