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6 Reasons Why I Chose the University of Rochester

I am approaching the halfway point of my college career. I know – even I can’t believe it! When freshman year ended, I remember wanting to start college all over again so I could relive the exciting memories I’d made. Now that I will be a junior soon, I’ve taken some time to reflect on why I chose the University of Rochester. 

  1. Change of Environment

As someone from New York City, I’ve always envisioned myself going to a city school. I wanted to be close to home and enjoy the glitz and glamor of Manhattan. So, choosing the University of Rochester was a difficult decision, but something that I do not regret. Even though I enjoyed the bustling city that I grew up in, I knew that I needed a change of environment for my college experience. When I visited the university during Admitted Students’ Day, I appreciated the riverside scenery of the Genesee River. I saw myself jogging next to the river for a quick exercise while enjoying a wonderful view. Most importantly, my parents and I agreed that the environment surrounding the university was conducive to learning. 

2. Financial Aid

I am proud to say that I am a first-generation, low-income college student. During the college application process, however, my family and I were worried about affording college. When I received my acceptance letter in March 2021, I was ecstatic to see my generous financial aid package from the university. Without the financial aid, I could not afford to attend the University of Rochester. My family and I are forever grateful for the generosity of the university.

3. Political Science Department

When I was doing my college research in my junior year of high school, I looked up “top political science colleges in New York” on Google. There, I saw the University of Rochester, a school I hadn’t heard of before. Naturally, I was curious about what made this institution a top school for my intended major. I remember reading about how the university was well-known for developing positive political theory and rational choice theory, concepts that I didn’t know existed back then. Now that I’ve taken classes that covered what positive political theory and rational choice theory are, I wasn’t disappointed at all. The political science professors are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and their classes have always been insightful. 

4. Research

If you ask any students on campus, everyone will agree that the University of Rochester is known for its premier research opportunities. In high school, I heard that college students have the opportunity to conduct research with professors. Even though I didn’t truly understand what research was in high school, the thought of working with professors and discovering something possibly impactful excited me. That’s why when I saw that the University of Rochester is a research university, I was ecstatic! I knew that there would be multiple research opportunities that I could explore. I recently landed a research assistant position in the Political Science Department. High school Pauline can finally live her dream and conduct research!

5. Open Curriculum

Very few universities offer an open curriculum, and the University of Rochester is one of them. As someone who dislikes math and doesn’t want to take math-heavy classes, I am grateful for the Rochester Curriculum, or the open curriculum. There are no general education requirements besides the primary writing class. As a political science major and journalism and legal studies minor, my classes revolve around the social sciences and humanities classes, but I am also required to take a few natural science classes to fulfill the three discipline requirements. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of clusters under the natural sciences that I can choose from that fit my interest. I am clustering in Science and Sustainability, where I’ve learned about climate change and the importance of achieving a sustainable environment. I feared that I wouldn’t enjoy my natural science classes since natural science is not my forte, but I’ve come to realize that I could incorporate my knowledge of political science into my sustainability classes.

6. Collaborative environment

During Admitted Students’ Day, I remember walking in Gleason with my tour group. I was able to form my first impression of the student body when I saw college students in action in the library. Everyone was working together, happily bantering with each other. When my group ate lunch at Danforth with our tour guide, we asked her how the environment was at the university. She said that everyone was collaborative and always willing to help each other with material. She told us about study groups she had in Gleason and how that had been helpful for her learning. Hearing first-hand experiences from my tour guide and witnessing student collaboration in Gleason, I knew that I wanted to attend the University of Rochester.

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