Category Archives: Student Life

When the Summer Ending is Just the Beginning: "Coming Home" to Cornell

The last member of our Arts & Sciences Ambassadors E-board is Kasey Han ’18. After spending most of her summer conducting molecular and cellular neuroscience research at Stanford University, Kasey returned to campus early for training to be a Student Assistant on West Campus. It’s fitting that Kasey’s post closes out our September collection just after Homecoming Weekend here in Ithaca – her post strongly emphasizes how it feels to leave summer behind and “return home” to Cornell!

By: Kasey Han ’18, Recruitment Co-Coordinator

Niagara Falls

Here I am (second from left) with three other members of the Cook House staff on our annual trip to Niagara Falls!

Returning to campus this year, I felt like a kindergartener excited for their first day of school all over again. This August, I started a new position as a Student Assistant in West Campus’s Alice H. Cook House. Amid all of the prelims and problem sets looming just weeks away, I was thrilled to step foot back onto transiently sunny Ithacan soil.

Three weeks before classes began, I moved into my new dorm room. I strung up my twinkly lights and laid down my fuzzy rug. I plastered feel-good posters and important event flyers around the building. As an SA (another name for Resident Advisor) my goal this year is to make my residents feel as welcome and at home as possible.

Cook Community Engagement Course

House Professor Shorna Allred leads a discussion with Cook residents as a part of the Cook Community Engagement Course.

West Campus is a truly unique place to live, in that each of the five residence halls is a hub for both living and learning. Like the four Harry Potter houses, each student has a home base that emphasizes both intellectual and social engagement. Through a variety of programs, we connect our residents with professors and community leaders that work in fields of their interest, as well as with their neighbors to build community and a sense of “home.”

After an early August move-in, our training schedule was a whirlwind of fun. The first half consisted of staff bonding and Cook House missions. We rented out a massive house off campus and spent time discussing our vision for Cook House, strategizing how to engage residents in a living-learning community, and all around becoming better leaders. Once the sun set, we broke out the card games, challenging each other in Mafia and Taboo. By the end of our retreat, it was clear that we Cook House staff had formed our own family and that the rest of the year would only get better.

welcome back cake

When the West Campus Dining Halls opened back up, we got to enjoy this delicious “Welcome Back” cake!

The second half of training explored handling common and uncommon situations that may arise when you work in the same place that you live. We discussed everything from roommate conflicts and academic stress to bias, sexual assault, and mental health. While each day was necessarily emotionally and mentally heavy, I felt much better equipped by the end to look after my residents and assume a leadership position.

Regardless of what we study and how we spend our free time, every Cornellian is excited for the start of a new year. We may have reservations about leaving behind our easy summer routines, but the underlying emotion is always eager anticipation for what the next year at Cornell holds in store. I think this universality is because, no matter where we come from, coming back to Cornell means returning home.

West Campus

A view of West Campus from Libe Slope.

From One Hill to Another: How I Spent my Summer in Washington, D.C.

This week, junior Sam Cohen ’18 discusses how her sociology major at Cornell (on East Hill) inspired her to apply for a summer internship in Washington, D.C., (on Capitol Hill), and how that experience helped her discover a new appreciation for politics and government.

By Samantha Cohen ’18, Social Chair

Behind me, you can see the White House!

Behind me, you can see the White House!

Before this past summer, if you had asked my opinion on the latest Democratic vs. Republican squabble, I would try to change the subject of conversation as quickly as possible… or fake an excuse and run away. I had never paid much attention to politics – yes, I had registered to vote the week I turned 18, but that was about the extent of my relationship with the workings of our federal government.

Here I am (in the middle) with my George Washington University roommates in front of the Capitol Building!

Here I am (in the middle) with my George Washington University roommates in front of the Capitol Building!

