‘Rutger colege’ admin posts heartwarming status about saying goodbye to RU
Warning: It might make you cry
Rutgers colege, RU's very own meme page is the home for spicy meme's specific to life in New Brunswick.
With over 4600 fans (around 10% of the Rutgers community), it expressed every frustration of life as a Scarlet Knight.
In a heartwarming and poignant post, the mystery admin sums up exactly what it's like to go to RU.
Four years ago, I didn’t really want to go to Rutgers.
I came to Rutgers from a large public high school in New Jersey. A good third of the graduating class went to Rutgers, which my classmates disparagingly labeled, “High School Part II.” Some of my high school-turned-Rutgers classmates were the best of the best. They came to campus with full rides, with half of their college careers already completed by way of AP credits. Mostly, however, Rutgers felt like the default. It was the uninspired choice for uninspired students (I was one), barely twenty minutes away from home. I didn’t have a “dream school,” but Rutgers was -no one’s- dream school. It was not exotic, it was New Brunswick – “the Hub City,” in other words, a city that is known for being close to other cities (cities that people actually want to go to).
This was how I saw things four years ago. I was wrong.
Four years ago I had yet to meet my RA, in my freshman dorm, who came from a high school in one of New Jersey’s inner-cities and felt lucky to be at Rutgers. I didn’t know the people who struggled to pay for their tuition and those for whom every passing grade was an achievement of monumental proportions. had yet to meet the out-of-state students – and, yes, they do exist – who came from Massachusetts, from Oklahoma, from Pennsylvania, from California, and elsewhere and chose Rutgers. I had yet to befriend the international student from Bangladesh and China who came from the other side of the planet, who were truly grateful to be here and for whom Rutgers was certainly not just some lazy default.
Four years ago, I didn’t know Rutgers was home to a museum with a Mastodon skeleton (go visit it), or that I would take a class about dinosaurs with the museum’s director. I hadn’t learned from the professor who ran for parliament in Israel. I hadn’t hung out one-on-one with the professor who once hung out one-on-one with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Spain. I had never walked down Voorhees Mall on a warm spring day. I didn’t know I could study past midnight in an art museum on campus. That was all pretty cool.
I also had never slept in a hot dorm room without air conditioning before. I had never stood inside an F bus at rush hour, packed to capacity and traveling at less than half the speed limit. I had never eaten bland soup in Brower Commons or undercooked grilled chicken on Livingston. I had never seen someone carry a full jug of water with them down the street or witnessed classmates getting drunk, loud, and then drunker and louder, at eleven in the morning. These were petty grievances. While I can’t say that it was “pretty cool,” it was part of the experience all the same.
I love Rutgers, the place I spent four years lampooning. I love my classmates, my professors, and my university. I love our historic buildings and Voorhees Mall. I also love our late, overcrowded buses. I love Brower cuisine (if it can be called that). I love our sometimes out-of-touch administrators, and I love the frequently-questionable journalism of The Daily Targum (sorry). I love the political activism and debate on campus, even when it is dogmatic and self-defeating (both things I have been guilty of being). I love when the heating stays on in some buildings until the first week of May. And I love that commencement went on for six hours yesterday, and that they looped the end theme from Star Wars twice (even though my family may not agree). Some of these things feel less-than-great in the moment, but you will look back fondly on each of them. Rutgers’ flaws are what make it great.
People often preface aspirations with the caveat “in a perfect world.” I don’t want to live in a utopia if it means a perfect Rutgers. If our university were beyond reproach, if the air conditioning worked all the time (or was universally available), if house parties weren’t grimy, if the buses weren’t late, if Brower wasn’t strange, if Busch wasn’t depressing, if our new buildings weren’t so gaudy and didn’t catch fire, if the football team won all the time, if WebReg didn’t crash and have operating hours (seriously, in 2017, what website has hours of operation?), if RU Wireless didn’t fall victim to the same DDOS attacker three times in a row, if everything was shiny, impeccable, and futuristic… how dull would that be? What would there be to laugh at? What drive would we have to improve? I spent four years around people who wanted to make our campus, our country, and our planet better places and had the good sense to laugh at the problems they so passionately fought to resolve. Of course, I also met a few people who had trouble laughing at the world. Suffering isn’t funny, but making fun of the ludicrousness of our societies doesn’t mean you take combatting hardship any less seriously. Humor can shock, but it good humor isn’t meant to hurt. Satire keeps you from collapsing under the burden of all the horrible things that lie just beyond the ivory gates of the university, and some of the bad things that do go on within its walls. It can wake you up to problems and give you the drive to fix them.
This page gave me an outlet to reconcile what frustrated me about Rutgers with what ultimately made me fall in love with it.
A little history: I started Rutger colege as a freshman as “Rutgar unvercity.” I wanted an anonymous platform to poke fun at the place I was still struggling to fit into and stake out a niche in. I also toyed with the idea of a page that offered sophisticated reviews of Brower Commons’ daily offerings. Both projects eventually fell by the wayside, but some friends convinced me to resurrect Rutgar unvercity at the beginning of my sophomore year. I took them up on their advice, renaming the page “Rutger colege.”
Even when I revived Rutger colege, I never expected it to grow to the extent that it did. 4,600 fans! That’s more than 10 percent of Rutgers’ undergraduate students. It’s more than the total student population at some schools. I take pride in those numbers, but more than “likes” (or “thankful” reacts), the best part of this page was getting messages from people saying Rutger colege made their day. The best thing was knowing I made you laugh. And by “you,” I mean you: the person reading this post. Sitting in secret behind the screen, I sometimes felt a little like Batman. The anonymity the Internet confers can be dangerous, but it can also be sort of beautiful. I got to teach a freshman class at Rutgers during my senior year. Frankly, I got the impression that some of my students found me to be rigid and humorless as an instructor. I also know that some of them like this page. I don’t think they ever put two and two together, and I don’t need them to. Everyone makes an impact in college, some big, and some small. I hope mine was to make you smile.
This page was as much entertainment for the broader Rutgers community as it was catharsis for me. It is (I like to think) something of a public service but it is also a private record of my time here. I never was able to pull off the live show or t-shirts – a real dream of mine – and in the immediate term, I am leaving open those possibilities (however remote) (would anyone actually buy a Rutger colege t-shirt still?). But as far as posts and memes go, now that college is over, it is time to move on. Therefore, now that graduation day has passed I will not be continuing this page regularly as I did in the past and there will be no Dread Pirate Rutger. Of course, the page will remain up for you and future “smartypanses” to enjoy.
This may seem disappointing, but consider it *your* challenge, as the next generation of meme queens and kings to make your classmates laugh. For me, it is time to reflect and to continue to grow. I want to thank you all for taking part in this shared journey. I may never have met you, but you, my fellow “Rutger studnents” were my moral support and my friendly faces. I hope this page functioned in the same way for you. Four years ago I didn’t really want to go to Rutgers. Today, I find it difficult to say goodbye.
My eternal gratitude,