Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the things we used to do before our semester ended early. By “we” I mean college students, generally, but more specifically, those of us at UR.
It’s no secret that our college campus, like the majority of campuses, is a bubble. Crossing the pedestrian bridge that connects our school to its surrounding neighborhood reminds us that there’s more to Rochester than just our school, but how often do we cross that bridge?
By staying on campus all the time, we limit ourselves to just feeling like students and not people. When we get back to school, whenever that may be, I want to leave more. Oh, the places we’ll go, like Dr. Seuss says. Here’s a list of things we can do around Rochester whenever we see it again.
- Go to the Public Market. It’s a big, wide open produce market that happens every Saturday on Union Street. Last year, one of my roommates took me there every weekend to buy handmade soap from the Soap Man. They also sell flowers, vegetables, fruits, and clothing, and there’s a few restaurants and coffee shops along the alleyway. Often, they have live music, and once I watched a friend play their saxophone there in front of the grapes stand. My favorite vendor is the incense guy inside, who sells scents with names like “juice” and “scary girl” and “pussy.”
- Study somewhere else besides school. Go to a coffee shop, or one of the public libraries, where I once was riding the escalator and a little boy pointed at me and said, “Look, Mommy, a girl with glasses!” True story. I like the music library at Eastman, and the coffee shop across the street, Java’s. Rochester is full of cafés and spots to sit and study. If you can focus outside of our own library, do it.
- Go to a concert, if you’re into that. See some music. The Little Theater has free live music every single night, and there’s a variety of other bars and music halls that bring in local artists. Most venues offer shows for less than $10. Additionally, all student concerts at Eastman are free for students at our school. That’s my favorite. Those guys are crazy, and watching them play their instruments under the glistening chandelier at Kodak Hall is like being transported into a strange, shimmering world of classical music. They’re people our own age playing music that I, with no musical talent, could never imagine producing from my own body.
- Go for more walks. When you’re stuck, listen to music and roam around our campus. Sit under a tree and look at all the people walking by. Or take one of the shuttles that stop in front of the library to a new neighborhood, like the South Wedge, and float in and out of the small businesses along the street. Go to more parks, too, like Genesee Valley Park and Highland Park. Or, if you know somebody with a car, go to Letchworth and see the waterfalls. No matter what it is, going outside always helps.
- Go to a diner. Go to a movie theater. Go to one of the museums, like the Memorial Art Gallery or the Strong (which has one of those butterfly habitats where you can go inside and let butterflies land on your shoulders. Go dancing around outside. Eat Pringle’s out on the steps. Listen to somebody’s conversation as they walk past. Talk to each other. Stand in front of Rush Rhees in the dark and look at it. Pick leaves off a tree. Go to a play. See a dance concert. Walk around. Be. Listen. I hope we can do that soon.