Monday, February 16, 2009

Finding Fulfillment at Rutgers

By Lucas Sullivan

When asked about what she thinks of college so far, Aliyah Finney will tell you that she is very content with her current selection. “Originally Rutgers was going to be a safety school for me, and I was going to go to UPenn,” said Finney, who is currently a 19-year-old sophomore attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick. “I even planned on transferring, but once I got here I really liked Rutgers.” Before arriving at Rutgers, Finney attended Dunellen High School, located in Dunellen, N.J. She noted an interesting piece of trivia about Dunellen: the first ever QuickChek convenience store was established there. Finney wasn’t terribly satisfied with the high school itself, however. “Dunellen has a pretty bad reputation,” she said with a laugh. “There were drugs and even a pedophile at our school, and the building just sat on a street corner.” Aside from the questionable activities of some of her peers and teachers, Finney was also displeased with the relatively small size of the school. “Our graduating class had only 73 students in it,” she recalled. “And it seemed that the school in general disliked our class. We had the highest number of teen pregnancies, and some seniors would come to class high on drugs, pills, whatever.”

Luckily, Finney would find much more contentment and gratification at Rutgers. Taking on the difficult task of double majoring in Linguistics and Journalism with a minor in Japanese, she seems very pleased with her Rutgers experience thus far. “In the end, I’m glad I came to Rutgers. It wasn’t high on my list, but it’s close to home and offers such a large mix.” For Finney, part of the appeal of the college is its bigger size. “The larger classes are definitely a plus,” she said. “Also, it’s definitely a lot more diverse than my high school.”

Originally, Finney planned on majoring in Marketing, but it proved not to be what she was looking for. “I wanted to get a job promoting foreign movies, so Marketing seemed like a good choice. But the classes dealt more with statistics, which I wasn’t at all interested in.” While Finney is not absolutely positive on what specific classes she wants to take, she is confident that as a sophomore there is plenty of time remaining to pursue her interests. Though she previously had a job working at the Rutgers Telefund, the “nation's highest revenue-generating university phone program since 2002,” according to their website, she was forced to temporarily quit her job in order to keep up with her workload. “I’ll work there again over the summer,” she said, “but for now it was just too much work.” In terms of residence life, Finney had lived in Morrow Suites on Busch Campus, but found them cramped and uncomfortable. She now lives off campus with 2 other residents, and finds it more to her liking. “It’s nice. We’re all in relationships, so they mainly just keep to themselves.” All in all, Finney feels fulfilled attending Rutgers. Student life thus far has been enjoyable, and she knows that there is a lot more that the school has left to offer. “I definitely want to get more involved here,” she concluded, “and seeing as I may take five years to graduate like many students, I should have plenty of time!”

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