1) How the heck did you end up at Nazareth?
This is probably the most common question I’m asked. How does a kid from Denver, Colorado end up at a small college in Rochester, New York? For me, the answer is pretty simple: hockey. There are not any Division III colleges in Colorado that have hockey teams. Pretty much all the leagues are in Wisconsin or near the east coast. Finding a school wasn’t easy because I wanted to find a college that had good academics as well as athletics. Balance was a huge part of my decision, and Nazareth had that for me. Here, I am getting a top-notch education while playing some competitive hockey at the same time.
2) Why would you ever leave Colorado?
Usually, this is the second question that is a follow up to the previous. Most people (especially those that have been to Colorado) don’t understand why I’d ever leave. To be honest, I spent my first month here in Rochester wondering the exact same thing. However, once the homesickness left, I realized that Rochester is a pretty special place. It is the perfect college town for me with a mixture of city life with Rochester just 5 minutes away and the tightly-knit community in Pittsford where campus is located. I still find myself getting anxious to go home over breaks, but I’m equally excited to return to school and the city I now call my second home.
3) How do you survive the winters?
You dress warm. This is an easy one for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve always considered winter my favorite season, but the snowy months don’t bother me. A big plus for the Nazareth campus is our tunnel system. While I was living on campus, I could wake up and walk to class without ever going outside. Heated tunnels connect every major building making your morning commute warm and easy. Or if you’re a snow lover like myself, you can rent sleds, skis, and snowshoes in the Shults Center and spend the weekends playing outside.
4) What was the adjustment period like?
Rochester will most likely be a bit different from where you currently call home. For the first few weeks at Naz, I felt disoriented not seeing mountains peeking over the buildings on the west side of campus and I was amazed at the amount of trees and greenery surrounding everything. When people mentioned garbage plates my mouth did not start watering like it does now. At first, it was disconcerting but as my homesickness faded, it started to become thrilling. There was a whole new campus to explore, a whole new city! I don’t think there is a specific moment when your adjustment period ends, but at some point I stopped looking for the mountains and started to feel like Rochester and Nazareth were home. My friends and I established our own traditions for our college experience. Whether it’s the spring kickball tournament on campus, or birthday dinners at Plum Garden Hibachi in Pittsford Plaza, there are a number of things that make Naz feel like home.