An Ode to Diversified Learning

While the University of Rochester is known for being a science-based school, it is surprisingly full of opportunities to learn and excel in the social sciences and humanities.

While I am one for Rochester puns and plugs, (GO, YOU JACKETS!), I am not going to tell you about different aspects of academia at Rochester, but rather, my own personal love story.

For pre-med students like myself, there tends to be a struggle in finding courses that impede the least on our medical futures and help us make up for grades from classes like Freshman Orgo or Honors Math. If you were to check my most visited pages during the summer of 2016, you would see “Cluster Search Engine” proudly in the list to show the world that I am an undecided, unimaginative “pre-medie.”

Now, its advised within the pre-med bubble that we take clusters aligned with the medical field, like public health, bioethics, or some other set of “strong suggestions.” But, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of the wonderful and unique Rochester Curriculum? I have to ask myself, “What is the point of coming to a school that pushes us to reach beyond our limits—outside our comfort zone—and yet refuse to leave the safe bubble of our allied field?” I would basically be wasting my time not becoming the person that college, *cough* *inserts plug for Rochester* wants me to be.

I know for a fact that I want to be more than normal. I know for a fact that I want to set the new standard for what is required for the modern surgeon. For some silly reason, I want to do something crazy like be able to practice medicine in a Francophone territory. And then on the weekends, fly to Jamaica and create music with Beyoncé. I want to love the future me and I don’t think I can if I don’t do something else besides medicine. I’m sorry, cast of High School Musical, I just can’t stick to the status quo.

meliora madams in snow

by Orin Troyer ’18



Peut-être, je peux trouver ma une amour vraiment, ici à Rochester.

Maybe, I can find my one true love, here at Rochester.

Yes, Duolingo can be helpful, but the Modern Languages & Cultures department at Rochester has changed my outlook on how a language should be taught. While it may be a small department relative to other areas of study, the small class sizes, the inclusive recitation sessions, and the emphasis on in-depth learning of language and culture is worthy, in my opinion, of this department’s methods to be named some of the most practical among tertiary institutions. It is almost, and I cautiously say almost, a relief to take a break from molecular orbital theory and evolution to take in the beautiful, harsh sounds of the French language. It it also a relief to wipe away my attempts at pronunciations via the spit on the pages of my beloved “Chez Nous” and travel away to elegant lifestyles of Europe.

So, I’ve started to see my true love with the help of a French minor. But, what about the part of myself that loves music? *Warning: Rochester plug ahead* Luckily for me, Rochester is known for both medicine and music. However, I am not alluding to the Eastman School of Music necessarily but rather to the Audio, Music & Engineering program, which I hope to minor in. Honestly, I said this minor was a gift to myself for taking Freshman Orgo.

Then we have the social sciences. I have much respect for anyone that has a major in this area of study because it’s just not for me. And Rochester is okay with that. I’m still undecided here, but Rochester makes such an effort to keep courses interesting and diversified. So while in the summer I thought I was undecided because I didn’t know what to do, now I have too many options for what I want to do. Suddenly, my yearning for more knowledge makes me see the person I want to become and love.

So, I implore anyone thinking about going to the University of Rochester (or who is currently attending) to think deeply on who you want to become and how the diversified and readily available courses here can help you achieve those goals.

The end of my cheesy love story.

About the author

Bianca Hall

Hello, My name is Bianca, Class of 2020. I am an international student from none other than Kingston, Jamaica! I am a Biology major (Pre-med) with minors in Audio Music Engineering & Music. Simply put I am always trying to find new ways and perspectives to think about our daily lives and build on the knowledge that I am constantly acquiring from my friends, family and the U of R.

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