This is why it initially seems a bit strange that I spent eight weeks this summer in Washington D.C. Whereas many of the other college students I met there were all government, political science, or international relations majors, there I was, a sociology major, the odd one out. It was actually my major, however, that drove me to the nation’s capital in the first place. Throughout my sociology classes, one underlying theme has arisen again and again: inequality. Hoping to explore issues of inequality outside of the classroom, I applied and was accepted to a six-week social justice program that places college students in non-profits throughout the D.C.-Metro area. On the first Monday of June, I woke up in a GW dorm and walked to the office of the National Council on Independent Living, a cross-disability advocacy organization, to start my first day as the policy intern.

This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in National Council on Independent Living's annual March & Rally!

This summer, I had the opportunity to participate in National Council on Independent Living’s annual March & Rally!

By the end of my first week, I had been to two coalition meetings, three meetings on the Hill, and had called the offices of all 435 representatives (who knew there were so many!?). What struck me most was how well I was beginning to understand what all this policy “stuff” was about. Sure, some of the legal jargon went right over my head, but every bill discussed in these hearings emerges from real people with real every-day problems. Nearly 20% of the American population has a disability of some kind, so most of us probably have a cousin, friend, aunt, or grandfather with some kind of disability; disability rights affect everyone. Politics was no longer this untouchable, scary concept I wasn’t experienced enough to understand or engage with. It was now about listening to the concerns of different groups of people and working to find a direct, comprehensive, and attainable response.

A view of the beautiful sunrise behind the Supreme Court Building.

A view of the beautiful sunrise behind the Supreme Court Building.

Fortunately, I was also able to spend lots of time outside of the office and explore many other cool parts of the city. DC’s streets are lined with endless treasures: the Smithsonian Museum, national monuments, food trucks, art galleries, Georgetown Cupcakes, etc. Almost all of the museums and national buildings offer free admission (music to any college student’s ears)! One of the coolest things I did was pull an all-nighter on the sidewalk outside of the Supreme Court to go inside at 7am and hear the Justices announce their final decisions on the last day of the session. I always knew I’d put my Cornell late-night studying skills to use!

6 weeks flew by and my program had come to an end. It was then that I decided I was not yet ready to leave this amazing city and decided to extend my internship for an extra two weeks. I felt that I still had so much more to learn, and I woke up every morning eager to see what was next. All in all, after 8 weeks, I was definitely excited to return to Cornell with a new awareness and appreciation for how our political organizations discuss local or national issues that affect so many of us. It’s safe to say I will no longer be running away the next time someone initiates a conversation topic I know little to nothing about; maybe this time, I will be the one asking the questions!

Checking Off #31 on the List of 161 Things to Do at Cornell: How I Spent my Summer in Ithaca

Welcome back! Here at the Arts & Sciences Ambassadors, we’re easing back into the swing of the fall semester. What with the warm weather and the long weekend, though, we can’t quite shake off the feel of the summer, and so we’ve chosen to devote our first blog posts to that very topic: what did we do this summer? Throughout September, we will be posting blogs written by the four members of our executive board. I start us off this month with a nostalgic look back at my summer spent here in Ithaca.

By: Emma Korolik ’17, Recruitment Co-Coordinator and Media Manager

When my friend Bridget (on the right) visited from home, I knew I had to take her birdwatching at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.

When my friend Bridget (on the right) visited from home, I knew I had to take her birdwatching at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.

This past summer, I went hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and running, explored an herb garden and went bird watching, attended free outdoor concerts, watched a meteor shower in the middle of the night, sang karaoke for the first time, finally figured out how to throw a Frisbee, took a summer class, started my honors thesis, and made new friends from across the country and around the world – all while (and mainly because of my position) serving as a resident advisor (RA) for college students staying at Cornell for the summer months like me. Anyone who has stayed a summer at Cornell is quick to tell their friends to do the same (it’s even on the official list of 161 Things to Do at Cornell), and now I’m doing my part by telling all of you!

Sarah Gaylord '18 and I pose in our kayak before paddling out to Cayuga Lake.

Sarah Gaylord (right, CALS ’18) and I pose in our kayak before paddling out to Cayuga Lake. Photo credits: Kim Anderson.

