These incoming first-year students know exactly why they chose a liberal arts education at Rutgers University–New Brunswick: A wide range of academic choices, a diverse campus, and multiple opportunities to get involved with the university community.
Juan Castillo was drawn to Rutgers by the opportunity for research and by the campus environment.
“I love the environment here,” he says. “With the different campuses, you can go from an urban setting to a nearly rural feel in a matter of minutes. It’s so diverse!”
At Bergenfield High School, Castillo’s favorite class was AP psychology. He intends to make psychology his major at Rutgers as he pursues research opportunities and works toward a career in a clinical setting.
“I could definitely see myself working in a hospital environment or in private practice,” he says.
For now, though, he just wants to get to know Rutgers.
“I want to be involved with the university community as a whole,” he says. “There are so many experiences you can have here.”
Ananya Girish is a student with eclectic interests.
She likes studying science, politics, art and art history.
“I’m inclined toward premed,” the South Brunswick High School graduate said. “I love biology. I love the way you can’t really see what’s going on in the different systems of the body, but you know it’s all there.”
She said she plans on taking a wide range of courses to explore her interests and find her path.
She decided on Rutgers after a campus visit.
“I love all the student centers and how there is so much room here,” she said. “There’s room to socialize and meet people, and if I want to go off on my own to study, there’s room for that too.”
Emily Fung is well-suited for the School of Arts and Sciences and its breadth of academic choices.
As a student at High-Tech High School in North Bergen, she pursued drama.
“I grew up being math and science-oriented, and then my love shifted to the arts,” she says.
Her interests have continued to evolve.
“Now I’m interested in exercise science because my biggest hobby is weightlifting,” she says
She wants to take courses and find a major in the Department of Kinesiology and Health. But she is also signing up for a theater acting class.
“I actually like that about Rutgers,” she says. “I can explore both options.”
Sarah Garcia is ready for the Big Ten.
“I like going to football games and being part of the crowd,” the graduate of Paramus Catholic High School says. “I like the sense of school spirit that comes from it.”
Garcia’s mother is a nurse, and she sees herself following in those footsteps, either in nursing or in some field where she is helping others.
“My mom is big influence on me,” she says. “The way she takes care of others, how she knows all the terminology.”
Looking ahead to her first year, Garcia is ready to take full advantage of the academic and campus life opportunities.
“I see myself studying really hard,” she says. “I see myself branching out of my comfort zone, and meeting new people, seeing new opportunities, and experiencing new things.”
Oliver Gilan, of Allendale, plans on majoring in computer science.
“My brother just graduated from the Department of Computer Science here at Rutgers and landed a really good job,” says Gilan, who graduated from Northern Highlands Regional High School. “Compared to other schools I got into, the Rutgers computer science department was superior.”
For his first year, he plans on getting to know Rutgers in its totality.
"I want to go to football games, meet people, do well in my classes, and see how it goes,” he says. “I just want to get accustomed to the university.”
Zain Khan said Rutgers offered the best mix of advantages.
“All the opportunities and how close Rutgers is to home made it the obvious choice,” says Khan, of South Brunswick, said.
Khan is interested in mathematics and science and is considering pursuing medicine.
“I want to work with people,” he said. “Being a doctor gives you the opportunity to help people and make sure the community around you is taken care of as well.”
He plans to focus on academics during his first few months and then expand his involvement in campus life.
“I’m going to take it a little slow,” he said. “But once I get my academics down, I’m going to check out the different activities and perhaps join a sport.”
Nizzie Laughinghouse is no stranger to Rutgers.
The Piscataway resident participated in the Rutgers Future Scholars Program beginning in the seventh grade. “It just felt totally natural to transition here,” he says. “I love the campus. I love the people, and I have had a lot of support behind me since the seventh grade.”
His favorite subject in high school was human anatomy and physiology, and he plans on eventually attending medical school. “The human body is an amazing thing,” he said.
He’s leaning toward a major in biology but is keeping an open mind toward other majors. Meanwhile, he’s entering his first year feeling excited and confident.
“With the supports that I have had, I feel very well prepared,” he said.
Nicolette Maggiore grew up in Lodi, a small Bergen County town where everyone knows each other.
When she visited Rutgers, she found the big campus refreshing.
“I came here, I liked it, and I felt like I fit in,” the Lodi High School graduate said. “The bigness of it actually drew me in.
“My town is small and I know everybody. Rutgers was different. And I liked that it was different.”
Maggiore said her favorite class in high school was chemistry.
“My plans is to major in chemistry at Rutgers,” she says.