Hello! My name is Kenzie Potter. I am a member of the Class of 2021 majoring in statistics. I was born and raised in the small coastal town of Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of NC. Growing up in a “beach town” has certainly shaped a part of who I am. The pace of life on the Outer Banks is like a slow crawl compared to where I am now. The city of Rochester is a little more fast-paced, so I must remind myself to slow down and take a deep breath sometimes.
I have a wide variety of interests and hobbies. Some of these interests include writing poetry, reading, singing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, hiking, movies, and photography (mostly photos of my dog). These hobbies help me be my best self in and out of the classroom. When midterms roll around, these activities help me relieve the stressors of my classes.
On campus, I’m involved in the Association for Women in Mathematics, UR Pokémon, ASL Club, and Pride Network, to name a few. There are so many amazing groups on campus, and I wish I had time for them all.
Coming from the South, and especially from the beach, I get asked a lot, “Why did you choose Rochester?” It’s a good question and my answer varies because there are many reasons I chose the University of Rochester. The main reason I chose Rochester was that it’s so very different from where I’m from. I got overwhelmed when I was looking at colleges during my junior year in high school. There are a lot of good schools out there, and almost all of them had what I thought I wanted to study. In the end, I just picked the one that stood out. I thought that the University of Rochester would give me the most unique experience while still providing excellent academics.
My first year, I was lucky and got to live in Genessee Hall, which was brand-new at the time. As someone who lived in dorms at boarding school, it was like living in a nice hotel. The single room was brand new, with a decent amount of space. The room was bigger than I expected and decorated with useful furniture to store my things in. After my first year, I successfully petitioned to live off campus and I now live off campus with my service dog, Intel.
I started as a pre-med, brain and cognitive sciences student but changed my mind almost every couple of months in my first and sophomore years. There were so many interesting courses and I wasn’t sure where I fit and where I wanted to be. I stumbled upon a statistics course that was required for another major, and I loved it. I changed my major to statistics and I haven’t looked back.
Thanks to the cluster system at the University, I’ve been able to explore my interests without having to be an expert. I feel that I can have interests outside of my major and can probe them with little to no experience with the topic. I’ve clustered in American Sign Language, anthropology, and taken courses in chemistry, brain and cognitive sciences, and more. It’s freeing to be able to have the time in your schedule to take courses that you’re interested in, but normally wouldn’t have the time or space to pursue.
The University of Rochester has greeted me with many resources and people who want me to succeed. From the professors to the Office of Disability Resources, Everyone here wants to provide you with everything you need to thrive. I’ve received all the accommodations I need for my chronic illness, and they try to make the campus as accessible as possible for me. This has been a huge help for me on my academic journey.
Before deciding on Rochester, I was warned of the cold, long winters, but I love it here. The snow is beautiful and the tunnels between the buildings provide for a (mostly) comfortable commute to class. Rochester experiences all four seasons, which is something that I wasn’t used to coming from my little beach town. I like seeing the leaves fall off the trees in autumn, and enjoying a not too hot summer.
The University of Rochester is a beautiful place to live and study. The brick and ivy is a wonderful sight as you trek across campus to your classes. It has a supportive community and endless opportunities to delve into. The University of Rochester has allowed me to explore so many of my interests, some that I didn’t even know that I had before arriving here. I was right in thinking that my experience here would be unique and I’m positive that I made the right decision.
I’m grateful to be a new blogger and to represent the University of Rochester. I’m truly thrilled to be able to share my Rochester experience with you all. Stay tuned for more of my posts and probably more pictures of my dog!