August 14th, 2019 was the day I landed in Rochester from India. I was super excited about my first ever visit to a country other than my home country. Known for its freezing winters, I was warned and reminded a thousand times by everyone in my family and all my friends back in India to keep myself warm. And so, there I was at the Airport, wrapped in 3 layers of woolen material and a snow jacket, wearing gloves and beanie that my sister had gifted. I didn't step out of the airport until the cab arrived thinking that it would be too cold. While the cab slowed down to stop at the exit door, I was taken aback to see the cab driver sporting a tank top. He was equally surprised to see me dressed like a man all set for the North Pole expedition. As I loaded all my luggage on to the trunk and sat at the backseat, the driver laughingly said "Let me guess! You were told it would be snowing crazy in Rochester. Hahaha". The car hadn't covered a mile and I was sweating profusely. I brought down both the windows and yet couldn't save myself from getting soaked in my sweat. It was so bright outside that I could barely open my eyes. For almost a month before landing at Rochester, I had not seen the sunlight due to the rainy season back in Bengaluru (India), because of which it used to be gloomy most of the time. By the time I reached my apartment, all my woolen layers were gone and I looked like a marathon runner who had just touched the finish line with sweat dripping from all over my face. So yeah! That was how I met Rochester's Summer the first time.
While I was enjoying the heat and the greenery of the summer, within no time, the winds turned cool and a variety of colors of the leaves started popping out. These colors got more vibrant and brighter every day. Having come from a place with temperate weather conditions, I was not used to seeing such drastic seasonal transitions. Nor had I ever seen leaves exhibiting colors like this before. Leaves with such intense colors? Seriously? I mean I've seen flowers with such colors. But leaves? Never. They looked so beautiful that it almost seemed artificial. Wandering in and around the RIT campus was a treat for the eyes. So this what Fall looks like? This is insane! I was kicking myself for not having googled Fall images while applying to RIT. But then I felt that I did the right thing as I wouldn't be as surprised as I am now.
After a short period of this beautiful explosion of colors came my most waited season. The season that everyone in my family was so afraid of. Winter is finally here! I still remember the first time it snowed. I was sitting in my class attending the lecture on OOP with Java and there was a big window right behind where the professor was standing. I could see that snow had just begun and I badly wanted to go out and play in the snow. As soon as the professor left, I along with my friends were out in the snow for a campus tour. I know it sounds a little childish! But I've always been a nature enthusiast and I've always loved snow.
The initial days of snow are really good. Especially for the people who've never had any experience with snow. You have a lot of fun making your first snowman, playing snowball fight. But it gets a little monotonous and boring after about a month. It gets unbearably cold. And I think it's not exactly the cold and the snow that people get bored of, its the fact that the days get really short. It gets worse during December with the sun setting as early as 4:30 PM. This was the time when a lot of my friends got homesick. Gloomy weather, short days, boat-load of assignments, and the pressure of getting an internship/full-time kinda makes you sad sometimes. I would suggest everyone to make good friends, keep your social activities alive by having frequent get-togethers, going out for a game of laser tag, or bowling weekends. A healthy balance between studies and fun will make your student life at RIT awesome.
From mid-March, the temperature gradually starts rising although there is occasional snowfall. You can also see a gradual increase in outdoor activities among people. On a few warmer days, you feel a lot lighter when you don’t have to wear those annoying winter jackets. Those heavy boots that you had been wearing for the last 4 months can now slowly take a backseat. And by this time, almost every international student would have become comfortable with the different weather conditions of Rochester.
- Abhay Rajendra Dixit, Computer Science MS student