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Urban exploration 101


Welcome to college and a brand new city. Chances are you moved to Rochester and now have an opportunity to carve out a new home for the next four years — five years, if you're like me.

Or it's likely that you were born in the area; still, you haven't experienced Rochester as a college student, as an adult with a new independence.

Take this opportunity to explore your new home. Rochester is a vibrant city with colorful people, businesses, and neighborhoods. Why not check it out? You might find a new hobby or that quiet, little spot that's perfect for studying.

It can be easy to fall into the "campus trap." With so many amenities available within a few blocks, it's tempting to just grab coffee on campus, eat at the same dining hall, and watch TV in the dorm. But remember, the campus is just a small part of a much larger city, and there's always something new to see.

Think of this Student Survival Guide as an introduction to exploration — put together by college students for college students. Finds tips to make the most of your new home; a guide to this great, new adventure.

Start slow, take a Saturday to walk around downtown Rochester, and before you know it, you'll have found your favorite coffee shop, music venue, and brunch place. Rochester is an ever-changing city, and you're now a part of a curious, exciting world.

In This Guide...

  • Scenic Rochester

    Rochester can sometimes be a drab place. Our winters are incessantly cold, and the other seasons can certainly seem painfully short in comparison. But despite this, the area is also a place with a rich, unique history and landscape. In our warmer months, going off the beaten path a bit can offer some wonderful sightseeing. To get you started, here's some of the best and brightest spots to soak up some views during your time in Rochester.

  • Getting Off Campus

    Every new student has heard college is the best four years of their lives. But a campus can soon begin to feel more like a prison than a place for growth.

  • Food, room, and attitude

    The flat flavors and lack of autonomy inherent to campus dining is enough to deter some from the dorms and meal halls. But college can also be seen as an introduction to a smaller-scale, down-to-earth style of living.

  • Campus curiosities

    With numerous area colleges, many of them more than a century old, it's easy to expect a few campus curiosities and legends to develop over time. Things like cavernous abandoned indoor pools, lucky albino rodents, and mysterious Underground Railroad tunnels have become part of the character of their campuses and the stories work their way into campus life.

  • Standing out

    STEM majors still see a lack of female students
    When Marissa Adams, a University of Rochester alumna, is asked to talk about her major, she's hesitant to answer. Adams graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, and will return to UR as a graduate student this fall.

  • Upcoming events

    College life will probably keep you pretty busy. But there's lots going on in and around Rochester all year long, so you'll want to put aside the books every once in a while and get off campus.