The second semester is now over and it has almost been a year since I came to Cornell University last summer. A lot has happened, so I felt like sharing some random thoughts I have about my experiences so far. Afterwards, I was surprised how much I could write about Cornell; I could have written a long post on every one of my random thoughts. Read on if you dare, I warn you it is very long.
- There is a whole aspect of college that I still know almost nothing about: the party scene. I really should have gone to at least one party and seen what it is all about, but after personally having seen some of the after effects I am frightened to.
- If you have a hobby or interest it is well worth the effort to find a club or organization that shares your interest. Cornell is huge and has hundreds of active student groups that are eagerly recruiting new members. Towards the end of High School I got interested in anime (you should too; it is awesome) but I felt somewhat alone because I had few people I could talk to about it. I am grateful that Cornell has an active anime club (CJAS).
- Just because a textbook is listed as required doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Ask around to see if it is actually useful for the course. Also check online to see if there are any better deals. The Cornell Store textbook buyback at the end of semesters is pretty good (if they are accepting the particular books you have) and they will even accept your books if you didn’t buy them at the Cornell Store. This makes it possible to actually make money from your textbooks if you got them somewhere else for very cheap!
- Many people racially segregate themselves unnecessarily. I understand that it is comfortable and enjoyable to be around people from similar backgrounds, but when I see a table of thirty people, all of the same race no exceptions, I seriously question Cornell’s diversity.
- Weather in Ithaca is fun! Being -20° one day and 70° the next keeps things interesting and at least gives you something to talk about. My favorite is when I can see snow become rain and vice verse multiple times before my very eyes.
- I strongly recommend trying out strange classes in different fields even if you are not very good at them, you might find something that you really enjoy. Cornell is huge and has tons of interesting classes in many different fields. I like to know at least the basics of most everything.
- Again, Cornell is huge. I already have been here for a good amount of time and I still know so little. There are literally thousands of good places to study or hangout and I haven’t even been in half of the buildings on campus even once! There is so much I have yet to discover.
- The major I am aiming for, Applied and Engineering Physics (A&EP), looks excellent and perfect for me. As for what to do after undergraduate, I really don’t know. At least I know what I want to major in, which puts me in a much better position than some people.
- All the people I have met work very hard, at least when it is important grade-wise. I have met a lot of people who work because they truly are interested in what they are learning and enjoy it, but this unfortunately seems to be the minority. For some other students I wonder why they are even here; they hate their classes, they don’t bother to go to lectures and only seem interested in partying. They are only after Cornell’s good reputation, which sure is nice, but I don’t see that as a good single reason to go to Cornell.
- As for do I like it at Cornell? How does it compare to other Colleges? I honestly can’t say. I have never lived at another college so I can’t compare it to others. I suppose Cornell’s greatest attribute is that it is large enough for anyone to find lots of great friends and fun things to do; of course this is only possible if they look hard enough.
- Any regrets? There are many decisions and actions that I have regretted in the past year. Most were caused by my laziness and lack of outgoingness. Overall I think I have conducted myself well and have grown, if only a little, as a person. Most everyday at Cornell for me has been packed full of new and exciting experiences. I have learned a tremendous amount about academics, life in general, and myself.
So how can I possibly survive summer now that I will be away from Cornell? Simple, I can’t, so I am staying for summer classes yay! This is by far my longest post ever, I don’t think I rambled, but I’m sorry if I did.