Ithaca is on full display in the summer –flowers are blooming, the local wildlife bravely explore campus, and this summer, a whole new species of college student – the Pokemon trainer – has stayed out all day (and sometimes all night!). For those of us less interested in catching a Pikachu on the Arts Quad, there are over 150 waterfalls within 10 square miles around Ithaca, and countless state parks that are open to the public for hiking and swimming during the warm summer months. For our retreat at the end of RA training in May, for example, the other RAs and I took advantage of the multitude of outdoor activities on offer around Ithaca and went kayaking on Cayuga Lake.

Serving as a resident advisor was both challenging and rewarding – and not just because I got to go kayaking for free! As Summer Sessions RAs, my coworkers and I served as peer advisors, mediators, rules enforcers, friends, and community builders in Flora Rose House and Hans Bethe House on West Campus from June through mid-August. While for most students, the residence halls served as a place to relax, Rose and Bethe Houses were our places of work; our bedrooms could double as an office at any time of day or night. Yet, being an RA was also a blast – I was able to meet so many new people, especially through our scheduled series of programs, which were specifically designed to foster that sense of community.

(L to R) Sarah Gaylord '18, Alyssa Elezye '17, and I pose with homemade props during our "Harry Potter" party on July 31st.

(L to R) Sarah Gaylord (CALS ’18), Alyssa Elezye (CALS ’17), and I pose with homemade props during our “Harry Potter” party on July 31st. Photo credits: Catherine Wei (CALS ’18).

Some of the programs we created this summer were more passive, like watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony and celebrating J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthday with a Harry Potter party and movie screening, but some were more active – like running a 5K through the Cornell Plantations, hiking and swimming in Buttermilk Falls State Park, and whitewater rafting in Watertown, NY, on the Black River.

Arguably the best boat to float down the Black River - I'm at the top, second from the left!

Arguably the best boat to float down the Black River – I’m at the top, second from the left!

Not only did these programs foster community just among the residents, however; by supporting the other RAs and attending their programs, I gained a new set of friends myself. Because RAs are asked to do and be so much for their residents, it makes sense that the people I worked with were all incredibly caring, intelligent, and interesting individuals. Yet, I didn’t expect to find a group so willing to binge watch Netflix’s Stranger Things during a thunderstorm, try power lifting at the gym, introduce me to salsa dancing at Agava, sing “Alexander Hamilton” at karaoke, play ridiculous games of Quelf (look it up!), or eat endless amounts of Indian food at Mehak. I’m lucky to have had the time to explore Ithaca this summer, but I feel even luckier to have found such a phenomenal group of people with which to share those experiences. It may sound cheesy, but even though my job as an RA is now over, I know the friendships I’ve made will remain strong long after the weather inevitably turns cold.

The whole Summer Sessions team after an intense night of karaoke!

The whole Summer Sessions team after an intense night of karaoke! Photo credits: Emily Schnier.

Approaching Alumna-Hood

We’ve made it to May! As seniors approach graduation and underclassmen look forward to summer break, we at the Ambassadors blog have decided to focus on “Looking Forward.” Senior Samantha Briggs starts off the month with a post about her experience deciding on her next step: Columbia Law School.

By: Samantha Briggs ’16

Me on my first day at Cornell!

Me on my first day at Cornell!

I think I speak for the majority (if not the entirety) of the Class of 2016 when I say: you will not believe how quickly four years fly by. On the one hand, it feels like many millennia ago that I was moving into Clara Dickson Hall on North Campus as an incoming freshman, and on the other hand, it feels like I hardly blinked and am suddenly preparing to graduate. Although I am sad to leave this wonderful and beautiful place, I am incredibly excited for all that is coming next. For me, that is being a part of Columbia Law School’s Class of 2019.

I snapped this shot of Manhattan from Columbia's campus, which will be my new home for the next three years.

I snapped this shot of Manhattan from Columbia’s campus, which will be my new home for the next three years.

