They say home is where the heart is and that absence makes the heart grow fonder. This could not be any truer for the place I consider home: Rochester, NY. Each time I find myself missing it, such warm memories and feelings are stirred that my heart aches a little. My very first thought connected to Rochester is of my red-shingled, brick house with four, small, white columns, and a ton of bushes and plants in the front yard. Then I walk into the back door, yelling, “HEY MOM!” and she cheerfully responds, “OH, you’re home!”. And then we stand in the kitchen talking, as I rummage through the fridge for a snack. This is a small moment, but profoundly imprinted in me. Actually, there are a plethora of little moments like this that emulate my love for Rocha-cha (as locals call it). Often times I imagine walking along the Spencerport canal path; I dream of eating Abbott’s frozen custard (chocolate almond flavored, of course); and I relish in the idea of seeing family and friends at the numerous festivals the city hosts. While I have spent a lot of time away from Rochester in the last five years, due to school and work, I think this played a major role in deepening my appreciation for this city. Every time I go back, I discover something or someone new! It’s the people who have helped shaped my experience of this place and in turn makes me proud and appreciative to have grown up in Rochester. Undoubtedly, there are negative characteristics, as with many places. I understand Rochester is not home for everyone, but it’s home to me. My hope is to return within the next five years to contribute to improving Rochester, both socially and environmentally.