Holi@RIT

By Goral Kansara, Engineering Management ME 

Holi, the Hindu festival of colors symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is one of the most cheerful and fun festivals in India. While many students have made this big change in their life by coming to a different country, RIT makes sure that their students do not miss their home country and feel the same amount of joy by celebrating Holi at the campus. The festival was organized by the OASIS student chapter at RIT.

While the entire Rochester is struggling to adjust themselves in long winters and unpredictable weather, RIT students managed to pick a warm day in Rochester and do complete justice to the day by celebrating Holi. At around noon, everyone got together in one of the open areas on campus and there were colors and joy all around.

Holi specifically marks the last full moon of the Hindu calendar’s lunar month, Phalguna. So, it is celebrated on a different day every year but usually, it is around March when it is very warm in India. So, if you were in India to celebrate Holi, it begins with a group of people gathering around and playing drums and singing along with firing wood to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. This is known as “Holika Dahan”. On the next day, all areas and the streets will be covered in colors as people will throw a bunch of colors to each other and also the water balloons.

The Holi celebration at RIT was totally beyond my expectations. There were vibrant color powders as you would use if you were in India. The brighter the better! They made an artificial the water guns were also there. Not to forget the food! There were free samosas too. The entire arrangements were very good and it was indeed a good feeling as people danced their hearts out and played Holi as if they were in their home country.

#myRITstory- Yashowardhan Soni

Yashowardhan Soni is a second-year grad student in Computer Science. He moved to the United States in spring 2017 and just like many other students, he also faced difficulties in terms of adjusting in a totally different country and in academics. His dedication and hard work helped him to perform well and go beyond his own expectations and he ended up with 40% scholarship after the 1st semester at RIT. During his graduate studies, he worked as a grader for prof. Borrelli for foundations of computer science theory. Even after performing so well in grad school he was having trouble in finding a good co-op and internship because of the lack of professional experience which is a common problem with most graduate students. The frustration went even worse for Yashowardhan when he got rejected from one of the big companies in their final round of interviews. This had made him give up for around five to six months until got an internship offer from Matrixcare. Despite the lack of experience, the company was willing to bet on his skills.

Matrixcare was a game changer for him. He developed Alexa skill for healthcare software in a short duration. His work was praised by the entire company when he gave a demo of the software in company meetings. Meanwhile he also cleared an interview for a co-op at Amazon where he worked on languages and technologies that he had never used. He performed exceptionally well in implementing projects before the deadlines with technologies that he never used. This impressed the engineering team at Amazon and the result of his hard work was what a computer science grad student would want. He got hired for a full-time position at Amazon, San Francisco. This journey truly makes us believe that there are no secrets to success, it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

Niagara Falls – The perfect getaway for weekend!

I still remember the first time that I visited Niagara falls back in 2011. I was mesmerized by the size of the falls and its beauty. Those memories of falls made me want to visit falls again when I moved to Rochester for my graduate studies. Niagara falls is approximately an hour and a half drive from Rochester and with it being the largest waterfall in the world, we are fortunate to live this close to it. I have visited the Niagara Falls around four to five times in a semester and I can still go there for many more times. The beauty that the falls holds is beyond anyone’s imagination and being a student we all need a place where we can go and forget about all stress and heavy workload.

Recently, I visited Niagara Falls in mid-March. Although, the best time to visit Niagara falls would be during the summer and fall, this place its own beauty during the winter as well. I had always wanted to see how it is to see such gigantic fall frozen. Fortunately, this time I had an opportunity to visit Niagara in winters and as I expected, the visual that I could see in front of me was unbelievable. It was difficult to stand there in cold breeze but the view was so appealing that even in freezing cold temperature, a large number of tourists were at the Niagara falls.

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the summer. The falls is in the middle of Canada and the United States. So, on both sides of the falls, we can see the beautiful view of the other side of the falls. In the American side, there is a pretty park when we enter the Niagara Falls. There are flowers and bright green grass which makes the place even more beautiful. Along with the attractions, these are huge souvenir stores where you can find pretty much everything and they all are worth visiting. There are also many places to eat around there. Along with the falls, the Seneca resort and Casino is also one of the main attraction of this place.

