My Transition from Tiger to Scarlet Knight

If you told me during my senior year of high school that in four years I would be graduating from Rutgers, I would have told you that you were crazy! As a New Jersey resident, I was dead set on attending a college out of state. During my college application process, I barely applied to any schools in New Jersey and ended up at Clemson University in South Carolina. During my freshman year, while I was loving football season, I began to realize that being 12 hours from home was definitely not for me. When I began to contemplate transferring, Rutgers was immediately at the top of my list because I knew I wanted to attend a big school with lots of opportunities, diversity, and plenty of new people to meet. However, Rutgers also had a strong biomedical engineering program and therefore, would allow me to take on a pre-med curriculum, which was equally important to me. 

My first semester at Rutgers was an exciting, albeit difficult, time for me. I was taking an ambitious schedule while trying my best to meet new people and find my niche at Rutgers. I began to meet people just by going to classes and office hours, and soon after I started attending meetings for student organizations that I found on getInvolved. I was overwhelmed by some of the people around me who gave the impression of seamlessly managing a hundred different obligations while maintaining good grades, but over time I adjusted and learned how to manage my time to accomplish my goals. 

Some of the things I did upon coming to Rutgers that positively affected my transition was keeping an open mind. Not every student organization you try out is going to be a winner, so during your first semester just attend whatever you’re interested in and work from there. Asking for help was also a crucial step to have the best experience at Rutgers because I was struggling academically, especially during my first semester, but I didn’t have to handle that alone. Finally, I had to learn to use my time wisely because there are many opportunities at Rutgers that I didn’t want to pass up. But, I needed to make the time to pursue them. Soon, I had managed my time well enough to do what I wanted on the weekends, which was usually going to football games and spending time with friends. Now, as a senior at Rutgers, it’s hard to believe that I ever thought another university could be the one for me. Rutgers SOE has provided me with countless resources and opportunities as an engineer pursuing a career in medicine but also as someone who came into the school a little bit later than others. However, I don’t think you’d ever know that I missed out on a year, as I’ve spent the last three years here making Rutgers my second home.

- Aislinn BME ‘21