I’ve decided to make this week all about my reflections on my time at the University of Rochester. The academic year will be ending soon, I’ve decided to take some time to look back and figure out my best and my worst moments from my undergraduate experience. Here are some of my best:
10. Being a D’Lion (the first time).
Admittedly, my first application to the D’Lion organization had some…ulterior motives. I needed housing and I would have done almost anything to avoid the infamous housing lottery. Housing was extremely limited, especially since Riverview was not ready to be lived in until the following year. I had applied with a girl who lived across the hall from me, Katelynn. She was a nice enough girl, and in fact we had been best friends for some time during freshman year. But, by the time it actually came time to do D’Lion-y things, I thrust myself into it and she kind of held back. The residents could see this, and that’s why I continue to be close to most of them today and she just isn’t. I forged some close bonds that first year I was a D’Lion. Living on that hall was just a blast and my freshmen were amazing. I want to thank them for making it such a profound experience for me.
I made this!
9. Being a D’Lion (the second time).
The second time I applied to be a D’Lion, I got a new partner. Betsy and I became very close at the end of my sophomore year. For the first half of her freshman year, she seemed a bit aloof. After she expressed interest in becoming a D’Lion, I told her that I wanted to apply again as well. We decided to apply together. Since I had already built a rapport with the organization and she was an excellent candidate, we were shoe-ins. We decided during the summer that we were going to give our hall a Jim Henson theme, using various characters that he created. Things were going really well until the students showed up and were censured for carrying around an open bottle of vodka around the campus. This really aggravated Betsy, and I don’t know if she ever forgave them. But, overall it was a positive experience and without it I would have never met Daniel.
8. Dandelion Day.
Specifically, the two celebrated during my freshman and sophomore years. During my freshman year, it was the first time I got really drunk. I don’t remember much, except going to the Corner Store to buy more Coke for Rum & Cokes. Bad idea. Then we decided to order Chinese food. Worse idea. I ended up passing out at around 4pm, waking up around 6pm, feeling hungover and sick. I decided a shower would be an excellent idea. I ended up ralphing all over the shower stall. But I cleaned it up!! All was right with the world, that Dandelion Day. My second Dandelion Day was spent just as drunk, but less sick (yay!). I ended up drinking with my hallmates, which is something you are never supposed to do as a D’Lion. Despite breaking all the rules as a D’Lion, the freshman always liked me and the organization never found out. No harm done, but friendships were solidified. It was a fantastic day, and I got really close with my freshmen. But, it’s one where I’m a bit fuzzy on the details.
7. My First Midnight Ramblers Show.
I remember during my freshman year, my D’Lion, Elodie, tried to get my to go to the Fall show put on by the best a cappella group on campus, The Midnight Ramblers. It sounded silly to me, I just wasn’t into it. But then, in the spring, she gingerly approached me asking for help to find a ticket in their scavenger hunt. The theme of the show was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and they had hidden tickets around campus, and left clues everywhere to promote their show. So, after finding one of these tickets in the 4th floor kitchen of Lovejoy, we claimed our VIP seats in the front row of the auditorium, and enjoyed the show. The performance was made so much better by the fact that I had helped work to earn the ticket, and it was free. Also, it was sort of like being transported back to middle school. People at the UR go crazy for the Ramblers like people go crazy for N*SYNC. Because their scavenger hunt was so successful, they continued to do it for their shows the following year, and Elodie and I would always go searching for tickets. We found one again the following Fall. (I think it was a Harry Potter themed show, but I’m not positive.) It was awesome.
6. My 21st Birthday Party.
What a night. My friends Jenab, Lisa, Dan, Jeff, Matt and Katie threw my a party at their suite in Phase, since I could not hold a party in my very small single dorm room in Susan B. Anthony. There was a lot of debauchery that night, although it’s another one where I’m fuzzy on the details. I do know that I had an amazing time.
