As part of the Division of Student Affairs’ initiative for Diversity and Inclusion, we at I Am Rutgers have started the #RUIDProject to highlight the many diverse identities, experiences, and reflections of the Rutgers student body. Students featured in this project share how they choose to identify themselves and how Rutgers either helps them express their identity or has helped shape their identity. If you would like to be featured in this project, share a picture of yourself and how you choose to identify using the hashtag #RUIDProject on Instagram or contact us via email.
An incredibly brilliant entrepreneur, business woman and author named Alexis Jones once said, “you have to be willing to do the lonely work.” She was talking about success, and some of the qualities it takes to be successful, whether you’re starting your own business or trying to get your Ph.D. I’ve always been independent, but coming to Rutgers from California was far outside of my comfort zone that was initially filled with warm weather, my dog (most importantly) and everyone I grew up with. Rutgers was the only out-of-state school I had applied to, and being the impulsive person that I am, I decided it would force me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
So I came here, petrified, confused by the bus system and your Taylor ham debates, but excited and curious.
I came in majoring in biology with hopes of becoming a doctor. I wanted to help people and I was really into science at the time. Knowing myself now, this is easily the most ridiculous goal I’ve ever had for myself. I’m terrible at math, and science, as it turns out. So, there I was, sophomore year, having my usual quarter life crisis about a future career that was 3 years away.
I talked to a lot of people that knew me well, and the number one question I was asked was: “what do you like?” They wanted me to step outside practicality for a minute and truly think about what I actually like to do. Writing.
I finally settled on majoring in journalism at the beginning of my sophomore year, and quickly put together that I would need some internships and experience. That’s when the Rutgers Student Affairs Media team took me in as an intern even though I had no writing experience whatsoever and essentially no valuable skills to offer at the time. I’m not sure what my boss was thinking, but I’m happy he was thinking it.
Fast forward to nearly 2 years later and I’m one of the Social Content Managers on the Student Affairs Media Team, the Editor of The Tab, an intern at CNN and a proud member of the Cap and Skull Senior Honor Society. I’m about to sound like a Rutgers brochure, so bear with me. I couldn’t have done any of these things if Rutgers hadn’t equipped me with the knowledge, confidence and resources to get me here. I truly don’t know what would’ve happened if I had stayed in California, but I am so eternally grateful that I get to be here and interact with some of the most brilliant and talented minds I’ve ever known. That being said, none of this fell into my lap – you have to be willing to fail and face rejection at least a million times, work as hard as you possibly can and of course, put in the lonely work – whether that means staying home on a Friday to study or missing a football game to write an article. But most importantly, care about what you do and have fun with it. None of my jobs feel like work because of how much I love, not only the people I get to work with, but the actual work itself. So thank you Rutgers. You took an anxiety ridden first-year student and turned her into a journalist, a leader and – pretty soon – a college graduate.