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Anusha Kumar: Rutgers University

From: Bangalore
Going to: Rutgers University
Major: Psychology
Anusha! We’re SO excited that you are heading off to Rutgers soon!  Rutgers – your dream university!! Can you tell us why Rutgers is the perfect fit for you?
I think Rutgers would be the perfect fit for me because it has one of the best psychology departments, with renowned professors. They also have the option of taking particular seminars on topics that are important to me. They even offer internships and numerous research projects, and multiple awards if we do research on different subjects.
So when you were looking at universities, what were the 5 most important factors for you?
I think the main factors most important to me were the academic and educational system, the location of the university, the student life (such as Greek life, nightlife, clubs, activities, etc), definitely the affordability and whether I could see myself in that university or not.
I looked at the departments I was most interested in such as psychology, art and business and checked out the different teaching methods in each university. I gave importance to how other students, and my teachers viewed each university. I looked at reviews from students attending or graduating from the specific universities so I could get a feel of how their academics were. Since my brother had gone to Rutgers also, and he recently graduated, he was able to give me lots of in-depth opinions on the university, which was really helpful, as he told me about the different professors and the majors/minors we could take, etc. This helped me make my decision and choose Rutgers because he had given me such great reviews also.
The location of the university also mattered to me, because I didnt want to be too far away from my family. As my brother was in Rutgers, New Jersey he could show me around and help me out in the first few weeks. Also, my father was in new York, which is close to New Jersey, so I preferred a university along the East coast, where I had relatives and friends so I could adapt to the culture shocks and new environment with their help, rather than a place such as California where I didn’t know anyone.
The student life also mattered a lot, because I had interests outside of academics as I’m sure everyone does. So I looked at the different clubs, activities and events thrown by these universities. There are so many options available to a student. If they want to start their own clubs, its super easy! For example, in Rutgers there is even a Pie Club, with a minimum of fifteen or so people who like pie, and just gather together to discuss it! Its important for a student to join different activities, because it helps build their resume. The nightlife and the different events going on were also really important, because these are when we just get to have fun and relieve stress, so I definitely looked at happening places. At Rutgers there is a ‘Rutgers Day’, filled with all sorts of games, food, and sometimes concerts.
My fourth factor was the affordability because obviously not all of us carry around thousands of dollars in our pockets. Since I’d be taking a loan I didn’t want a huge debt at the end of my graduation, that I’ll be paying off untill I’m fifty! Rutgers was the best university which was at affordable prices AND gave the best education. As a US citizen, and a New Jersey resident before, it was definitely more affordable for me and the place was familiar.
What was the biggest challenge for you in the application process?
During the application process, the biggest challenge for me would have been the tons of essays we have to write like the supplementary essays. Each would need two or three rough drafts, and then more editing, and this would take up the most time. After a while, thinking of new ideas for different essays became really tough. This is why I didn’t apply to too many universities.
Were you able to find scholarships?
I was able to find scholarships specific to a university. For example, when I was researching for American University, I looked at their many scholarships and I could always find at least one or two that applied to me. I was even awarded the presidential scholarship for that university.
Why did you want to study in the U.S.?
I wanted to study in the US because I know we have a lot more options, than we do here in India. We have more choice of subjects and we can take a combination of these subjects according to our own interests. It would be more difficult to study here and then go abroad rather than studying abroad and coming back to India. Also, my brother went first and found it exciting, and since I’ve experienced high school in India, I’ve always wanted to go back to the US and experience college life.
Tell us more about why you want to study psychology.
I’ve always wanted to study psychology firstly because the subject always intrigued me, and I found it amazing to see how different people thought and behaved. When my father was also at one point, diagnosed with mental illness, I realized I wanted to study it more than ever, just to help him. Secondly, my grandmother also inspired me. She had been a famous Kannada novelist and her novels were all based on psychological plots- patients suffering from different mental illnesses, and I got to know my grandmother through some of her books.
Anusha it is so neat to see how you have such keen interests and aspirations.  What is your big dream?
My dream would be to make groundbreaking research in the field of psychology so that eventually I can help my father, and others who suffer like him. I also want to pursue many other things such as dance and art.
Awesome.  We can’t wait to see the path that life continues to lead you down and how you continue to make a difference in the world!  What are you most looking forward to about going to Rutgers?
I think what I am most looking forward to about going to Rutgers would be meeting new people. Since Rutgers is one of the many diverse universities in America, I’m really looking forward to meeting all these new people and getting a taste of different cultures.
Before we sign off, do you have any other words of advice for students who are hoping to study abroad?
I think my words of advice to students who want to study abroad would be not to procrastinate. The whole decision, application and the college process is difficult so they should make the best use of their time. Also, I would tell them to keep an open mind, because when they get to college, they should be able to experience interests that they didn’t even know they had. And last, my most important advice – have fun!
Woohoo!  Watch out Rutgers, here she comes!

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