Where are you going?

I ask myself this question before making all major decisions. It brought me to Rochester. It guided me to the flagpoles and roundabout entrance of the RIT campus, GPS chiming in with “turn left” and then “you have reached your destination.”

For many, this place is a whole new town full of strange faces and unexplored places, each a unique opportunity. I have found, in my time on campus and off on co-op, that you meet the friendliest people on college campuses. RIT is particularly rich in character — campus quads peppered with presence on sunny days, brick buildings riddled with enthusiastic diversity. The faces you recognize sitting across the room from you every other day or crossing paths with you on the Quarter Mile, routines harmonically in tune, are surprisingly willing to strike up a conversation. The next few months will be filled with introductions, and I urge you to be open to the dialogues that may ensue. They will challenge you as much as they will inspire you. Most of all, you will find that the people you meet here will allow you to grow into yourself.

I met my best friends freshman year of college, then in third year and again in my fourth year. Just when I thought I had found my niche crowd, I stumbled upon some folks who made me laugh until all the air in my lungs had been dispelled. Interacting with the students and faculty here at RIT these next few years might dismantle all notion of direction you may have had planned out. At the same time, together, you will navigate the best route into your future.

Until then, you have reached your destination: welcome to your college years.