The meal system is horrible. It always has been and it keeps getting worse and worse by he year. Administration keeps taking things away and yet keep charging us more per semester. There are only a few places to eat on campus, and even less if you are actually trying to stay healthy or watch your weight. Blimpie is aweful, with slow service and flavorless meats, but it is the only option in "The Pit" that isn't friend or covered in grease....and that only depends on your choices. There is also "Danforth" which is an all you can eat place where i find that the food is never that good, and because of that you aren't satisfied and want to get more food. There is custom stir fry there which is really good, but you generally have to wait in like for 20 min to get it, so you have to time it right. there is also "Dougless" which has a few good stations, pasta, "mexican food" a bbq place, a salad bar, a kosher deli, and a vegan place. I neither keep kosher and i am NOT a vegan, but i generally at at the kosher place and the vegan place, as they are most likely the healthiest. There used to be a place called "The Mel Express" which was AWESOME, but they shut that down without consulting anyone. there are a few other places to eat, cafe type places, but they mostly just do greasy food that i don't want a part of. As i said, the meal system is horrible. How it used to work is each year you were given a few options of a dining plan, in which it was almost impossible to finish them without CONSTANTLY overeating or wasting money (or club meals...which are too complicated for me to feel like explaining). That sucked, cause the meals were expnsie. Every year you were given cheaper and cheaper options, so by jr. year you could maybe finish your plan if you tried not to eat off campus...ever. Then they decided, screw that lets make it worse! So now it's connected to where you live, which really makes no sence. if you live on campus, you basically have to buy an over priced meal plan that will over feed you. As someone who eats two meals a day and never snacks.....this annoys me. If you want to eat three meals a day as well as have snacks, a shake, and maybe some coffee every day, and maybe more on weekends, then you could finish these. I cant. I was looking foward to not having to pay much for my meal plan too this year. If i could live my life over, and if rochester wasn't the only school with the cluster program, i would never go here.
the dining services on campus sucks giant raging monkey butt. in fact it is getting worse by the year. i cant count the number of times i've been sick from campus food on two hands. the all you can eat dining hall has a number of colorful nicknames like "dansuck" and or just plain "disappointment" (its actually called danforth); as in "hey, its like 5:30, would you like to go get some disappointment with me?". personally i have sworn off of dickforth since the last time i was ill from eating salad there. also, it used to be that freshmen were forced into these huge dining plans that they never used and which force you to eat unhealthy food. however, now the meal plan is done by where you live which breaks down to being that all the freshmen still have the large meal plan and a large portion of upper classmen also are now forced to have that same meal plan. this has resulted in many people choosing to live off campus. the culprit is called the "club" all meal plans have a certain amount of "clubs" per semester and a dollar amount of declining per semester. with declining you can buy whatever you want for its dollar amount. with clubs you can buy a meal; but not just any meal... there are only a certain set of food things from each dining hall that you can get with a club and the selection is limited. your club options are as follows: 1 drink (soda fountain or milk) 1 side (bag of chips, sketchy/nasty apples or bananas, even sketchier carrots, 8 oz yogurt, fries, or soup) and a main thing which is pizza, hamburgers/grill stuff, sub sandwiches, fried things other nasty unhealthy stuff... so unless you like to eat milk, a puny yogurt and a sub sandwich everyday for every meal your kind of screwed (where is the water or juice or good veggies and fruit? healthy balanced main courses that arent gross vegan food? not to be found..). also the campus likes to serve carbs and cheese in about all the combinations i can think of and pass it off as a main dish (i wouldnt trust the beef anyways):pizza, quesadillas, breadsticks with cheese inside, roastbeef sandwiches with nacho cheese, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, other pasta with cheese, and more pizza. thats what i mostly subsist on as there really isnt too much else.
My first year at Rochester was a blast. I tried so many new activities, classes, and people, and the great thing is that the ones I haven't gotten to try yet, I can't wait to do next year. Not being a freshman anymore and therefore new to the school doesn't put any pressure on joining new groups. I love the people and the community feel of Rochester, and also the fact that everyone is really focused on learning something and going somewhere, but with the overall goal of enjoying life, not so much making a ton of money. I wish that it was a slightly bigger school, because sometimes the feeling that everyone knows everyone makes it feel less like college, but the school itself works well in the size that it is. The food I would have to say is really not so great, but you learn to manage it, and if you put the time in and get the right meal plan you will be fine. Everyone is so helpful and friendly and really bent on making sure you get a great college education and experience. There is definitely a lot of partying, however it's not out of hand. And if you're someone who doesn't really want that scene or who doesn't want to drink you will be totally fine. Everyone that parties or does the fraternity/sorority scene and everyone that doesn't are very accepting of each other. It's a challenging school but also a really fulfulling one.
