When Sarah Kammers, a Monmouth County native, was making college plans, Rutgers never crossed her mind. “I thought Rutgers was way too big,” she said. “My high school was so small—there were only 60 people in the entire graduating class, and I liked that kind of environment.” So she played it safe, stayed close to home, and chose Brookdale Community College.
A chance encounter in her local supermarket caused her to rethink her options. “Normally, you don’t get college advice while you’re standing in the produce aisle, but I did,” she recalls. “I ran into a family friend who asked me why I hadn’t considered Rutgers.
"I explained my fear of the buses and how I thought I would get lost in such a large environment,” Sarah says. “She explained that Rutgers was only a big place until you started. And that once I had, its size would be a huge advantage for me. The university would offer so many experiences inside and outside the classroom that I would never be bored. That really hit home.”
Deciding to Go to Rutgers
Since Sarah was not completely sure of the direction she wanted to take with her information technology major at Brookdale, her friend suggested she look into Douglass Residential College for women. The programs that comprise the “Douglass Difference” teach leadership skills and offer special support for female students in the sciences.
She started researching online, and the more she learned about the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science, and Engineering and the women’s leadership course, the more she got excited about Rutgers.
Within days she applied to transfer to Rutgers–New Brunswick. “Waiting to hear if I was accepted was the longest two months of my life! As soon as I was accepted, I applied for a NetID and did anything I could to prove to myself that I was really an official Rutgers student,” Sarah says.
A Douglass Woman
Coming to Rutgers Day in April, Sarah visited the Douglass Campus for the first time. Her visit convinced her that she had made the right decision. “I could just imagine myself going to school here, walking around campus, and living in a dorm. September couldn't come fast enough,” she says.
“It really hit me that this was real, when I attended the Transfer Student Orientation Day,” she says. At the orientation for Douglass, “I got to meet the girls, take tours of the school, participate in group activities, and talk to my future professors. It was so refreshing to see all these caring and fun people who were going to be a part of my life for the next two years and beyond,” Sarah says.
Lighting the Way
“The exposure to college life at Brookdale gave me the confidence to really appreciate the world of things that Rutgers has to offer. There is so much to do here that if you can think it, Rutgers has it.”
When she thinks about her nervousness over the buses now, it just makes her laugh. “It only took me two days to figure out the big bad bus system on the Douglass and College Avenue campuses,” jokes Sarah.
As she gets ready for her Douglass externship this spring and graduation in May with a degree in information technology and informatics, and a newly created minor in digital communication, information, and media, she knows that her Rutgers experience has prepared her well and that she is capable of overcoming anything.