Make Yourself At Home

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.


About the author

Shannon Lue Chee Lip

I'm a member of the Class of 2021 from Trinidad majoring in computer science with a minor in Medieval studies. I'm involved in Pride Network, Women in Computer Science, and the Medieval Studies Undergraduate Council, and I have an on-campus job at iZone! On any given day you'll probably find me wandering the campus just appreciating our amazing school, studying in the library, or just hanging out in one of the dining halls.

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