Friday, February 20, 2009

Life After High School

By Shaun Van Moerkerken

There comes a time in every teenager’s life when they are faced with the difficult decision of deciding their future upon the abrupt end of high school. In some cases, this decision is an easy one; a career path and college choice is already in mind, but this is not true for all cases. My classmate Travis Drobbin, age 21, had much to say on this topic and could relate with students who were faced with this tough decision. “I felt like I was in a prison and could not relate to anyone," Travis had to say about his first semester of college.

Travis said that upon the completion of high school he had narrowed down his choice of colleges to 2 finalists; Rutgers University or Monmouth University. At first, Travis was leaning more towards choosing Monmouth University for the economical reason of receiving scholarship money to attend their institution. Even with the money Monmouth was offering him, Travis turned down their offer because ever since childhood, Travis wanted to be a scarlet knight, “I was already very familiar with the campus and really felt comfortable making it my new home.” When accepted to Rutgers, Travis was unaware that Rutgers at the time was broken up into 6 different schools and you were accepted to that specific school. Travis was accepted to University College, which little he knew was known for transfer students and adult night time students, which is not a great atmosphere to make new friends and start your college career.

Upon arrival at Rutgers, Travis was assigned to dorm at the Livingston Campus, which is not a crowd favorite among students here at Rutgers University. Even though he originally wanted to live at College Avenue, he decided to make the best of his situation, which only got worse from this point. He soon found out that he and his roommate were the only freshmen on his floor in Quad 1 and under the age of 21. This is a bad situation for a freshman because cliques have already formed among former students and it is difficult to make new friends. To make matters worse, Travis and his roommate did not get along either due to their differences in lifestyles.

Winter break arrived and Travis was never more happy to see home. After his long month break, the woes of Livingston Campus life had left his mind but were quickly remembered upon his return. This is when Travis realized that something had to change. The first idea that crossed Travis’s mind was transferring out of Rutgers and reverting back to his other choice, Monmouth University. He met with his parents at a restaurant and talked with them about transferring out of Rutgers, and had convinced them.

The following day, Travis received a phone call for a dinner invitation to rush the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha. He had been selected because his brother in-law had once been a brother of the same fraternity. Even though he was thinking of transferring, he reluctantly accepted the dinner invitation. After attending many rush events he received a bid to join the fraternity. After that day, Travis decided not to transfer out of Rutgers and found his niche of friends that he feared he might never find at Rutgers University. These tough decisions that teens face of finding a close group friends almost made him make a life changing decision. “I know now that I made the correct decision and have never been happier here at Rutgers University.”

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