The process of deciding to apply to law school, applying to law school, and enrolling in a law school can be challenging, and at times, downright confusing. I could not be more thankful for the endless help and support I received throughout the process from Cornell’s academic advisors and my professors. The College of Arts & Science has several academic advising deans for undergraduates, including those who specialize in pre-graduate program advising. For example, Dean Heather Struck specializes in pre-law advising. My first appointment with Dean Struck was in the spring semester of my junior year, when I had decided that I was going to apply to law school, but I wasn’t sure if I would take a gap year. Then, over the summer between my junior and senior year, when I was studying to take my LSAT (the law school admissions test) and beginning to prepare my application, I corresponded with Dean Struck over email. This year, I have been a frequent flyer in Dean Struck’s office. She has provided me with invaluable advice on a bevy of different topics, from writing my personal statement to making sense of my admissions offers, to applying for financial aid. There is no manual for applying to law school (no matter what might be on the shelves at Barnes and Noble), but I never found a question to which Dean Struck did not have an answer.

My dream workplace: the Supreme Court building.

My dream workplace: the Supreme Court building.

Throughout this entire process, I knew my professors were rooting for me. Whether it was writing a letter of recommendation for my application, allowing me to miss class or providing assignment extensions to accommodate interviews, or just providing reassurance, my professors have been a constant source of support.

Just thinking about my upcoming graduation fills me with nostalgia, but I know I’ll keep coming back up to Ithaca long after I leave. Law school is the next step toward achieving my dreams of working for the federal government and ultimately, hopefully, for the Supreme Court, and I have Cornell to thank for helping me start on that path.

 

Spotlight on the Summer: Opportunities to Work around Ithaca

Being a student here definitely has its perks – one of the reasons that students choose to attend Cornell is the wealth of opportunities available to us during the school year, during school breaks, and even after we graduate! In our last April post here at the blog, junior Julia Montejo discusses the variety of ways in which she was able to give back to Cornell and the surrounding community through her multiple jobs last summer.

By: Julia Montejo ’17

When I first arrived on campus, I constantly heard about how amazing the summer in Ithaca was. I decided to give it a try last summer, but it came with a huge change of pace: working instead of studying! As a dedicated student with many extracurricular commitments, I love to keep busy. To fill my summer days, I worked at two summer camps, one part time job, and a volunteer position. They were staggered throughout the summer, and made for one of the best summers I’ve ever had.

11856527_1214113771947906_7066314112626275157_oIn June, after visiting in Florida for a month, I came back to Ithaca to begin my job at the Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Office. As a student employee, I spent my mornings setting up, speaking at, and breaking down information sessions for prospective students. I loved meeting the admissions officers and other staff while interacting with students from around the world. Because Cornell visits are really popular during the summer, we had sessions with more than 750 visitors. It was so exciting to be able to share my Cornell experience with so many people. I also became an expert restaurant and campus eatery recommender! I loved being able to suggest places to eat both on and off campus to visiting families.

During June, I also continued my volunteering commitment at Finger Lakes Juvenile Residential Center, a detention center for young men in Ithaca’s next-door town, Lansing. I worked as a volunteer debate coach and helped young men develop their advocacy and public speaking skills.

Some friends and I pose in front of Cascadilla Falls.

Some friends and I pose in front of Cascadilla Falls.

During early July, I worked at the Ithaca Shakespeare Company’s Kids’ Shakespeare Summer Camp. As an actor and passionate student of literature, I had a great time great time working with children for a week, developing their acting skills while teaching about Shakespeare. We prepared all the kids to perform at the Ithaca Shakespeare Festival, where they did a short compilation of texts incorporating many Shakespearean works. It was an amazing experience to meet families throughout Ithaca and to share my passion for acting with younger children.

