Everyday of the week, big white busses pull up in front of the ITS. Doors open and bus drivers welcome students aboard. Everyday, at least one of these busses makes a stop at Eastman School of Music, about a fifteen-minute ride. The busses then pick up waiting students and head back to River Campus (RC). The transportation is free and convenient; the busses are warm and clean. Yet for some reason, many students seem terrified to travel to a different campus, whether it is RC or Eastman Campus.
After talking to students on both campuses, I know people often have a feeling of being isolated. The Eastman bubble encompasses the two blocks of Eastman campus and holds students to their practice rooms with an invisible force field. The River Campus bubble, though quite a bit larger, still holds students in, even when they find they have free time. As a student who has broken through the force field and found a place on River Campus, I can’t encourage other Eastman students enough to do the same. And River Campus students, Eastman isn’t so bad. The concerts at Eastman bring in world-class musicians and feature fantastic student performances. The RPO also performs in Eastman Theatre every Thursday and Saturday night. With a wide variety of performances from tangos to famous classical tenors, there is something to fit everyone’s needs. Many of the Eastman concerts are free or have a significant discounts for UR students. Why not go?
Eastman also offers a better nightlife that does not involve frat basements and cheap beer. For those of age, the selection of bars ranges from cute pubs with trivia nights to classy, upscale bars where you can brush arms with businessmen. For those a little younger, head to see a movie at the indie-theatre “The Little”. Do a taste test of some of Rochester’s pizza restaurant; there are at least three within 3 blocks. Pizza ranges from cheap and greasy to thin crust with exquisite toppings. Drink coffee at Javas and at Spot and compare the atmosphere between the two.Eastman students, there is more to RC than Starbucks and Danforth Dining, thought these are two of the highlights. Try studying in one of the libraries on campus and see how productive you can be. See a movie for only a few dollars on Friday or Saturday night. Go to an a capella concert or a performance of one of RC’s bands. Go to the market and use up some of your declining on fresh fruit and snacks. So go ahead before classes get too crazy. Make the journey to the opposite campus and check it out. Meet someone new. Brace yourself against the cold and explore the alternate world that are RC practice rooms, the art building, and the Art and Music Library. Spend time wandering around the tunnels and finding your way around.
College is all about expanding your horizons and trying new things. The first baby step is venturing over to an unfamiliar campus. It’s safe and no matter how scary, you can always run back to your own campus on the next bus. One thing to remember is that busses do stop running at certain hours of the night—it’s only a few miles between the campuses but it’s not a nice walk in the dark. Chances are if you walk, you will wind up back on your campus without your wallet or phone. Word of advice: check the bus schedules.