There is more to college than academics

By Caitlin Kennedy February 26, 2020

The Class of 2020 celebrated 100 Days to Graduation—a formal event at Vapor Night Club that marked 100 days before seniors graduate—this past weekend! It's hard to believe that my four years at this school are coming to an end. It feels like just yesterday my parents were dropping me off at BARH to kick off my Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond week. But at the same time, I can’t remember a time when Rensselaer wasn’t a huge part of my life.

One thing I’ve learned during my time at RPI is that yes, grades are important, but it’s not what you learned in class that you’re going to remember. Those late night study sessions are important, but the people you meet are much more important. To all the underclassmen: I encourage you to find your group. There are so many people here and tons of them are bound to share the same interests as you. It can be difficult, especially in your first year, to put yourself out there, but it is so rewarding. Meeting friends and creating memories that will last a lifetime is a huge part of the college experience.

One of the best ways to find people who share a passion with you is to join clubs that you love. Organizing events and building skills outside the classroom is key in becoming a well-rounded individual. These experiences are also what will help you the most during interviews with employers. You will find yourself in many situations where you will be able to draw on and build personal skills.

RPI is very difficult academically and having clubs and friends as an outlet is a great way to stay mentally healthy. The Union website normally has an updated list of all clubs and their officer contact information. The website is currently under construction as we work to transform it into a better platform for students. In the meantime, you can email me at and I will send you a current list of all Union-recognized and affiliated Clubs. I can get you in contact with the officers if you are interested in any particular clubs. Once the new website launches, you will be able to see over 200 clubs the Union supports and encourages you to get involved in!

Your four years here will pass in a flash, so make the most of it. Be responsible and get your work done, but don’t forget to have fun. You have your whole life ahead of you with plenty of responsibility to come. Enjoy RPI.