11793374_10207437398919006_279559027_nAt the conclusion of the summer, during the first week of August, I worked as a camp counselor for the Cornell International Summer Debate Camp. To say that it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had during my time as a Cornell student would be an understatement. I was both a residence hall mentor and a teaching assistant for the camp, where I worked with debating experts to develop teaching modules and created fun activities to do in the evenings with the students. Students from all over the world, including China, Canada, the UAE, and Mexico, came to camp, in addition to students from across the United States.

I learned so much from my students and I was able to help them grow as well. I loved being able to share the most important activity from my upbringing as a high school student, debate, with students from around the world.

Jobs and internships are a huge part of the college experience, and mine have been made possible by living in the wonderful City of Ithaca and by being a Cornell student. Once summer came to a close, I was able to continue volunteering at Finger Lakes Residential Center, and I’m still a student employee at the admissions office. I’m so fortunate to be able to continue engaging in what I love during my time as a student and during the summers.

Arts and Sciences Advising Deans: A "Ray" of Sunshine

It’s finally spring here in Ithaca and that means that admitted students are coming from far and wide to visit Cornell’s campus for Cornell Days! Some of the most popular events during Cornell Days are the info sessions, which are hosted by Advising Deans and Ambassadors for the College of Arts & Sciences. Sophomore Sydney Mann explains how her experience sitting in on Advising Dean Ray Kim’s info session in the spring of her senior year of high school kicked off a surprising series of events. Enjoy (and, if you happen to read this and then sit in on an info session, don’t be afraid to come say hi!).

By: Sydney Mann ’18

Far above Cayuga’s waters lives Cornell: a university with a student population of 21,850 students, about 55 times the size of my high school. The small setting of my high school allowed me to create strong bonds with both my administration and faculty; such ties cultivated a strong community.

Advising Dean Ray Kim and I take a selfie in Klarman Hall.

Advising Dean Ray Kim and I take a selfie in Klarman Hall.

My biggest fear before applying to Cornell was that I wouldn’t find those relationships I was able to generate in high school. I was afraid that I would be a tiny fish lost in the large sea of Cayuga’s waters.

During Cornell Days, as a pre-frosh, I sat in on Advising Dean Ray Kim’s information session. Easily one of the most engaging info sessions I had attended thus far in my grueling college process, Kim described not only his role in reviewing students’ applications, but also his experiences as an Academic Advisor. It was refreshing to see a man of such importance so involved in students’ lives. He exuded passion, as it was clear he cared about his students’ wellbeing at Cornell both socially and academically. From what I understood, he developed friendships with his advisees.

I began working as a Cornell Arts and Sciences Ambassador during the second semester of my freshman year. I was determined to engage with Cornell in a more personal way; I wanted to demonstrate to prospective students just how much of a community Cornell is. I remember my first ambassador’s experience vividly: I worked during Cornell Days as an ambassador with none other than Ray Kim. I was star-struck; I had the luxury of accompanying a figure that was so influential in my decision to attend Cornell. Before the session had started, he introduced himself to me as “Ray.” Before I said my name, he said, “Sydney, right?” I nodded my head, assuming he had just read my bio beforehand. Staring me in the face for a brief moment, he asked, “You’re from New Jersey, yes? You attended Newark Academy.” My jaw fell slack. I was speechless. He reached out his hand and said, “Hi Sydney. I admitted you into Cornell.”

Klarman Hall atrium: the Admissions and Academic Advising Center where Dean Ray Kim's office is located is just off to the left.

Klarman Hall atrium: the Admissions and Academic Advising Center where Dean Ray Kim’s office is located is just off to the left.

Throughout the entire information session, I finally understood what the previous ambassadors had talked about: a bonded community. Honestly, I felt as though a celebrity knew who I was. I had always thought that I was just a nameless face amongst so many talented, well-rounded students. In that moment, Mr. Kim proved to me that Cornell’s administration knows about every student they accept. The encounter still reminds me every day that I am in a setting that wants me to thrive.

Far above Cayuga’s waters lives more than just the institution of Cornell. Far above Cayuga’s waters lives a community where students are taught to excel and challenge themselves, where I can confidently say that I’ve found a home. Cornell has given me so much more than a liberal arts education. It has given me a network of wonderful individuals, bonds that I will have for the rest of my life. Thank you, Ray Kim – thank you for being living proof that Cornell truly cares about every student in every study.

