Everyone at Rutgers University has routines, likes, dislikes, and preferences with their general ways of life and how they approach their time at the university. Rutgers is a gigantic campus and allows room for just about anyone to fit in and have fun. Need an outing with your friends for the night, or maybe a late-night study session to prepare for a big test? Every hour, you can find a new activity, so set your alarm for 6 a.m. and get ready!
Here are 24 things to do at Rutgers University in 24 hours
6:00 a.m. Watch the Sunrise
Whether you live in a dorm, apartment or off-campus, the sun is for all to share. At Rutgers, the beauty is just the same. This sight for sore eyes is like no other and is the perfect start to any day. You can just crawl out of bed and peek out your window or even set some time aside to witness it at one of Rutgers’ beautiful landmarks, such as Passion Puddle or by the Raritan River.
7:00 a.m. Energize with Breakfast
The most important meal of the day, and you have lots of options. Keep it simple with a bowl of cereal in your living quarters, go out to a dining hall if you have a meal plan, or even eat out. Hansel and Griddle serves the best breakfast, from pancakes, waffles and wraps to smoothies. You could also check out O’Bagel, Henry’s Diner and Fritz’s! The options are endless!
8:00 a.m. Go for a Morning Walk
Get your cardio in and take a calm and cool morning walk. Go at your own pace and take your time as you take in the various sights of the campus. For the best walk, Cook/Douglass has the best nature that Rutgers has to offer. Take a stroll around Passion Puddle, or just walk amongst the trees. College Avenue is essentially a couple of long straight lines, which makes it an easy walk for runners.
“Sometimes, when it’s a good day out with nice weather, I’ll go for a walk around George St/Albany St or walk down Livingston Ave. It’s nice to roam around the area in the afternoon/evening and get to see new parts of New Brunswick you wouldn’t usually see.” Rutgers University student graduate Hemang Rana said.
Going for a simple walk is one of the best ways to become adverse to the four campuses. If you rarely go to Busch, taking a 40-minute walk enhances its value and makes you more acquainted with it. Rutgers is such a big school that exploration may seem intimidating. But don’t worry. Exploration is one of the key aspects of Rutgers, with secrets and fun spots to check out in every nook and cranny.
9:00 a.m. Hit the Gym
Still need to loosen up? There is a gym on each of the four campuses, and this is the best time to head over while everyone else is still waking up. Back and bicep day, chest and tricep day? Maybe you need to finally work on your legs. These gyms get packed quickly, so the morning is the best time to get your sets in for the day. Now, wash up and get ready for the next activity!
10:00 a.m. Check out the Libraries and Study Lounges
Rutgers features a variety of lounges to chill and study at. The student centers each offer the best mix of peace while still not being too far from the action. The libraries each allow students to book a private space for both solo and group studying or even record a podcast. Even if you prefer studying at your dorm or apartment, taking the action to a public lounge allows you to stay more concentrated, not to mention surrounded by fellow intellects.
“Depending on what day it was, I’d either go straight to class and get breakfast after or head to the library to get some work done. I tried to get as much work done throughout the day as possible so I could enjoy my nights,” Rutgers University graduate Brianna Leider said.
The libraries are all massive, and each one offers a little something different. Alexander Library has everything you need on social sciences, the humanities, government publications and much more. Douglass Library features a large collection of multimedia works like CDs, DVDs, music scores and film. Carr Library is popular with study groups, with texts on business as well as academic support from the faculty. Chang Library’s environmental and biological texts are perfect for science students. That’s not even mentioning the Dana, Math and Physics, Smith and Art Libraries and a handful of more.
11:00 a.m. Play some Video Games at the Esports Center
Alright, strict academic stuff can take a break. A chill hour of video games will let you destress a bit, not to mention finally having a chance to breathe after exercising both your body and brain. The Esports Center at the Busch Student Centers will impress even the sweatiest and most dedicated of gamers. Hardcore players can squad up with the sixty gaming computers, even with a dedicated area for competitions. Casual players can check out the consoles, VR station and a CRT station. The computers go at $3 per hour, and the consoles are on a first come, first serve basis.
12:00 p.m. Have Lunch
Hungry? Good, cause Rutgers has a ton of options. If you have a meal plan, of course, go to the dining hall to use up your swipes. Livingston has the best food options for swipes, such as their dining hall, Kilmer’s Market and Henry’s Diner if you’re willing to deal with a line of equally hungry students. College Avenue has the most variety by far, but many don’t take swipes except for its dining hall. Whether you’re craving pizza, Mexican food, Indian food or chicken wings, you can find just about anything.
