Don’t miss out on Buffalo: Broaden your horizons

Speaking from experience, it is easy to get lost in the mountain of homework assignments during the semester and never make it off campus to explore. While good grades are an important aspect of the college experience, and some may say interpersonal relationships are nearly equal in importance, a stifled sense of adventure can be crippling.

I come from Boston, N.Y., and my first semester at Buffalo State was my first time being in that part of Buffalo, besides a few elementary school field trips to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. I was 22 and, for whatever reason, ignorant of the area surrounding the campus. It wasn’t until a friend of mine urged me to “go on an adventure,” which I did down Elmwood toward Sheridan.

After seeing many exciting looking storefronts and medical offices, we discovered a small Asian grocery filled to the brim with lots of exciting snacks and treasures. For the rest of that academic year, we went to T&T Asian grocery with an almost religious devotion, and we lunched on the hippest of discount cookies and dried squid with content.

The point of that story is that it is easy to get stuck in a college rut where all you do is go to class, the dining hall, the library, to bed, and then repeat. Every new student ought to find his or her niche. It may not include an obscure market of imported lunch items, but finding a solid haunt where you can blow off some steam alone or with friends is imperative to stress management.

One thing that I’ve noticed that’s pretty cool is a lot of professors encourage attendance at offsite events for an assignment or extra credit. This is a great opportunity to raise your grade, make some friends and experience something that may be new to you.

For example, my introductory theater class professor made it mandatory to attend an off-campus play. This assignment led me to the New Phoenix Theater in downtown Buffalo, and spurred my interest in Buffalo’s live theater beat.

If leaving campus is too difficult — which by all means it should not be — there are plenty of great places on campus to let off some steam.

My personal favorite is the accessible part of the library roof. It’s a great place to read in the sun, have coffee with a friend, or take a quick breather from all of your hard work. It’s close proximity to a Starbucks satellite makes it a prime choice for those who like to linger with a hot beverage.

The avenues by which students can explore the Buffalo State area and beyond are nearly endless.

Every Buffalo State student is allowed a bus pass for the academic year, which is an easy way to get up and down Elmwood. Also, the use of a bike to get from point A to B is great for those who live on campus without a car.

And there is nothing wrong with mooching and befriending someone with a car if you don’t have one. Do whatever gets you to the zoo on your three-hour break between classes, or to the Irish Classical Theater for a weekend show.

So, after you’ve gotten your work done, or when you want to take a break, throw your fist toward the sky, yell, “Adventure!” and find something cool to do with your newfound friends.

Andrew Manzella can be reached by email at [email protected]