Spotlight on Peanut Butter: Why I Chose Cornell

By: Emma Bryan ’19

Nastie

Allison Wild ’19 and I pose in Bear Necessities, the convenience store on North Campus that conveniently sells Cornell peanut butter!

As I near the end of my first year at Cornell, I can’t help but reflect on why it was that I decided to come here in the first place. Why, as a senior in high school, did I decide to spend the next four years of my life in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere? Why would I subject myself to an atmosphere where I was not guaranteed success? Why was I leaving my parents and my beloved dogs in northeastern Ohio and traipsing to an area with which I was completely unfamiliar? Honestly, the answer to all of these questions is simple: Cornell peanut butter.

During the fall of my senior year, I came to visit campus with minimal expectations of what I would find. I had obviously done research, but little did I know that Cornell has the best peanut butter ever. When I arrived on campus, my host for the evening greeted me with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that had been stolen from the dining hall, and from the moment that sandwich entered my mouth, I knew that Cornell was the place for me.

Peanut butter

My reaction when the dining hall momentarily runs out of peanut butter

The texture of the peanut butter was literal perfection, and in that instant, I knew that this could not be a one-time thing. Yes, Ithaca in the fall is beautiful: I went on a field trip to Taughannock Falls and spent half of the time with my mouth agape in shock at how striking this place is. Yes, Cornell has amazing academics and a seemingly unlimited number of fascinating courses taught by world-class professors as well as endless support networks for students, but I can honestly say that I chose this place for the peanut butter.

Cornell University: A Home Away From Home

We’ve made it to April! While it’s currently snowing here in Ithaca, we’re sure spring is just around the corner, as is National College Decision Day (on May 1st). For those students who are struggling to decide between Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences and other institutions (or those high school students wishing that they will be in this position a year or two from now), we here at the Ambassadors blog have decided to showcase the reasons why our Ambassadors decided to join the Big Red. Sophomore Dylan Van Duyne starts us off with a post about how he was excited by Cornell’s location and its stellar academics. Check out other relevant blog posts and outside sources by clicking on the blue hyperlinks!

By: Dylan Van Duyne ’18

April: a month defined by April Fool’s Day, Tax Day, Earth Day, lots of rain showers, and, of course, the college decision process. For some of you, this will be the month that you choose Cornell University as your home for your next four years. As May 1st nears and you approach decision day, know that choosing Cornell was the greatest decision of my life. Personally, I chose Cornell because of the location, the academics, and the welcoming community.

Clocktower view

The view of Cayuga Lake and the Arts Quad from the top of McGraw Clocktower.

One of the largest appeals of Cornell is undoubtedly the location: Ithaca has been ranked the #2 college town in the United States by the American Institute of Economic Research, and there’s a rumor that we’ve got more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the United States. I grew up outside Philadelphia, so I wanted to go to a school that wasn’t too close to home but wasn’t too far away either. Cornell is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive away from home (and a four-hour bus ride from New York City!), which was perfect for me.

Watkins Glen

One of the many waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park

In addition to being a Cornell student, though, I’m also lucky to be a resident of Ithaca, one of most exciting places to live with an unlimited amount of things to do. There are so many amazing places to eat, and there are numerous events held throughout the year, such as Apple Fest and Chili Fest, that bring huge crowds to the downtown Ithaca Commons. Ithaca is also home to countless gorges and several state parks, providing endless possibilities for outdoor adventures (check out my blog post from October about how “Ithaca is Gorges!”). Buttermilk Falls State Park, Robert Treman State Park, and Taughannock Falls State Park are just a few of the local favorites. I recently traveled to Watkins Glen, a park with a 2.4-mile gorge trail that winds over and under the spray of waterfalls

Sunset

A Cornell sunset over Libe Slope

Climbing 161 steps up the iconic 173 foot McGraw Clocktower will give any student a breathtaking view overlooking all of Ithaca, spanning out across the 37.9 mile Cayuga Lake. Right off of Cayuga Lake, one of New York’s many Finger lakes, is the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, a quaint little getaway on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, just one of the may outdoor wonders that Ithaca has to offer. Ithaca also has some of the most astounding sunsets you will ever see, and a walk back from the library at night will leave you awestruck at cotton candy skies

Farmers Market

Nicholas Karavolias ’18, Rana Suleiman ’17, and I enjoy the Ithaca Farmers Market.