Following are the best things to do at the Niagara Falls from the american side,

  • Maid of the Mist boat tour: This is the only boat ride from american falls and the passengers can get a closer look of the falls.

 

 

 

 

  • Cave of the Winds: This allows you to view the falls from the observation platforms and keeps you a little drier. This is the best experience of the American falls. 

 

 

 

  • Niagara Falls state park: This is one of the oldest state park and it gives a beautiful view of the falls and the lush green gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Observation Tower: This extends out from the American side and it is the only place from where both the American and the Canadian Falls can be viewed.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Along with these attractions, there is Niagara fashion outlet very close by. This is the center of attraction for all college students because you can find all brand stores and the prices are very reasonable there.

 

 

 

 

 

All these attractions and beautiful falls makes Niagara Falls the perfect getaway for anyone.

Life outside of RIT!

by Goral Kansara, Engineering Management ME 

To be a graduate student is different from being any student because now, there comes responsibilities and a lot of management. My journey as a graduate student started with stepping into a new and a beautiful place called Rochester. The day I entered in this place, I saw these green fields, a peaceful small city and a huge campus. I knew that academics was going to be challenging but that the hardest part would be not only to stay in a new place, but also to live in it.

An exciting journey of mine started with meeting new people at the new apartment which I also thought would be the hardest part of my grad life as you can probably imagine living so many girls in the same house! However, our story is a little different, I am fortunate to have such housemates. Well, that does not mean that we do everything together or that we have exact same interests. There is just a strange way in which all of us are living together in that house.

Park Point apartment

We live in Park Point apartment, by American Campus. This is one of the  recommended off campus housings by RIT. RIT recommends some great off campus housing options that have very convenient bus stops which makes it easy to commute to the campus and to other places as well, using the weekend shuttles. These shuttles go to grocery stores, malls and to many other places in the city on every weekend. They start from 10:30 am and usually run till 9:30 pm. On week days, the shuttles start from 7:00 am in the morning and they run till 1:30 am.

Park Point apartment

Having to think about the career, home and yourself at the same time is something that one has not faced until this time in life. Therefore, to make this journey smoother, it is important stay focused and live in a happy place.

I would say, Rochester itself has this strange positive feeling which makes it so much easier to live in this place. There are numerous places in this city. Before coming here, I was worried about how I am going to survive in such small place but after a few days, I realized that it has almost everything that a person would probably need in order to have a perfect student life.

Rochester has many places to visit such as the High Falls, Genesee River Walk, Ontario Beach Park, Highland Park, etc.

The High Falls

The High Falls, Rochester, NY

High Falls is located in downtown Rochester. It is one of the three falls to discover on Genesee river. The view of the falls in the evening is spectacular and that it is the best time of a day because after a few hours, the lights turn on; alternately white, red and green and you get to see the beautiful view of High Falls in the dark.

 

High Falls at night

Genesee river walk

view from Genesee river walk

The Genesee river walk is also one of the attractions in Rochester. Especially, the view at night is eye pleasing. The cold breeze and the city lights can make anyone want to sit there for hours.

Ontario beach park

 

Ontario Beach park, Rochester, NY

Ontario Beach Park is one of the most serene places in Rochester. With having a heavy course load on one side, this place in the city that helps you stay close to the nature and its positivity. A beautiful blend of green and blue waters makes it even beautiful.

The Highland park

The Highland Park, Rochester, NY

The Highland park is located on the south quadrant of the city of Rochester which is also known as Highland botanical park. This park is popular for its Lilac festival in May. Apart from this, there are many festivals held in summer and in the winter, it is also open for ice skating, theater, and concerts.

Not only the specific places in Rochester, the entire city for that matter, is a place that has its own vibe which will give you confidence that you will achieve something valuable in life.