Popping the Campus Bubble
I’ve recently been making use of the city of Rochester’s wonderful Genesee Riverway Trail that runs parallel to the Genesee river. Besides offering a chance to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, it is important for me to get out of the “campus bubble” every now and then, and to remind myself that I am part of a larger community and world. I spend the majority of my time on campus, and I often get lost in the monotonous routines of my daily college student life, forgetting that there is a very lively city just beyond our campus.
When I started to remind myself that the bubble I cozily exist in is part of a much larger world, I began thinking about how our actions on campus affect everything in a wider sense. We do not live in a microcosm, and what we do here has broader effects on our community and the world. I’ve grown used to my fellow students making disparaging comments about the city of Rochester during my time here, and I admit that I have been guilty of this negative behavior. But when I get out and see the city for myself it seems ridiculous that people would act this way towards a beautiful, interesting city, full of hidden treasures that you have to leave campus to discover. If we keep acting like Rochester is the worst place on Earth, how will it ever grow as a city?
We need to be more conscience of how our attitudes as students have consequences. We call Rochester our home for four formative years, and we should treat it as just that- a home. This means taking responsibility for our language and how we portray the city. It also means being aware of how small everyday actions: i.e. throwing away multiple Starbucks cups a day instead of bringing a reusable mug (something I am often guilty of) affects this home, and the Earth in general. If we continue to treat our home negatively-through words and actions- it will never receive the love it deserves.
I encourage you to become more involved in our community, especially if you too have become too cozy within the bubble. Get off campus, explore a new area, eat at a new restaurant. Even better, find a community service project that you are passionate about and give Rochester some much needed love.
Written by Isabel Lieberman, class of 2021.