Fall in Rochester is a season of dramatic change. The leaves are starting to turn from green to red, the air itself is getting cooler in anticipation of the winter to come, and first-year students like me are starting to really warm up to their new home.
Let me tell you a secret.
Before arriving in Rochester, I was absolutely terrified by the prospect of going away to college. The thought of being an ocean away from my family, best friends, and favorite home-cooked foods seemed too much for me to bear, and I honestly considered attending a different school instead just so I could be closer to home.
I’m so glad I didn’t.
The second I arrived on campus, I knew I had made the right decision to come here. There’s this inexplicable energy that permeates the entire school that I think stems from the amazing students who have made this their home.
I felt instantly at ease despite the fact that I was 2,439 miles away from everything I’d ever known.
Rochester may not be where I was born, but it’s now definitely a home to me. I’ve met some of the most amazing people here and formed bonds deeper than I could have ever imagined in the span of just a few short weeks.
Just the other day, I was out grocery shopping with a group of friends and we jokingly picked up a family-sized bag of tortilla chips because “we’re basically a family now,” but it’s absolutely true. While I was once terrified by the thought of leaving the only home I’d ever had, I didn’t consider that I would get the chance to create a new home for myself here.
So, to anyone who’s looking at Rochester and wondering if it’s worth it to go to school so far away from home, to you I say yes. It’s scary to be so far from everything familiar, but it’s so entirely worth it.
Even as the leaves die beautifully around me, I know that I’m blooming and growing into my own as a person, and while nothing can replace the place I grew up, Rochester has won its place in my heart.