In addition to the amazing location, Cornell University is truly an institution for “any person, any study.” I came into Cornell as a prospective Biology and Spanish double major, but my only true certainty from an academic standpoint was that I wanted to be a doctor. However, halfway through my freshman year I decided I didn’t want to be a Biology major anymore, and in the beginning of my sophomore year I declared my Spanish major. In addition to my Spanish major, I am now pursuing minors in Global Health and Psychology. One of the greatest assets of the College of Arts and Sciences is that you don’t have to declare your major right away – you have two years to decide what you would like to major in. My message to prospective students is this: don’t panic if you don’t know exactly what you want to do or who you want to be. Within the College of Arts and Sciences, you will enjoy a holistic undergraduate education, enjoying distribution requirements that allow you to become a more well-rounded intellectual. With this comes the opportunity to explore and find your academic passion. I’m certain that within the College of Arts and Sciences you will take a class, whether it be through your Freshman Writing Seminar or through a language requirement or through a historical breadth requirement, that will end up teaching you a lot about yourself as a student and a growing intellectual.

Fencing tournament support

Toti Lee-Shapiro ’18, Jack Jones ’18, and I support Julia Telischi ’18 and her teammates at her fencing tournament.

Thinking back on my senior year of high school, I know I made the right decision in picking Cornell; here, the motto “any person, any study” is in fact a reality, and within the College of Arts and Sciences in specific, I found a welcoming home.

And as a final side note – if you’re worried about “fitting in” at Cornell, please use my freshman experience as an example. The friends I made when I first arrived at Cornell’s campus are still some of my closest friends today (and are pictured in the final picture). Choose Big Red, and I’m sure it will be one of the best decisions of your life!

Working at Libe Cafe: A Video Blog

As we close out March, check out this video blog from Jendayi Brooks-Flemister ’18, a student worker at Amit Bhatia Libe Cafe in Olin Library. If you get the chance to visit our Ithaca campus as the weather turns warm, definitely check out Libe Cafe and its many great drink and snack offerings!

My Job at the Office of Campus Life

By: Solveig van der Vegt ’18

I got my job at the Office of Campus Life through an email that was sent out to Balch Hall residents last year. There are many places to get jobs around campus, but this one particularly interested me because it was in the building that I already lived in. I applied and luckily got the job and it has been fantastic ever since! I work not only with fellow students but also with people from outside the university. It is refreshing now and then to talk to people who look at Cornell in a different way and who have a broader perspective on the local community.

office photo

Check out the office!

The job I have is very relaxed and fun. We have a small office in South Balch Hall where we greet visitors and direct people who come to the building for meetings. Besides that, I pick up the phone and either answer people’s questions or if I cannot, I transfer them to a department that can. I also assist other offices in Balch with administrative tasks like filing if necessary. When the office isn’t busy, I’m allowed to do my homework while I am on my shift, which is really nice. I like this job a lot because it allows me to interact with a broad range of people – students, parents, and Cornell staff. The people I work with genuinely care about me and I about them, so it is a wonderful community to be a part of. One of my colleagues sometimes buys me or the other student workers a cookie if we have the final shift of the day, which is always a great surprise and a good note to end the day on!

Overall, my job on campus has given me a different positive perspective on the Cornell community. I enjoy going to work and the money I earn is a good source of income to use to go out to dinner with friends or go to events on campus or even just to treat myself now and then.