How to fit in as a transfer student at RU

Not anything like your old community college

Research shows that nearly half of the population at a four-year institution, start at two-year college aka community college.

It's very easy to be overwhelmed when you transfer from a small community college to a large multi-campus university like Rutgers.

During your Rutgers career, you will most likely at one point have classes in multiple different locations throughout New Brunswick/Piscataway. Rutgers has four different campuses, which are College Ave, Cook/Douglass, Livingston, and Busch. College Ave and Cook Douglass are located on opposite ends of New Brunswick, while Livingston and Busch are minutes away from each other by bus in Piscataway.

It's quite intimidating at first to think about how every campus is so separate from each other. If you find yourself getting lost, look at the Rutgers pdf maps, which will help a lot when it comes to locating a building you need to go to.

Rutgers buses are the bane of almost every students existence, especially to transfer students who aren't used to relying on a transport system to get to one place to another. They are confusing, crowded, smelly, sweaty, uncomfortable, personal space-invading vehicles, but they are unfortunately necessary.

The biggest problem transfer students face is knowing which one to take. The best advice is get to know which bus goes where on the Rutgers transportation website and using the Rutgers app to know the daily bus schedule. Ask for other people's help also. If the bus is too crowded for your taste, wait for another less crowded bus.

The increased and intense workload can make or break a transfer student. A 3.5 GPA student in community college can very easily become a 2.7 student in Rutgers. Studying an hour before class and still pulling off a B, will not fly at RU. Rutgers has even acknowledged transfer shock, and has made their own helpful guide.

If you find yourself having trouble, either get a tutor or take advantage of a professor's office hours to ask for help. Working one on one with somebody who expertly knows the material can do wonders, because you can ask specific questions that you most likely can't ask in class. Also you need to put the appropriate time and effort into your class, because sometimes there's only a midterm and a final exam, which means you need to know most of the class material to pass, and can't slack one bit.

During rush hour, traffic can be a pain to get through

During rush hour, traffic can be a pain to get through

The commute to Rutgers can be a nightmare. Students who commute and park on campus, need to buy a parking pass in order to not get a ticket. A parking pass is in the $300 range per semester, which is very expensive. Some students park at Sears on Route 1, which is right by Cook/Douglass, but they ultimately need to be careful if they do that. If your commute to Rutgers is far, make sure to leave your house with time to spare. It will also help to spend extra time at a library to get your work done, because it will be better to commute back home when there's less traffic and have more free time at home.

A lot of transfer students have a lot of things to balance outside of school like work and family. The commute can take up so much part of the day because of traffic and the search for a parking space. A lot of people schedule their classes two-to-three times a week, to have more time for other priorities outside of school.

One of the many dorms on campus

One of the many dorms on campus

Living away from home is an exciting prospect for any transfer student who felt that they were missing out on the college experience. The best advice is to take full advantage of living away from home. Make new friends and go outside of your comfort zones for new enjoyable experiences. Another important thing is to manage your time wisely, because it's easy to get caught up on things that can potentially make your grades suffer. Remember you're going to Rutgers for an education, so do not fail a class because you didn't spend enough time on school, because retaking a class is very expensive and counterproductive.

Get involved

Get involved

The Rutgers community is large and diverse, so there is most likely something custom made for you to be a part of. The community college experience can be severely lacking to some, while Rutgers is the complete opposite. The involvement fair at the beginning of every semester is the best place to see what club or organization that you would like to be a part of. When you find something to your fitting, you will meet new people and have new fulfilling experiences that you can learn a lot from. Some of the friends you make while getting involved are the ones that can potentially last a lifetime. Also being a part of a club looks good on a resume, especially if you have fancy position that can potentially make you stand out when you start looking for jobs in the future.

Rutgers University