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Rochester Through New Eyes

One of the things that I love most about Rochester is that it is its own little community. Of course, students get off campus easily and often but, like most colleges, it is sometimes like living in a happy, self-sufficient bubble. We learn, live, and hang out in the same places and it seems like everyone is interconnected in one way or another. Because it's a small school, by senior year it feels like you know a huge portion of your class.

After being abroad last spring, I feel like I am beginning this semester with a new perspective. I've always been able to compare Rochester to my previous school, but I've been so wrapped up in campus life the past few years that getting away for a little bit and then jumping back into everything really made things I had previously taken for granted stand out. On my study abroad program, I took classes in a totally new setting and with people from all kinds of schools all over the country. I remember talking with friends and being surprised at how different our college experiences have been and, while I'm sure that my classmates last semester have an equally good number of things to say about their respective schools, it made me realize that Rochester is a really special place. One of my favorite things about Rochester is that everyone is quirky and weird in their own way, but there are three things that have really stood out to me so far this semester.

1) People get really involved with clubs. And I mean REALLY involved. All of my friends are super dedicated to at least one organization or activity, and it's not uncommon for someone to be a double major, hold multiple executive board positions, and play a club or intramural sport they had never tried until college. This really creates a great atmosphere on campus because everyone loves what they do and there are a ton of campus-wide activities sponsored by different groups going on all the time. It also ensures that whatever you decide to try, whether you're continuing a hobby you've had since age eight or picking up something totally new, there will be a great group of friends waiting to do it with you.

2) Rochester students enjoy what they study. Students are really nerdy, and in college this is actually a good thing! Just the other day, I was having lunch with a friend who told me she's presenting a paper at a conference next Saturday like it was just your average weekend plans, and I can't tell you how many people I know who are involved with research in some capacity. People actually enjoy participating in class discussions, and I rarely get the feeling that someone is just in a class to fulfill a requirement (probably because we don't have any!)

3) More people go to a cappella concerts than football games. Sports aren't exactly a huge deal. Speaking as a club sport athlete myself, yes, students are athletic and we do have some really great teams, but this is definitely not a school where the football schedule dominates the social scene. A lot of people I met abroad go to really big schools that are D1 in the US, and I'll never forget when one of my friends asked me if I missed going to games every weekend. I was really confused for a minute because I haven't been to a game since high school! Though if you are into sports, don't worry because you can absolutely still get involved! 

I always loved Rochester, but now that I've left and come back, I feel that I can really appreciate how unique our community is. I can't believe I have only one year left!! 

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