My Journey to RIT: A First-Year's Tale of Dreams and Discoveries

Hello there, I'm Anika Khanam, and I'm excited to share with you my heartfelt journey through my first year at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Buckle up because this isn't your typical news blog post. It's a real, raw account of the ups, downs, and everything in between.

Why RIT?

Anika posing for a selfie with friends. They are all wearing red graduation caps and gowns.

Let's rewind a bit. Picture a curious high school student, born in Bangladesh but raised in the vibrant city of Buffalo. That's me. Education has always been a beacon in my life, guiding me towards new horizons. When the time came to choose a college, I was lost in a sea of possibilities. Then, like a bolt from the blue, I had a chat with a senior friend who had stars in her eyes for RIT. Her excitement was contagious, and suddenly, RIT became a flickering light on my college horizon.

Fast forward to my senior year. I found myself strolling through RIT's open house, surrounded by friendly faces and lush greenery. It felt like coming home. That's when I knew RIT was where I belonged.

The Rollercoaster Ride of First-Year

Ah, first year — the whirlwind of new experiences and endless possibilities. I dove headfirst into my mechanical engineering courses, fueled by a burning passion for aerospace technology. But let me tell you, it wasn't all smooth sailing. Balancing 18 credits and a new language (Italian, anyone?) was like juggling flaming torches. But guess what? I didn't crash and burn. Instead, I found myself soaring higher than ever.

In between classes and study sessions, I discovered the vibrant heartbeat of campus life. Beyond academics, I seized the opportunity to get involved in campus life by joining various clubs and organizations. One such club is the Women in Technology (WIT) club, where I serve as Treasurer and Social Media Manager. Through WIT, I have participated in engaging events such as painting events, 3D printing and robotics workshops, fostering connections with like-minded peers. Additionally, my involvement in the Bangladesh Cultural Society (BCS) and Women of Excellence Supporting STEM (WOESS) has allowed me to contribute to diverse communities while honing my leadership skills.

Anika at a club's "Paint Like Bob Ross" event. She and the other students are posing with their paintings.

Reflecting on my favorite events from my first year, I am struck by the immense personal growth I have experienced. Adjusting to life away from my parents has taught me valuable lessons in responsibility and independence. Embracing discomfort and pushing beyond my comfort zone has been key to my development as a young adult.

Dreams Take Flight

Now, let's dive into my dreams. My heart beats for the automotive industry, and RIT is where I'm revving up my engines. With RIT's bustling Thousands Car Club as my fuel, I'm dreaming big of internships that'll have me racing towards success. But let me tell you, it's not just about reaching the finish line; it's about the exhilarating journey—the late-night study sessions fueled by caffeine, the lightning bolts of inspiration, and the lifelong friendships formed on this winding road.

Life Beyond the Books

They say college is the best time of your life, and I wholeheartedly agree. But it's not just about hitting the books and acing exams. It's about late-night pizza runs with friends, impromptu dance parties in the dorm, and the thrill of exploring new cultures. Whether I'm serving up smiles at Brick City or gearing up for an adventure-filled trip to Italy this May, every moment is a page in the story of my RIT experience.

Advice from a First-Year

If I could offer a nugget of wisdom to incoming students, it would be this: Embrace the chaos. Dive headfirst into the unknown. And above all, never underestimate the power of human connection. Time management is crucial, yes, but so is taking the time to laugh, learn, and grow alongside your peers.

Now let's talk about two essential aspects of college life: time management and making friends.

First up, time management. Picture this: a first year schedule bursting at the seams with classes, club meetings, study sessions, and maybe even a part-time job thrown in for good measure. It's enough to make your head spin! But here's the thing—I've learned that with a little bit of planning and a whole lot of determination, mastering the art of time management is entirely within reach. From color-coded planners to digital calendars, finding a system that works for you is key. Trust me, it's a game-changer. So to all you incoming students out there, listen up: make time management your best friend from day one. Because when you do, you'll not only conquer your classes but also have plenty of room for all the fun and excitement college has to offer.

Anika taking a selfie with some of her friends.

Now, onto making friends. The friendships you from here are worth their weight in gold. So how do you go about making those meaningful connections? Simple: step out of your comfort zone. Attend club meetings, join intramural sports teams, strike up conversations in the dining hall—you never know who you might meet or what adventures await. And here's a pro tip: be genuine. Show interest in others, be open-minded, and above all, be yourself. Trust me, the right friendships will follow.

So there you have it, folks—time management and making friends 101. Master these two skills, and you'll be well on your way to a successful and fulfilling college experience.

The Journey Continues

My Journey to RIT: A collage of photos of Anika with friends on her first-year journey.

As I look back on my first year at RIT, I'm filled with gratitude for the experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. From the classroom to the club meetings, each moment has been a steppingstone on my journey of self-discovery. And the best part? This is just the beginning.

So here's to the dreamers, the explorers, and the believers. Here's to RIT — a place where passions ignite and dreams take flight.

About the author

Mechanical Engineering Technology

As a first-year student in Mechanical Engineering Technology, I seamlessly merge my technical proficiency with a fervent love for writing and editing. Fueled by a creative spark ignited through years of crafting poetry and journaling, I embark on a journey to explore diverse writing styles such as blog writing.