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Seniors reflect on their time at Rutgers

The Class of 2020 has only a few months before its time at Rutgers comes to an end. 
Photo by The Daily TargumThe Class of 2020 has only a few months before its time at Rutgers comes to an end. 

With the Spring 2020 semester in full swing, students in the Class of 2020 are preparing for their graduation from the University in just a few months. Seniors reflect on their experiences at Rutgers candidly, highlighting both the positive and negative of their four years at the school. 

Akshada Chordiya, a School of Engineering senior, said the biggest takeaway of her experience were her first-year friendships she made from living in Barr Hall. 

“As an engineering major, being in a dorm with all engineers was probably one of the best experiences because I was able to become friends with a lot of people in my classes and study with them and enjoy our first year of college together. Engineering was definitely hard, but having friends like those that support you and lift you up definitely made the entire experience worthwhile,” she said.

Chordiya said she regrets not joining more clubs her first and sophomore year due to a “hectic first two years in terms of classes.” By the time she became an upperclassmen, she said she joined a variety of clubs, including the Society of Women Engineers, Photography Club and also participated in Rutgers University Dance Marathon. 

“Being able to hang out with people that have similar interests as you is absolutely incredible, and it’s an experience that you can definitely make the most of during your time at Rutgers,” she said. “I would recommend that people try new clubs and organizations because you can learn a lot, have an impact on people's lives and overall just have fun.” 

Chordiya said she recommends getting involved with clubs, recreational activities or sports. Academically, she said studying, joining research projects and visiting office hours to get to know professors can be beneficial. 

“Try new things that scare you — you might end up really enjoying them,” Chordiya said.  

Brian Johnson, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said he enjoyed his experience at the University. He said he joined a fraternity, lived off campus and had a lot more freedom during his sophomore year. 

Johnson said he wishes he had started getting involved earlier. He said students should try getting involved with activities that are important and enjoyable to them, not necessarily done just for the resume. 

“(Your first) year is a great time to try things and find what you are interested in working on for the next four years,” Johnson said. 

Johnson also said his professors had a positive impact on his college experience, not only due to their expertise, but also due to how they interacted with students. 

“They genuinely care about how you are doing in their course,” Johnson said. 

Johnson offered practical advice for current undergraduate students at Rutgers: “Get a bike if you have to go to class on a different campus because you'll waste so much time on buses over four years here. The whole transportation issue is probably the only negative part of my experience here.”

Shannon Walsh, a School of Nursing senior, said the college experience is different for every student. 

“The way you perceive college is heavily dependent on your attitude. It can be hard, but if you try to look at everything in a more positive light, your memories will be a lot fonder by the time you start nearing graduation,” Walsh said. 

She said the time students spend at Rutgers is relatively short and recommended students take advantage of the opportunities available. 

“This will be one of the last times in your life for many of us to live without the full responsibilities of adulthood,” Walsh said. “Cherish your time in school, no matter how you do it, and remember that physical and mental health is just as important as your grades. Don’t let these years go without making a few memories.”

As seniors prepare to leave Rutgers, Associate Professor Neil Sheflin of the Department of Economics said he advises seniors to continue learning after college. 

“Curiosity is the drive behind all true learning, discovery, exploration and success. Curiosity is the reason all of us, students and teachers, are at Rutgers, or it should be,” Sheflin said. “Curiosity is what will, or should, propel graduates in their careers and lives after Rutgers. And if it killed the cat, the cat died happy and famous.”