Why Cornell? Ambassador Nick Answers

This week, Ambassador Nick explains how he made the decision to attend Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

By Nick Smith ’20, Economics major

I didn’t exactly grow up dreaming of attending Cornell. In fact, I hadn’t even applied until mid-December of my senior year of high school. Being from Orlando, Florida, I always assumed I’d stay in-state for college. After all, just about all the adults in my family had studied at either the University of Florida or the University of Central Florida and I’d been going to Gator football games since before I could stand.

Despite that, in trying to put myself out there a little more during the application process, I’d ended up applying all over the place and was lucky enough to get into a number of schools up and down the east coast. Cornell was my last college tour, and it was squeezed it in right under the wire, with just about a week until the May 1 deadline for me to make my decision.

And as it turned out, I wouldn’t need that week. This is gonna sound cliché, but the shoe just fit. On our couple days touring around campus, it seemed as if the guides had somehow heard all of my qualms with other universities and made sure to point out what Cornell did better. Everything seemed perfect.

Here is a photo of me on my Cornell tour!

Though, if I’m honest, I was nervous about leaving home. I’d never been this far from my parents before, even for a short time, so to move two flights away seemed really scary. However, almost three years later, I couldn’t be happier.

I knew things would be different here – and they have been! I’ve met people from every corner of the globe and seen myself grow academically and extracurricularly in ways I could’ve never imagined. Knowing ahead of time that I could keep up a couple things I’d done in high school at Cornell was reassuring.

Before I flew up to Ithaca for my tour, I’d reached out to both an editor from the The Cornell Daily Sun (the student newspaper for which I’m an Arts columnist) and the President of the lacrosse team (for which I’m traveling around New York playing games for the third season), both of whom took time out of their days to meet with me. I’d been involved with my own high school’s newspaper and lacrosse team and being able to keep both of those activities going at Cornell really excited me.

On top of all of that, this place is just beautiful! And even though the 70-degree weather we saw in late April isn’t always what you get, I’m a second-semester junior now and I still haven’t gotten tired of the cold—I even learned to snowboard last year. Plain and simple, Cornell has offered me so much more than I could’ve gotten anywhere else in the world and looking back at it, I can’t imagine having made any other college decision.