A Year in T-Shirts

Now that I’ve been home from college for over a month, I (and my mother) would like to say I’ve fully unpacked. And while it may seem unbelievable that it took me so long, I claim that it is due to something other than working, being busy with friends, or summer lethargy. I claim it was due to my goal for my first year of college: my goal to obtain as many free(ish) T-shirts as possible.

1. The Enrollment Shirt

When my family and I visited the University of Rochester, we left without the customary trip to the bookstore. As such, the enrollment shirt (which came as part of my packet of information) was the first Rochester shirt I ever owned. It was exciting because it made my decision to attend more real, and gave me an easy way to present my decisions to my friends and family.

2. The Orientation Shirt

Once I had arrived at orientation, I received a packet full of useful information about the University of Rochester including dates of important weekends, a planner to stay organized, a dry-erase board, other Rochester goodies, and most importantly, a T-shirt.

3. Wilson Day Shirt

Wilson Day, a yearly tradition at the University of Rochester, is a day dedicated to serving the community of Rochester. My Wilson Day group, which was made up of girls from my hall and boys from our brother hall, was one of three that went to volunteer at Seneca Park Zoo. Our job was to spread mulch on the flower beds, and after we were done, we got to walk around and look at the animals. It was a nice, low-key way to interact with a small group of my new floormates, become acquainted with more of the City of Rochester, and get an awesome new T-shirt. This shirt (and the memories that go with it) was so popular that on any given day, you’d see at least five people wearing it.

4. The Other Orientation Shirt

Thus far, all the shirts I’ve shown you have been ones everyone who enrolls and attends orientation receives. Well, this one I won as part of a trivia contest during orientation. Our team was called “Challenge Accepted” and we won trivia night by getting 50% of the questions right. (Hey, Rochester is a top private university, and they were difficult questions.) I love trivia, and since the University Rochester is all about providing its students with many opportunities to do what they love (we have over 200 campus organizations and you can get funding to start your own), we have a quiz bowl team . . . which I am actually not on, but I’m sure it’s wicked fun. I settle instead for going to various trivia events throughout the year and occasionally winning a T-shirt. I believe this shirt is from the Class of 2015’s orientation, but if you ever see me wearing it, feel free to do as it says and ask me why I love this place! (Additionally, you could always comment on one of my blogs and ask me the same question. Somewhere in there, among the availability of undergraduate research, the amazing campus atmosphere, and the Midnight Ramblers, I’m sure I’ll mention the availability of free T-shirts.)

5. The Engineering Shirt

With our low student-to-faculty ratio, Rochester is focused on students developing meaningful relationships with their professors. In that vein, several times throughout the year, the Hajim School of Engineering hosts “E-socials” which is short for engineering socials. At the first social, they gave out the pictured Hajim School T-shirts, which demonstrate the “full spectrum” of engineering disciplines offered by our Undergraduate Engineering Program.

6. Habitat For Humanity Shirt

This shirt falls under the free-ish category of T-shirts because there is a membership fee to become a member of Habitat for Humanity, but that fee goes directly to the cost of the T-shirt and lasts all four years of college. The University of Rochester has a very active chapter of Habitat for Humanity with an average of three build opportunities per semester, many fundraisers, and an alternative spring break. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to wear this shirt to a build because the one I was scheduled to go on was canceled (oh Rochester weather), but I’m hoping to go on one next year.

7. Meliora Weekend Shirt

A combination of homecoming weekend, parents’ weekend, and alumni weekend, Meliora Weekend has lots of activities for everyone. Notable events include our keynote speaker and comedian. Although I wasn’t quite sure at first what it was, I signed up to be a volunteer during orientation. While volunteering, I met Gwen Greene, the woman for whom our fantastic career center is named. You’ll see a sheet asking you to sign up to volunteer during orientation, and remember if you do, you’ll get a volunteer shirt, as well as an increased opportunity to meet alumni.

8. Pumpkin Launch Shirt

The American Society for Mechanical Engineers puts on a pumpkin launch in October each year where teams from the Rochester area can build a pumpkin launcher and compete for the prize. This event is commonly attended by both the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology where our undergraduate engineering programs are tested against each other.

Although I’ve only made it through half the year, I realize this has gotten a bit lengthy, and I’ve only told you about half my T-shirts! Stay tuned for part two, which will talk about the shirts I procured during second semester!

What free T-shirts are you excited to earn at Rochester?


About the author

Alycia Abbott

I'm a member of the Class of 2016 majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in computer science. Originally from Pembroke, New Hampshire, I'm involved in women's club soccer, Habitat for Humanity, Campus Activities Board, Baja SAE club, Society of Women Engineers. I have a job at the Career and Internship Center, and am a study group leader for the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning.


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