Ithaca is gorges. This phrase is something that I heard all the time and saw plastered on everything my first year at Ithaca College. I guess I could say I agree with that statement, but I have only been to a few of the famous gorges here. Venturing off campus can be a slight hassle without a car. While there is the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) or a friend with a car, it makes me very dependent on others, which is not always my favorite thing. Typically when I go out with friends, we take weekend trips to the Ithaca Farmers Market, the movies, Walmart, Target or down to The Commons. When we venture to The Commons, it is typically for food and drinks.
Before turning 21, I would go to The Commons for popular events like The Apple Harvest Festival, Chowder Cook–off, Chili Cook-off, and a fallen favorite, Wizarding Weekend. A recent off-campus find that has become one of my new favorite places is the Indian Creek Farm. I went there on an apple and peach picking trip with Hillel at Ithaca College. Easier ways to get involved with the community are joining clubs and organizations that take trips and work within the community. Groups on campus help organize community cleanups by Cayuga Lake, among many other beautiful natural landscapes in Ithaca. Hillel has been particularly helpful in getting me off-campus. Some of the events I have attended with the group have included ice skating, apple picking, jewelry making, boat cruises, and dinners.
Most of the times that I have gone exploring the area have been when my parents come to visit. We always try to do something familiar and something new. My sister enjoys looking for antique and thrift shops while my mom always loves to visit the Farmers Market. Typically, dad just becomes the chauffeur, but he does love going to Texas Roadhouse or Luna’s on The Commons.
Going into my senior year, I made myself a small Ithaca bucket list. My first year here mainly was spent getting to know the area and the college itself. The COVID-19 pandemic dictated my sophomore and junior year, so I could not attend the college in person, and when we were back in Spring 2021, everything was minimal. So for my last semester on campus, I wanted to do typical Ithaca tourist activities. I went to Moonies, Taughannock Falls, Ithaca Falls and Collegetown. I also went on a boat on Cayuga Lake and went to some Cornell hockey games. I also frequently interact with the college community at sporting events. I am either present as a photographer for The Ithacan or my work with the communications department in the Ithaca College Athletic Department. Overall, my interactions on and off-campus are something I would not trade and will miss dearly while studying abroad in London for my last semester of college.