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The Ultimate UR Bucketlist

Whether you’re just enrolling into UR or graduating next semester, you should have a bucket list for all the special little things you’d like to do here at the University! For those of you graduating this May, I hope you did most of the stuff on my bucket list but if you didn’t, don’t worry you still have time left! For the rest of you, let me give you a peek into my UR Bucket List!

Go to the top of Rush Rhees

Access to the top floor of Rush Rhees is very limited, but if you get the chance, please go up there and enjoy the view! If you’re afraid of heights, I would advise against it since it’s 186 feet high above the ground. 

You can sign up for some tours to check out the top floor. I went on a tour over the summer and you use the elevator in the stacks to go to the top floor and after that, you climb up some very narrow, spiral stairs, and boom– you’re on the top of the world! The view is very gorgeous, and you can do a 360-degree rotation around the floor to take in all angles.

Walk under the clock tower

Legend has it that if you walk under the clock tower located right in front of Wilson Commons, something bad will happen – they usually say that you’ll graduate late. But what’s the harm if you walk under the tower the day you graduate? It’s a very popular photo spot for graduation day, you’ll see a bunch of people posing with their graduation hats and gowns!

Try garbage plates

I still haven’t tried this one yet, but the garbage plate is Rochester’s signature dish. According to some local legend, Nick Tahou got the name after some UR students came into the bar late at night and asked for a plate with “all the garbage on it” and received a plate of greasy homemade fries & macaroni salad, topped with either fish, chicken, sausage, eggs, grilled cheese, hamburger, or hot dogs on it. I know it doesn’t sound that appetizing, but you should try it at least once during your stay in Rochester!

Lilac Festival 

The Lilac Festival really transforms the city into a kaleidoscope of color and fragrance! Visitors from all over Rochester come and gather at Highland Park to see these famous blooming lilacs. There are also musical performances and a bunch of food trucks at the location, so it’s usually extremely crowded. Tip: take a picnic blanket and an umbrella with you for the sun!

Pull an all-nighter (if you haven’t before)

Let’s be honest, if you’re a UR student, you must’ve pulled at least one all-nighter by now. If you’re an incoming student, prepare to go camp in Gleason at least once to cram for an exam or finish a project! It’s truly the ultimate college student experience– eating ramen & pulling all-nighters!

Day trip to Niagara Falls

Rochester is really close to Niagara Falls. If you have a car it’s an hour’s drive, but if you don’t, you could take a bus or train to Niagara Falls! The best time to visit the falls is June – August so make sure to plan early on. For international students, the ISO (International Student Office) arranges trips to take students there!

Fringe Fest

You should definitely go to the Fringe Fest, it’s an annual festival where there are a lot of dance performances, experimental music, and thought-provoking visual art. The festival usually takes place over several days in the form of pop-up events throughout the city and allows local & international artists to showcase their art.

Make snow angels at the Cereal Bowl

Since I’m an international student from Bangladesh, this has always been on my bucket list! I would recommend going to the “Cereal Bowl” (the place where the swings are at UR) when it’s snowed enough and making your snow angels there! You should also make a snowman while you’re at it! Rochester is well known for its surprising amount of snow, so I would suggest making good use of all that snow!

Go snow sledding behind Susan B. Anthony Hall

I’ve heard that UR students in the past used to go snow tubing on trays they borrowed from Danforth Dining Hall and so since then, it has been a tradition to go snow sledding on the hill behind Danforth (Susan B Anthony dorms). I’ve done this a few times using a plastic sled and you can either buy/rent one or use a cardboard box to go down that hill – it’s super fun, I promise! Just make sure to dress warm and wear your gloves because I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. 

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