The academic year at RPI is in full swing. Professors are giving their first exams, and many students have set their routines for the semester. Most clubs have already hit the ground running and are active around campus doing a million different things. There are a lot of things for students to do outside of classwork and just hanging out with friends. As a freshman, it can almost be overwhelming to keep track of everything that is going on around campus. In fact, I daresay it is impossible for one person to really know everything that is going on. As soon as I think that I know my way around campus, I find out about something I literally had no idea even existed. It’s been a personal goal of mine in these first few weeks to get out and experience as much of campus as possible while still maintaining some personal sanity. In a sense, my first few weeks here have been one giant exploration in what RPI can offer.
That said, I’ve found it really easy to overcommit and lose sight of having enough time for academic commitments, even though we are all paying more than $40,000 a year in just academic tuition. Everybody I have met is involved in at least three different things along with taking at least 16 (and for most upperclassmen, closer to 20) credits of coursework. It’s also worth noting that RPI has a reputation for “grade deflation” and it is something I have already seen firsthand in my short time here. In the mix of everyone’s commitments, sleep is often sacrificed, especially on Tuesday nights where The Poly staff is working in the office past midnight to bring you all this wonderful paper. Of course, I would never sacrifice my experiences for a need as basic as sleep. College students live a different lifestyle than most other people, and it is one that I am still adjusting to.
I also love the diversity I see around campus and the fact that RPI is, at least in my opinion, one large multi-cultural melting pot. I have made friends from places all around the country which is an opportunity I would not have if I were not attending RPI. In today’s society, international borders are becoming less and less relevant as globalization continues unfettered. Being able to work with all sorts of different people is an opportunity that I believe will provide a great payoff in my future. College is practice for the real world, so why not make the most of it?