“One of my favorite places to eat at Rutgers is a hot chicken place called Smashville. I have to go there at least once a week because I am constantly craving it. I usually get mild hot fries with a coke in the side,” Rutgers University senior Karan Patel said.
Downtown New Brunswick offers countless food options for all times of the day. Smashville or Popeyes for some chicken, Chipotle for a bowl, Burger King for burgers and a few pizza places too. If you want something a bit more involved, go to Sakana for Japanese food or one of the restaurants around. There are many options, so taking a stroll down the street gives a good sense of everything they offer.
1:00 p.m. Visit the Rutgers Geology Museum
While your mind is still fresh and awake, head over to the Rutgers Geology Museum to take in some history. With a collection spanning countless years of history and research, you only need a faint interest in geology and history to become entranced in the museum. Giant skeletons, trackways, fossils, minerals and other specimens are only a fraction of the giant collection.
2:00 p.m. Walk Around Old Queens
As its name suggests, Old Queens is one of the oldest parts of the campus. It really shows it, with large and stoic old buildings that make you jealous if you never had the chance to go inside. Regardless, around the buildings is a quaint area to relax among the sliver of nature at College Avenue. Take a seat, relax and take in the oldest relic of Rutgers history.
3:00 p.m. Shop at Barnes and Noble
If you’ve been following very carefully, right across from Old Queens is the Rutgers Barnes and Noble. Here, you can purchase whatever books and texts you may need for the semester or your own personal literary collection. If you wanna strut your Rutgers stuff, the first thing you’ll see upon entering is a whole floor full of Rutgers merchandise. Shirts, pants, bumper stickers and teddy bears are just some of the merch items you can pick from. Everyone needs at least one Rutgers shirt!
4:00 p.m. Snack on Your Favorite
Proper meals aside, snacks are another hit on campus. 16 Handles has you covered for frozen yogurt and AKIHI has bubble tea, Thomas Sweets has ice cream and much more. You name it. They probably have it somewhere on one of the four campuses. Always ask if they have any type of student discount, save where you can!
5:00 p.m. Go Shopping
Now is the time to stock up on any supplies you may need. Barnes and Noble sold books and school supplies, but you may need more than just that. Bravo sells everything you need for groceries and also offers a small student discount if you have your ID. Seven Eleven has everything you need to get ready for a late-night snack session, and the small dollar stores will fill in any gaps with odds and ends you may need.
6:00 p.m. Watch the Sunset
You’re halfway done through your Rutgers-filled day of fun! Celebrate by watching the beautiful sunset wherever you may be. The colors are like an oily sherbet, a true feast for the eyes. No matter what day, the sunset is a sign of a hard day done and the ensuing peaceful night. But your night isn’t over quite yet!
7:00 p.m. Visit the Jersey Mike’s Arena
In the sporty mood? Whether there’s a game or not, checking out the Jersey Mike’s Arena is a must. Even from the outside, it’s a giant and intimidating building full of energy inside. If you’re lucky, there may be an event that day, such as a sports game, career fair, or maybe even a graduation ceremony!
8:00 p.m. Watch a Movie at the RU Cinema
The RU Cinema may not have a ton of choices, but the few they have are always the newest and hottest out there. Maybe the newest superhero flick or blockbuster hit piqued your interest. If there’s a recent release that’s caught your eye, chances are that the RU Cinema has it for a few days. Tickets run for only $8, so check out what they’re showing, get some popcorn and enjoy. Sometimes, they’ll even have discounts on snacks and tickets depending on the day and time.
9:00 p.m. Dinner time
Wonder what’s for dinner? Well, if it wasn’t clear already, there are countless food options at Rutgers. If you were indecisive during lunchtime, choose that second choice for dinner. Get some pizza at Krispy Pizza or a burrito at El Jefe’s or keep it simple with a bit of Burger King. The best food all comes down to your own personal favorites, so just go from there!
“For dinner, I’ll usually eat out on George St or after class somewhere close on campus. If it’s on George St, my go to’s are Chipotle, Popeye’s, Smashville, Douglass Grill and Pizza, and Chai Chenak. If I’m on campus, I’ll probably go to Panera Bread, Krispy Pizza, El Jeffe’s, King Gyro, Wendy’s (when it was still there), and Mamoun’s,” Rana said.
