By Katie Zeck
This list represents a few of The Rider News’ favorite people, places, activities and oddities that only those who bleed cranberry truly love and appreciate.
10. When the residence hall quad turns into Miami Beach on the first nice day
If you’re a freshman, you likely have not yet experienced this phenomenon. There will be a day — probably sometime in early April — when the temperature reaches somewhere in the high 60s. Beach towels appear out of thin air, bathing suit tops adorn many of our female students, the volleyball court behind Switlik Hall gets its full use, music is blasted from an unknown room and at some point, a grill is ignited. It’s an awesome impromptu spring break. Everyone seems friendlier and more laid back, which might be because a lot of people opt to skip classes. Even though Rider doesn’t magically transform into a seaside university on these days, after a cold winter and months of classes, a refreshing break and the reminder that summer is right around the corner is always welcome.
9. Your professors know you by name
We like this for a couple of different reasons. For one, if your professor knows your name, odds are you’re in a smaller class, which is pretty typical around Rider. Getting to know your professors better through Rider’s smaller class sizes helps out your grade because you’re able to build a better relationship and ultimately, learn more from someone teaching a class of 20 instead of a class of 70. Also, it’s nice to have that added feeling of appreciation and importance in a class. You’re called on by name and there’s a sense of genuine care about your overall success. But even more important are the opportunities that come with getting to know and building a relationship with your professors. They’ll connect you with their colleagues working in your field of study, suggest an internship or keep you updated on job postings. And it’s all because Rider’s smaller classes help them know your name.
8. When you get an email saying you have a package at Mail Services
Usually getting mail isn’t a big deal at all. When you’re at home, it’s a chore when Mom or Dad ask you to grab it. Nothing is ever for you and it’s mostly junk mail. But when you’re at school, living on campus, it’s a beautiful thing because you know it’s not going to be some bank trying to get you to take out a loan or a charity asking for money from your already shallow wallet; it’s something good, from someone who knows and cares about you enough to go out of his or her way to mail you a package. And because going away to school can often make even the strongest of us a little homesick, getting an email that a little piece of home has arrived in Lawrenceville is such a great feeling.
7. When there’s no line at the print stations
For some of us, it’s the one next to the P.O.D in Sweigart Hall or maybe the one right when you walk into Memorial Hall. No matter your go-to print station, when you’re able to walk up to that computer five minutes before class and not have to wait for those in front of you to meticulously open and close the documents they need to print, it’s as if you’ve reached Rider VIP status. At that point you’re able to take your time and print as much as you need to (for free, of course) and from then on, you know it’s going to be a good day.
6. Buffalo chicken wraps
When you see a line that wraps around Daly’s and out the front door, what comes to mind first? Mongolian grill? Nah, it’s on the menu too frequently for that kind of a wait. Cheeseburger wrap? Getting closer. It’s none other than the wrap that’s a perfect combination of spice from the buffalo sauce and freshness from the tortilla and lettuce. There’s some addictive quality to the buffalo chicken wrap at Daly’s that makes us OK with waiting a while for something that will take us less than five minutes to eat. We love that Rider notices and supports this addiction by serving the delicacy multiple times a month.
5. TCNJ vs. Rider ice hockey games
When you put two crosstown rivals in the same arena, you know the intensity is bound to reach a boiling point. Attending a Rider vs. TCNJ hockey game brings out not only the best of the competition on the ice, but in the crowd. Both teams share Loucks Ice Center as their home arena, so while the two teams square off on the ice, the buzz in the crowd is intense with both sides cheering on their school to victory.
4. The gym on a Saturday morning
For those of us who are avid gym-goers, you know this one all too well: that soft hum of only two or three treadmills in use, the luxury to choose the exact type of elliptical you wish and the joy of having complete access to the whole mat at the back of the gym for your ab workout. It’s like heaven. You might spend an extra four or five minutes on your cardio machine instead of the exact 30 you have to stick to when it’s crowded. You’ll do that really hard arm workout and not feel embarrassed because you won’t be making ridiculous faces in front of 30 or more people. Best of all, there won’t be as many students who don’t follow proper gym etiquette — looking at you, girls talking on their cell phones and guys slamming the weights.
3. Sitting courtside at a home basketball game
Without a football team, Rider students pride themselves on packing the Broncs’ Zoo to support the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The small capacity of Alumni Gym provides all of its occupants an opportunity to potentially affect the outcome of the game, whether by yelling and stomping their feet or by starting the popular “Let’s Go Rider!” chant. It’s why we think the Zoo is one of the toughest gyms in which to play basketball.
2. Getting a parking spot in the Kroner lot
For the non-freshman resident student, finding a spot in the Kroner Lot may or may not rival Christmas morning. It’s the difference between walking across campus in frigid temperatures and jumping out of your car and into your residence hall. The convenience and accessibility of snagging one of these spots is almost like having your own driveway. Plus, the next time you head out you won’t have to factor in a five-minute walk time to your car.
1. Miss Ann and Maria
To an outsider, they’re the women who swipe ID cards as students enter Daly’s. To our fellow Rider students, Miss Ann and Maria are our rays of sunshine, our second moms, our unsung cheerleaders. But what’s really unbelievable about these honorary Broncs is that in the short few seconds it takes them to swipe your ID card — a job that may be less than glamorous — Miss Ann and Maria make us feel loved, appreciated, cared for and noticed. By simply acknowledging our existence and asking us how we’re doing with sincere compassion, they improve our moods and a smile may even creep its way onto our faces. And when classes get tough and life seems to be too overwhelming for words, that’s honestly one of the best gifts in the world.
Photos by Maggie Sarlo and Katie Hambor.
Contact this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org