When I was a prospective student, I found it difficult to imagine how college life would be. More than any other aspect, that looming uncertainty of simply not knowing what my life would be like in the next year made me so nervous about coming to RIT. I had it easier than most in that I had my twin sister and a friend from my hometown who were also coming to RIT. Still, in the first few weeks of school I found myself keeping to myself, even on weekends. But with so many things to do on campus, and a plethora of welcoming communities, my introversion melted away. Of all the activities I like on campus, here are my favorite 10:
When you get to campus, you’ll come to know Salsaritas. It’s a Mexican grill located in Global Village. Though it’s on the opposite end of campus from the dorms, it is definitely worth the trek! Their typical menu is a nice refresher from the usual Gracie’s meal, but specifically on Saturday mornings, they have an amazing special breakfast menu! My favorite thing to do on Saturday mornings is to sleep in and then grab good food with friends. Pre-Covid, that meant going in and sitting in a booth for hours while we chatted and maybe did some homework. Now, it’s more of a ritual between my roommates and I that also involves watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
2. Food Trucks
A huge silver lining of Covid and having limited indoor seating is that RIT has food trucks visit campus most weekends! From 5 pm-8:30 pm on weekends in the circle at M lot(near dorm side), you can use a meal exchange or dining dollars to buy food from the food trucks! There are usually three or four options for dinner and one option for dessert. Some of my favorites include Macarollin’(mac n’ cheese), Sweet Sammie Jane’s (macaroons and beignets), and Eat Greek (gyro). This past semester, food trucks brought me a lot of joy! It was the perfect excuse to peel away from my computer, go for a stroll to the other side of campus, and of course, eat good food.
3. Hitting the Gym
I can’t lie, I don't work out as often as I’d like to, but when my friends and I are on a morning workout grind, Saturday and Sunday mornings are the best time to go. At those times, the gym isn't packed and you don't have to wait to use any machines. The gym on campus(located inside the Gordon field house) has everything. The top floor has CrossFit and cardio equipment, the bottom floor has heavy and free weights, and both floors have a help desk where you can ask an attendant about the machines or have them spot you. As someone who used to be a competitive swimmer, I also occasionally love swimming laps in the pool. Other fun group activities that take place in the gym are basketball, volleyball, dance classes, running track, and other workout classes. Some wellness classes meet on the weekends, including Whitewater Kayaking, Wilderness Survival, Outdoor Rock Climbing, Bouldering, and Hiking.
4. Bouldering at Red Barn
In my opinion, the most fun method of exercise on campus is bouldering. Bouldering is the same as rock wall climbing except you don't have a harness. The floors are thoroughly padded, of course! Red Barn is an indoor climbing gym located on one far end of campus (past Global Village). As students, we can purchase a day pass for $4 or a $40 pass for the semester, which is a very sweet deal. I first went there during orientation week when it was free for students and I loved it. Rock wall climbing is like solving a puzzle while climbing higher and higher. It’s so exhilarating and gratifying to reach the top!
5. Getting Out in Nature
RIT is a big campus. There are a few nature trails and jogging routes that are lovely to walk through when it’s sunny (warm or cold). As a first-year, I always made a point to walk through the trail that leads to Gracie’s because it was a more peaceful alternative to walking on the quarter-mile(main walkway through campus) from the college of business. There are tons of native plants and animals on campus too! You’ll often see deer, songbirds, and other little creatures. RIT also has an on-campus road that’s a big outer circle. I recently learned that that length is a 5k! So if you’re into running or long walks, that’s probably the perfect route for you.
Every Sunday, I find myself spending the day doing last-minute assignments or last-minute studying. Do I ever learn? No. But I’m usually not alone! Whether in person or on zoom, doing schoolwork with friends always makes it a little bit easier. Hanging out with friends *and* getting urgent assignments done? Two birds with one stone! Last year, a few friends from my accounting class and I would go to Commons on Sundays to collaborate on assignments and study. Commons is perfect for this because there’s food, a lot of seating, and it’s open until 11 PM.
7. CAB Events
CAB stands for College Activities Board. They work hard to put on free fun events on campus every week. They host Fall Fest in the fall and Freeze Fest during the winter. Both events are campus-wide festivals that include various fun events and (giveaways) like carnival rides, giveaways, and even ice sculptures. Fall fest was a particular highlight of my first year because it brought me closer to my floormates. We went on all of the carnival rides together and it was our first time getting off-campus food from the food trucks. CAB also has musicians come to campus, free crafts, and free movie showings every week. For example, this past semester CAB had movie showings of Black Panther, Trolls, and The King of Staten Island, among others.
8. Floor Activities
Last year a bunch of RAs (Resident Advisors) put together a giant timed scavenger hunt that was floor vs. floor. It was a fun way to hang out with my floormates and get a little competitive. In the end, my floor won! Your RA usually puts together fun events like this, or you can always suggest events to them! The best thing about living in dorms is that you can always leave your door open and chat or hang out with your floormates in the hallway (there was always something fun going on in the hallway on my floor). My floor also had game nights, movie nights, and we would watch sports games together.
9. Hockey Games
I was not a sports fan at all before I came to RIT. One Friday night, a friend of mine told me that that night’s particular ice hockey game was free for students. So I got my free ticket and had an *amazing* time in the Gene Polisseni Center watching the game. I highly recommend going to our hockey games! They’re energetic, fast-paced, and overall super entertaining!
10. Game Rooms
In the tunnels on the dorm side of campus, there’s Ritchie’s Game Room and there’s another game room in the middle of campus next to Ritz. These game rooms are open throughout the week, but they were specifically a part of my Friday night ritual, and let me tell you, they’re always a good time. Going to these game rooms on the weekends has given me a pool addiction! Ritchie’s Game Room has a pool table, tons of board games, a ping pong table, an Xbox, a Wii, and more. The game room next to Ritz has multiple pool tables and various arcade games. You can walk in at almost any time and meet people to play games with; you can come with a group of friends or reserve the rooms for your floor or club!