Here’s a quick story I would like to share with you. I was nervous to leave home to come to RPI, but one week later after arriving on August 19, 2014, I found myself getting mustard poured on my head during the annual weR SLIMED event. Soon enough, I joined the club weR: The Spirit of Rensselaer Society. Additionally, one day of Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond, I spent the entire day playing volleyball outdoors near the Robinson Pool, and within the first month I joined the Club Volleyball Team.
One night, I even decided to walk into the newspaper office after hearing about it at the activities fair. In high school, I think I wrote two or three articles, now I’m writing for The Poly much more. You will receive a bunch of emails from clubs regarding meeting times; don’t feel overwhelmed, pick and choose a few, and check those out first. Then decide whether you want to continue going or not, as simple as that.
Incoming freshman, explore RPI, especially during NRB. There are so many clubs here. Continue what you loved during high school, and also try new things. And don’t forget, you’re here to study hard and learn a lot. Do well in your classes. You may be given a chance to do some research, ranging over a variety of fields. I did well in my introductory Science, Technology, and Society class first semester and had the opportunity to join a team of researchers on an ethnographic project during my second semester. I plan on returning to it this upcoming semester.
And freshmen, there is an upcoming career fair in September. Don’t feel like you are pressured to go. You’re only a freshman, adjust to school first. A summer internship will eventually find you, if you would like one.
Lastly, there are many opportunities outside the classroom. During the weekends, go to hall events (which I highly suggest joining your hall council early on), check out our solar system at the observatory Saturday nights, and most importantly, socialize.
Overall, it’s okay to be nervous and afraid to leave what you’ve known your entire life. But you’ll quickly adjust and laugh about that pre-college anxiety once you get going. And don’t forget to call back home once in a while. Enjoy the rest of your summer and GET PUMPED RPI, 2019!