Ranked #140 in National Universities by U.S News and World Report and often considered a “nerd school”, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is most certainly an underrated institute for higher education.
A lot of college freshmen come into NJIT with low expectations and much unease. As time goes by however, some of these students find their niche and even fall in love with the school. As first year NJIT students, we describe our experiences adjusting to NJIT.
Truth be told, NJIT was far from being my first-choice school. Starting the new school year – the first semester of my college experience – I entered campus with depression and dread. Along with these feelings, I felt an overwhelming amount of pressure to excel so that I could transfer to a college that offered my dream major in Political Science and overall give me an enriching liberal arts education before I could move on to law school.
In hopes of getting some humanities courses, I enrolled into NJIT as a double major in Biology (B.A) and History (B.A.). The Biology degree was to appease my mother, who initially wasn’t fully convinced that I should pursue law over medicine. The History degree was for myself, yet I found myself unsatisfied and unhappy.
I met with my History academic advisor and was soon introduced to the Law, Technology, and Culture major; a major that placed emphasis on the exact liberal arts curriculum I was yearning for. Just after I decided to change majors, my life seemed to turn around for the better.
Following this momentous change, I got accepted into the Student Affairs Committee of the Student Senate and was immediately assigned to projects that would help enhance the student life on campus. On a weekly basis, I am given the freedom to express my thoughts and exercise my passion for writing with the incredible school newspaper, The Vector.
I am also honored to say that I currently intern for U.S. Senator Cory Booker, a respected politician who I personally revere. With this internship, I am starting my first co-op as a freshman. Though some of my classes are proving to be a bit challenging, I finally have established my personal happiness and have found my place at school.
Exactly a year ago, I was a hopeful high school senior yearning for Ivy League admission. Today, I am a proud NJIT Highlander ready to take advantage of opportunities both in Newark and at NJIT. I no longer feel the need to transfer schools, I just want to make the most of my undergraduate experience and prepare to be the best lawyer – a defender of the people – that I can be.
With dreams of the California sun, coming to NJIT in the heart of the urban jungle that is Newark, New Jersey was not part of my plan. However, on May 1st of 2017, against all expectations, I put in my deposit for NJIT.
My decision ultimately came down to the money. Financially, NJIT was one of the best option for me. The scholarship money provided by the honors college was more than adequate; it would have been foolish of me to pass it up. In addition, as a frequent backyard tourist of New York City, I was happy about NJIT’s close proximity to the city. I knew it would provide me with greater access to innumerable internship and co-op opportunities.
At NJIT, I have decided to be a Chemical Engineering major. So far, I have had a decent college experience. Commuting on NJ Transit has indulged my newfound sense of independence. I really do enjoy the commuting lifestyle but certainly wish I had more opportunities to socialize with my peers.
My professors have all been very welcoming and kind. They seem to understand that being a freshman, I am currently easing into the course material. I have joined various clubs including The Vector, Girl Up and the Honors Social Committee. I hope to meet more people and become more involved on campus in the coming months. I am excited for the rest of the semester.
It is interesting how neither of us placed NJIT as our first-choice school, and yet, we both have managed to grow accustomed to the college life and have since found our places in the school community. Our experiences have morphed us into expanding our perspectives. These experiences continue to motivate us to keep contributing to our campus in areas of academics, social life, and volunteer work. Hopefully, our stories are parallel to those of our peers as well.
Written by Donna Sunny and Victoria Nguyen
Photo Credit to www.njit.edu