Sometimes, where you eat also depends on where you are. If you’re on Livingston, Henry’s Diner or QDOBA may be your go-to. On College Avenue, it may be Smashville or one of the countless other food options. Cook/Douglass offers a wide variety at its Student Center cafe, from pizza, Starbucks to burgers. Busch is home to Woody’s Cafe, Gerlanda’s and Panera Bread.
10:00 p.m. Play a Late Night Sport
Well, no more slacking around, time to get back to exercise. Both in the gyms and outside, you can find some courts for all kinds of sports. Soccer, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts are all scattered around for you to have some fun. Practice by yourself, or maybe there’s a team of students already there who are willing to let you join in on the fun. Don’t worry if you’re inexperienced. There’s a start for everyone.
11:00 p.m. Take a Late Night Walk
Before delving fully into the Rutgers nightlife, taking a stroll around your favorite campus will reveal a whole new side of it. Bright lights, students showing their true colors, and many food places will still be open for business. Rutgers is all about exploring, and this is one of the best times to do it before another day of studying begins.
12:00 a.m. Head out to the Bar
The night is in full swing, so time to take a swig of your favorite drink. College Avenue is the best campus for bars, with many to choose from. Huey’s, Scarlet Pub, Olde Queens Tavern and several more are all up for grabs. These can get packed quickly, so now is the prime time to head over before they close at 2 a.m. Check out each one, and then decide which will be your new hangout spot.
“Some bars that I usually go to are Hueys Knight Club, Scarlet Pub, and then I end my nights at Golden Rail. I go to these bars on an almost weekly basis as a way to hang out with my friends. It’s also a great place for me to meet new people and make new connections,” Patel said.
Bars are a must for every Rutgers experience. A night of alcohol, dancing and loud music may not be for everyone, but don’t knock it until you try it. Gather some of your most trusted friends, pick a bar and have some fun! You can easily bar hop as well to get a sense of all of them. Alternatively, you can buy a bottle or case of your favorite drink and chill with friends elsewhere.
1:00 a.m. Eat a Fat Sandwich
RU Hungry’s famous fat sandwich is the prime meal for munching out on an empty stomach or especially during a fun night with friends. A fat sandwich is full of different meats, sides and sauces all smashed into one, with a dozen options to choose from depending on your favorites. Just make sure to answer the restaurant’s name of “RU Hungry?” because you will surely have to be hungry to finish this sandwich.
2:00 a.m. Stargazing at Passion Puddle
Passion Puddle is one of the most gorgeous places at Rutgers, and being able to stargaze into a clear, open sky is an experience like no other. Surrounded by Earth’s nature, the sky ascends you to a whole other plane and is a peaceful section to an action-packed day. A nice and quiet night among the stars is a perfect time. Just watch out for goose poop.
3:00 a.m. Take a Bus Ride
At this point, a bus may not be the most fun thing to do, but still a smart activity if you need it. 1:00 a.m. is bedtime for a lot of people, so it may be wise to take a bus back to your campus of living to get to bed. Everyone on the bus is in the same boat as you, so you may make some new friends while you’re riding. Bus rides can be enjoyed at any time of day. Just make sure you know the route and stops before you hop on.
4:00 a.m. Visit the Kissing Bridge
If you have a significant other, there’s no other experience like being at the Cook/Douglass Kissing Bridge late into the night. The bridge is across a ravine surrounded by the rest of the lush nature of Cook/Douglass. It was made by the same engineers who made the George Washington and Brooklyn Bridges, so its construction is like no other.
5:00 a.m. Take an Early Morning Walk
Get your exercise in with a cool walk early into the morning. At this point, the only other people out will either be the morning risers or other students wobbling back to their dwellings after a long night of partying and hanging out. It’s a great way to wake up your bones and get some easy exercise. Pop in some chill morning music and take your stroll. The sun will start creeping out from over the buildings, and your long day will be nearing its end.
6:00 a.m. Watch the Sunrise at Passion Puddle
Finally, your long RU-spirited day has come to an end. You’ve come full circle. If it wasn’t clear already, Passion Puddle is truly one of the best sights to see at Rutgers. Surrounded by nature, RU Spirit, and the rising sun ahead of you. Now, go get some sleep. You’ve earned it. You can now truly call yourself a Scarlet Knight!