Ever since I first started thinking about college, I knew that I wanted to live on a campus near a major city. I wanted to find the excitement of city life and experience the unique culture that can’t be found at a rural college.

Now, Rochester may not be Boston or New York City, but one can still find that culture if they choose to. Unfortunately, most students at UR don’t – instead, they simply remain in the bubble that is the campus and complain how they can’t find anything exciting to do. Don’t they realize that there is a whole city just within their grasp that they can explore?

Most students don’t even consider leaving the campus for a little fun – in fact, most students don’t even realize how much Rochester has to offer! From discounted tickets to independent movies at the Little Theater, to a trip to the Museum of Science, to going to see a live concert down on Water Street, there is always something to do in Rochester. There are concerts at RIT and the Blue Cross Arena, as well as improv shows at the GEVA Theater.

People complain about the food on campus all the time (not surprising, considering it’s food from a college campus), but how many of those people actually ever leave campus to grab a garbage plate from Nick Tahou’s or enjoy live music at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que while eating some of the best Texas brisket and pork ribs that can be found in Rochester?

Now I know what some of you are thinking at this point, “This may be possible for people who have their cars at UR, but I have no way to escape this campus.” This excuse may have worked in September, freshmen, but not now. We live on such a small campus that everyone knows at least one friend who has a car, and if you don’t then you need to get out there and start making more friends. However, for those of you who still claim that it’s impossible for you to make it into the city, never fear, for I can still offer you something better to do on a the weekend than simply rearranging your sock drawer for the 20th time.

Not many students realize that we have a great park within walking distance from campus. The Genesee Valley Park is a great place to have a barbeque or throw around a Frisbee for a few hours. Or you could explore Mount Hope Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries on the north coast. If you’re hungry, you can walk over to the Med Center at Strong Memorial Hospital, where not only will you find some great non-campus food, but they take declining, as well.

The people who complain that there is nothing to do in Rochester are usually the people who have never actually tried to leave campus.

In your four years at Rochester, don’t let Southside be the farthest you make it off campus – otherwise, you are truly missing out on the Rochester experience.

Falconieri is a member of the class of 2009.

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