5. Planning and Executing My First Hall Program.
It was a true test of leadership skills and my enthusiasm. Katelynn actually got mad at me because I didn’t consult her, but we had a deadline, and it was an event that I really wanted to attend. They were showing The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D at the Henrietta Regal Cinemas. So I made up little flyers, got some RSVPs and ordered the tickets. I ended up spending a bunch of my own money, but it was worth it. The buses happened to be running completely off-schedule, which is typical and worked out for us. We got there on time, and a bus just happened to show up as we came out of the movie, even though it wasn’t due for another hour. The hall program was a complete success, and I got to bond with my freshmen (who are all now seniors!).
4. Having Options.
Like most people, I enjoy being given the opportunity to change my mind if I feel like. I also like not being forced to do things I don’t like, another trait I have in common with most of the human race. The University of Rochester’s curriculum allowed me to do what I wanted, which was biology. I had no general education classes to deal with, which was great. I think everybody gets tired of that sort of thing during high school. UR allowed me to take the classes that I wanted during my freshman year, and explore what they had to offer. I decided on biology. Then I had to choose two clusters of 3 classes outside of the natural sciences. For Social Science, I chose psychology, which was full of interesting material, poor lecturers, and easy A’s. For Humanities, I choose American Sign Language…and we all know where that got me.
3. Being Accepted into the Take 5 Program.
I remember when I was applying that I wanted to be accepted so badly. I even gave myself a little panic attack at one point (edit: a major freak-out. -Daniel), because I thought I would never get the materials in on time, and if I did, I would never actually be accepted. But I was, and I’m so happy to have the opportunity to learn American Sign Language this year. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m certainly more comfortable with my signing ability than I was just one year ago. Not only that, but it is a scholarship program, so I don’t have to pay any tuition this year.
2. The Subway Trip with UR’s Urban Explorers.
This was an amazing opportunity during my junior year. Some of my friends and I decided to join the Urban Explorers. Their first trip of the year was down in Rochester’s old subway system. A series of old, abandoned tunnels doesn’t really sound that interesting, until you see all of the graffiti down there. It ranged from the bizarre to true art, and everything in between. It was very dusty, and I was constantly terrified that a hobo was going to jump out and scare the crap out of me, but it was a great experience.
This was taken in a well-lit area.
1. Meeting Daniel.
I don’t think I have to elaborate too much on this. It was the classic tale of boy meets girl, boy lives across the hall from girl, girl is boy’s d’lion and therefore should not date boy, but girl dates boy anyway because he is sweet, funny, and cooks well. This was just another example of how I overstepped my boundaries as a D’Lion. But I will never forget those times Daniel would come into my room, sit on my big blue exercise ball, and serenade me with his ukulele.
He really did serenade me on this ball.
I was given a great opportunity when I was hired (twice) to be a workshop leader, first for the Molecular, Developmental and Cell Biology Lab and then for Cell Biology. I really enjoy being a part of the learning process, and it feels really good when you can help other people to understand something you’re passionate about.
I didn’t mention my freshman year too much up there, but there is one thing that I will never forget. I spent hours on the boys’ hall playing Smash Brothers 64. I was pretty sad when they moved on to Command and Conquer and Smash Brothers: Brawl, neither of which I played. Living on that hall also allowed me to bond with my close friend Brian. Although he lived on the quad, I found him visiting a girl that lived across the hall from me. At first I had a little crush on him. This lasted for all of one week, and then we became close friends.
I also spent hours in Hillside. I lived in Sue B. for 3 years, and every year, I always had the pleasure of watching people discover Aussies at Hillside. So, every night between 10pm and 1am we would make a trip to the café (which, if you live on the first floor, is a very short trip) and get drinks and snacks, and sit and chat about our day or whatever.
There was only one Meliora Weekend in which I actively participated. During my sophomore year Anderson Cooper gave the Keynote Address and Stephen Colbert was the Meliora Weekend comedian. Needless to say, it was a great time.