When I was applying for graduate school, I was considering three universities. Two of them were in warm states (California and Florida), and the other one was the University of Rochester in upstate New York. Considering that I come from Algeria, which is a warm country situated in North Africa, I obviously feared the cold weather in Rochester. This fear was pushing me to cut my list down to the two warmer cities. However, after weighing the pros and cons of living and studying in a cold city, I decided to pick Rochester, which is a great University that is known to have a very harsh winter.
Even though Rochester is one of the top 3 snowiest cities in the United States (according to Accuweather), I looked at the bright side of it. Living in a cold climate would oblige you to stay indoors more often than if you were in a warm city like Los Angeles. The benefit I sought in this is the fact that being indoors encourages you to dedicate more time to studying. I personally wouldn’t have spent a lot of time at the library if I had plenty of outdoor activities available in winter.
Besides, the University of Rochester is aware of the limitations weather puts on students’ mobility. In order to tackle this problem, the U of R offers a bunch of accommodations that ease the lives of students. As a matter of fact, shuttles are available to transport students from on-campus and off-campus housing locations to the University. These shuttles are a convenient, safe and free means of transportation for students who want to get around and stay warm. Moreover, shuttles are provided twice a week to shopping locations like the mall, the international food market, Walmart, Wegmans, and others.
In addition to that, the University has an underground tunnel network that connects different buildings on campus. These tunnels allow students to go from one side of the campus to the other without being exposed to bad weather.
On the other side, some students take advantage of the cold weather and snow, and enjoy practicing winter sports. In fact, a couple of ski resorts are within driving distance from the University, which could be a great getaway for the weekend after a stressful week at school. Also, organizations at the University like the International Students Organization (ISO) and the Simon Outdoor Adventure Club organize ski trips on an annual basis.
For all of these reasons, the University of Rochester helped my fear of cold weather go away. Actually, the available accommodations for students made me become indifferent to the weather. I learned how a negative situation could be turned into a positive one if you put in enough effort and resources, which is exactly what the University of Rochester does. I also learned to look at the big picture and take advantage of the snowy weather to turn it into good grades and a lot of fun.
– Amir Ianis KHELIL ’15 (MS)