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Student Life: Activities On and Off Campus

Another couple of weeks at the University passed in the blink of an eye, leaving trees mostly leafless and pavements mostly wet. However, the weather was extraordinarily warm and sunny throughout October and I’m really glad about it because I could enjoy probably one of the best-looking autumns in my life here on the River Campus. People usually go on and on about how beautiful Rochester is at this time of year and now I have to join this choir (and I’m happy to do that!).

I’ve already mentioned how time flies here. It soo does. I think it has to do with a few factors. First of all: workload. Probably one of the biggest surprises so far. Before I came here I imagined university life to include plenty of free time, no homework whatsoever, and a significant amount of studying before final exams. This view was partly based on experiences of my older friends studying at Polish universities. The first two things are significantly different, if not the opposite, here. As for free time I probably would’ve had more of it if not for the amount of amazing extracurricular activities available here. Theoretically I don’t have to participate in so many of them but I feel that I would also regret skipping any of them.

Initially I joined Philosophy Council (2pm on Fridays – probably my favorite time of the week), Slavic Club, and I was elected representative for Gilbert Hall Council. I also joined The Opposite of People, a student-run theatre group. Joining TOOP deserves a separate post as it was probably the most exciting event so far – especially the intro night with dressing up somewhat formally, a series of quests on campus, an awesome formal introductory scene in Drama House, a popsicle meditation session, and being blindfolded and taken to a TOOP party. I think this description can give you some idea how it was.

Sometime later, more spiritually oriented activities appeared on the horizon of “you won’t get as much sleep as you used to.” I’m talking about Zen meditation group (Thursdays) and the Exploring Consciousness series. The latter is an introductory seminar on the work of G.I. Gurdjieff – a 20th century Georgian-Armenian spiritual teacher, writer, and composer. What’s interesting about it is that I had been interested in Gurdjieff before I came here, and learning that there’s a group studying his teachings in Rochester was another great surprise to me.

There’s one more thing that fits perfectly my interests here: the Alexander Hamilton Institute seminars on the philosophical foundations of capitalism.

Oh, and there are free, extremely fun Esperanto lessons on Tuesdays. No big deal. With all this amazing stuff crammed in every single week I think it’s clear that free time is limited. And I am actually happy about that!

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