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.

Year in Review

As the semester comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on this past year. I have learned

Take a walk through the tunnels and you’ll find some great art!

in so much in what has felt like a short amount of time. Not only did I learn a lot through my classes but I have also learned a lot about Rochester itself. I have made friends, ate great food, and experienced new places and experiences. One of the best parts about being an RIT student is not just the classes that I have taken but the memories that I have created. From my first time trying Turkish food to visiting the beautiful parks in the area to watching my first live hockey game, there has not been a shortage of things to do. I have also learned so much in my classes. Before attending RIT, I had not been in a classroom in two years! There was definitely a bit of learning curve trying to ease myself back into the swing of things. Here is what I felt helped me the most getting through this semester and hopefully it helps you too:

photo credit: https://www.ntid.rit.edu/ambassadors/about-ritntid/

  1. Time-management. I cannot stress this enough, as a student, father, and husband, I have had to balance my time and responsibilities in order to be successful at all three. My tip for time management: make productive use of your free time. Now, that is not to say that you should spending every free second studying, what I mean is that use your study time as an opportunity to be focused solely on studying. You should also make time to do things that you enjoy and socialize but do neither in excess. It is difficult but I have found that by finding balance that I have been able to do well at a variety of things instead of just one. 
  2. Connect with your classmates. This is very important because you want to have a social life and people who are going through the same things that you are that you can vent to. It is also great to have a friend in class who can share notes with you, study with you, and help you through your struggles.
  3. Sleep. I know you may feel like that all-nighter will help you but trust me it won’t. You’ll regret it. My first semester, I sacrificed sleep so that I could get more work done. I pulled all nighters and would sleep from 2:00am to 6:00am basically everyday. I got sick repeatedly because of this. It was also not necessary. By learning to manage my time I have been able to get as much work done, if not more and have been getting a lot more sleep. Again, I cannot stress this enough: all-nighters are not worth it.

This may seem difficult at first and possibly even a little broad but I believe these three things are the most important takeaways I have as first year graduate student. I hope this helps you even little bit as you go through grad school or learn techniques that work best for you. Graduate school is not easy but I can say wholeheartedly that it is worth it.

Discovering Rochester

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Science and Technologies MS student

If you’re new to Rochester, there are plenty of spots to go to check out in the surrounding areas! Here is a list of my favorite places to hang out, get away from campus for a bit, or go out for lunch and dinner.

During the past year, I have had the opportunity to go out on dinners and lunches with my friends and discover the great food (and coffee!) that the city has to offer. Some of those are mentioned below:

Han Noodle Bar 

Hands down one of the best place to grab some Asian food in the city. Very affordable, nothing over $13 with a variety of Asian cuisine! Check out the pork belly buns and crab rangoons. You won’t be disappointed. Located next door to Dogtown.

Dorado

Small room vibe, nice outdoor seating on Park Ave. Excellent Mexican food and the best margaritas in town for those of age.

Sultan’s Lebanese Cuisine and Bakery

This place serves Middle Eastern classics like shawarma and savory flatbreads in counter-serve digs with a warm vibe. If you ever visit, definitely try their Chicken Shawarma Pita wrap and Shawarma plate or you can also order this online through GrubHub!

 

Genesee Brew House

Iconic brewery and restaurant in Rochester overlooking High Falls. Excellent burgers, accompanied brews from the oldest brewery in NY if you are of age.

Osaka Sushi

All you can eat sushi, expensive but very fun if you want to treat yourself or go out with a group. It’s about 10 minutes from campus. Side note, all you can eat is about $10 if you go for lunch!

 

Royal of India

There are a number of Indian restaurants in the city but this one has to be my favorite in terms of its resemblance to the food we get back home. They have $10 all-you-can-eat lunch buffets and a special dinner buffet on Wednesday nights! This place is a treat for people who love Indian cuisine. Royal of India is located in Park Point.

If you get sick of the 7+ different places to get coffee at RIT’s campus, feel free to go to some of these locations. These are spots I have picked because they have tables and are study friendly places, with tables available to work at. A quick drive, with a nice place to study off campus and keep buzzing. All are within 20 minutes from campus.

Spot Coffee

Wide open tables which are great for meeting with a group to study or work, great coffee and also good, affordable food as well!

Glen Edith

Smaller building than Spot coffee, but also very good for meeting with study groups or for projects. Very brightly lit and good modern aesthetic.

Java’s 

The original Java’s downtown, so if you like the coffee at Java’s on campus, go check this place out. Also very study friendly, or a good place for a date.