The following is North alumnus Haril Shah’s response to our questions about his college decision process, the student life and culture at Rutgers University, and more.


Shah graduated from North in 2019. 

I chose Rutgers because it was in-state, so the tuition is much cheaper and it made financial sense for me and my family. Also, I was not 100% sure what I wanted to do yet, and I knew that Rutgers was very big so I would have lots of options to choose from in terms of majors/minors. 

As Rutgers is a big state school, I was looking forward to the many diverse experiences I would have at Rutgers (participating in academic & sports clubs, watching sports, etc).

I would say that the biggest struggle is balancing good academics with a good social life and good sleep (or even just health in general). 


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I do not regret my decision to come here. One piece of advice I would offer to prospective undergrad students is that sometimes there may not be a school that you “fall in love” with, but that is completely okay. It is true that people take into account the ranking/name of the school you go to, however recognize that the name of the school is not all that matters. It is what you do at that institution that will really make you stand out.

Basically, don’t get too caught up in trying to get into the school that looks/sounds the best to others on paper, wherever you end up, just make sure you try your best and thrive!

Since I am already so close to home, I do not get homesick very much. I have the option to go home every weekend if I wanted to, so being homesick is not the biggest issue. Also, life gets so busy sometimes that I don’t have time to stop and think about missing home. You just keep thinking about the upcoming exams or assignments or club meetings or practices.

What I miss the most about WW-P are the teachers and coaches at school. I have formed some very close bonds with coaches and teachers at WW-P and, spoiler alert: teachers do not get that much better when you enter college! Learn how to learn (it is a life skill that so many college students continue to work on) and appreciate the teachers you have right now!


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One of the things that is good about Rutgers is that because there are so many people and so many ways to get involved, you will learn how to make a big community a small community. 

By getting involved you will get to meet new people who come from various backgrounds and cultures. You will learn how to make new relationships (something that many high school students do not have to do, as they have been in the same school district for so long). 

So, eventually you will find your group of friends and you will be okay; do not be afraid of going to a big university!

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