I'd say 80% of the students that go here applied to some Ivy-League schools. People think that going to an Ivy-League school is everything but I personally know many students that live in Rochester that chose an Ivy instead and they are absolutely miserable. College is the time of life when a young man/woman shapes into the person they will become for the rest of their life and if you are going to spend those four years absolutely miserable, it will have an enormous impact on your life. Even the people that transfer have wasted a year or two of college that they will never get back. If you tell yourself you will deal with it for 4 years and it is worth the Ivy-League name, you are wrong. No one can last 4 years of being very unhappy and I'm not saying that is why you should come to Rochester but this is a perfect example of a school that has many Ivy-League rejects and some are so thankful that they didn't get in because they see their friends at some schools and realize what a mistake it would have been. Choose a school you will be happy at.
I honestly have loved my experience at the University of Rochester. I have made best friends, had an awesome time, joined great clubs, got published in the lit mag, and have of course learned a lot. The University isn't for everyone, so take a tour and then walk around a little bit. If you feel at home, then come. Ignore what people say about the weather or the city because it isn't as bad as people make it out to be. The city has everything a college student could need (except very good shopping. The malls are terrible. But I'm from northern Jersey where we have every store that you could possibly want and you could always venture into NYC if we don't) and the weather isn't that terrible. Snow is fun in college because you don't have to drive or shovel and you can make snowmen and forts instead of doing your work. Plus, we have a tunnel system so you don't have to venture into the cold too often. Like I said, take a tour and walk around. If you feel at home, come. If not, then that's ok. There is a school for everyone.
Rochester is a great school as long as you don't mind busting your ass in order to have a 3.5 The students who have much over a 3.5 or so usually are the ones that have little time for anything other than school work. Dining sucks, and on campus housing is over priced and not that great. However Rochester's reputation has been climbing and climbing and is doing well. There are a lot of interesting smart people at Rochester and only a few that you'll wonder how they go admitted. Greek life if significant around 40-50% overall and it's still a college campus. Even the majority of talented smart nerdy students learn to let loose and have fun and drink occasionally usually by junior and senior year which is good. It's very much a study hard, and occasionally party hard school. If you get in you won't go wrong going here, but it's a lot of peoples' safety as they apply to the Ivies.
If you come to Rochester, get off campus! You'll get bored of events around campus after Freshmen year, but bring a car if you can, and go explore! There is a huge music scene in Rochester, from jazz to classical to punk, and many times you can find live music for free. Check out the Eastman Theater, Water St., and the Blue Cross Arena showings. Geva Theater is great for people interested in seeing great plays and the Little Theater shows only independent movies. The food in Rochester is amazing, especially if you're looking for ethnic food: for Thai, try The King and I, Mediterranean, Alexandria's, European: Cibon Cafe, and sushi, Dim Sum. There are also plenty of parks near Rochester and a lake that will provide a great weekend of hiking or just lounging around at the beach.
The Rochester Curriculum allows students to take the courses they are passionate about, without wasting time on mandatory general requirements. Every freshman takes a writing course, but the topics are fun: mine was on witchcraft! Then you take the courses in your major and 1-2 "clusters" outside your major. With the exception of Engineering students, UR students take courses in 3 areas: Natural Sciences & Engineering, Social Sciences, and Humanities. For example: as a biology major, I took a cluster in French and a minor in psychology, with time for a few dance courses and a research project.
The University of Rochester has a unique curriculum, in which we have a few requirements, and students are free to take whatever classes they want for their major. The moment I stepped on the UR campus, I knew that it was the right college for me. University of Rochester is considered a "nerdy" school, but our motto here is to study hard, party harder. There are conversations I have with other students here that I don't feel like can happen at any other campus. Where else would I discuss radiation feedback loops and time traveling?
Nick Tahou's is one of Rochester, New York's most well-renowned eating establishments. It's signature dish, the "garbage plate, " is oft-imitated and worshipped by denizens. And while the garbage plate comes in several varieties, the basic model consists of two cheeseburgers placed on a bed of homefries and macaroni salad and topped with chili. In the spirit of the city, the University of Rochester periodically concocts its own version serving it as one of the lunch options available on campus.