Cornell University Top Questions

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

K

The people I've met here have been the most well-rounded, happy, grounded, friendly people I have ever met. Yes, Cornell is a tough school... but isn't that why people want to go here, so they can get a top-notch education? I can guarantee that if you come here, you'll be earning your degree, but it's not like there's anything wrong with that. There's also the Hotelie stereotype, that people in the Hotel school never study, or that people going to Cornell are all going to the Hotel school. The Hotel school is pretty awesome looking, quite honestly. They may not seem to study quite as much as the rest of us, but hey, we don't have to make beds in the Statler. And there's also the idea of the crazy Engineers. Engineers are very, very smart, and they have a lot of work, but they're by no means antisocial. The majority of my friends are in the engineering school and they're some of the funniest kids I will probably ever meet in my entire life. I think it's somewhere around 30% of people who are involved in Greek life... Cornell isn't a crazy fratty Greek campus, but it's definitely a major part of the partying social life. But it's not like you can easily point out who's a frat boy, who's a sorority girl, who's this or that. Cornell's campus seems pretty stereotype-free once you're in it.

Olivia

The stereotypes vary and depend on the separate schools within the university. Architects are crazy, creative, and sleep-deprived hipsters who work long, long nights for their degree. Engineers are similar in their work ethic, are all Asian, end up making a lot of money, and have no social skills. Kids in AEM (undergrad business) are all about networking, striking it rich, and banking, and they care little about academics. Those in ILR and the Hotel Administration school have the least work, so they party a lot and end up getting weird jobs, for the most part, after they graduate. CALS kids love animals, agriculture, and nature. Arts and Sciences kids are varied, but they usually end up in academia, politics, business, or some random job because they got a Philosophy or English degree. Human Ecology students are either die-hard premeds who are constantly stressed out or people who generally like biological sciences, nutrition, etc. A general stereotype for the entire student body is that we're smart, motivated, and ambitious. I would say that generally the stereotypes are based in truth, but you should never look into them too much or really consider them when you make your college decision. Cornell is a HUGE school, which means the diversity is there to ensure that everyone finds similar people to them. It has so many different colleges within the university that it really doesn't matter what the stereotypes are; the fact that there are so MANY different stereotypes is great. You'll find interesting people just like you, guaranteed. It is also pretty obvious that Cornell is a very fratty school whose social scene is dominated by Greek life. However, each frat and sorority has its own unique stereotype, events, and traditions, so don't be afraid to rush if you'd like to feel part of a community. There are a ton of professional fraternities focused on networking if weekly beer pong and hazing are not your thing. I didn't rush for a social sorority, but I'm very interested in rushing my sophomore year for a co-ed honors or engineering frat, which throws just as many fun (and classier) parties as the typical frat.

Junsuk

I'm not aware of any stereotypes that people have about students at Cornell University. But if there is, it can't be true because the population is extremely diverse. Granted, stereotypes about certain majors might exist -- engineering majors are nerdy while AEM (applied economics and management) students are chill -- but certainly stereotypes about the students at Cornell in general is unfounded.

Rachel

cornell is one of the most beautiful places in the world and there are a million things to do on campus. ithaca is an amazing town with INCREDIBLE food (more restaurants per capita than NYC). the dining halls on campusare amazing. i am in a sorority and its pretty down to earth. people dont realize that i'm smart when they first meet me, so when i tell them that i go to cornell, they are always surprised. i love the reaction. i love spending time in Mann library (CALS library) and running outside. my favorite building is sage chapel. there is a TON of school pride. AEM was just named the fourth undergrad business program in the country. we have one of the best ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, and basketball teams in the country. people are always wearing cornell gear. there is a ton of work here. i couldnt imagine going anywhere else.

Claire

From the outside, I would say our school is stereotypically very competitive. But in terms of the specific student body, there isn't one accurate stereotype. One of the wonderful things about Cornell, is that it is truly a university where anyone can find their niche. Whether this means you want to be a frat star, hang out with the farmers, or be into the art scene--everyone has their home at Cornell. Not to mention you literally study anything here!

Eve

The great thing about Cornell is that our student population is so diverse, setting a stereotype for undergraduate or graduate students is next to impossible. You're likely to be able to meet someone from every background here, and people who have passions for things you've never even heard of before. About 30% of our students are involved in Greek life, but the frat scene doesn't dominate campus. We have athletes, concert pianists, and animal enthusiasts, theater majors, scuba divers, and squirrel lovers (really -- there's a Squirrel Club. I know the President). There are countless groups and organizations available to undergraduates at Cornell, and it's extremely difficult to sum up Cornell students as a whole. The one thing that connects us all, however, is an active interest in whatever it is we study. Cornell students are notorious for hitting the books.

Josselyn

I had a hard time choosing Cornell because I thought that although my academic career was very important, my social life would be inexistent. I always thought of Cornell students as being very nerdy and geeky prior to coming here. To my surprise however, Cornell is extremely diverse and you can find all different types of people here. Everyone is very social and outgoing but also down to earth and intelligent. I guess thats what I like most about Cornell, everyone can find their perfect fit here.

Jordan

Because Ithaca is relatively an isolated campus, many outside of Cornell community think that a large number of students here at Cornell are involved in fraternities and sororities. But that is not the case. Yes, Cornell does boast a vibrant Greek community, but we are also involved in numerous other activities as well. Many of us take advantage of various research opportunities as well as club activities to spend our time outside of class. "Everyone is from Long Island." That is another common stereotype of Cornell students. I won't deny that many students are from Long Island but that doesn't mean students from other parts of the United States are not studying here. I'm from California, and many of my friends are also out-of-state students (Washington, Virginia, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Texas, etc.).

Jordan

Because Ithaca is relatively an isolated campus, many outside of Cornell community think that a large number of students here at Cornell are involved in fraternities and sororities. But that is not the case. Yes, Cornell does boast a vibrant Greek community, but we are also involved in numerous other activities as well. Many of us take advantage of various research opportunities as well as club activities to spend our time outside of class. "Everyone is from Long Island." That is another common stereotype of Cornell students. I won't deny that many students are from Long Island but that doesn't mean students from other parts of the United States are not studying here. I'm from California, and many of my friends are also out-of-state students (Washington, Virginia, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Texas, etc.).

Jessica

Cornell is known for having a large Greek population, and with 33% of students being in a fraternity or sorority, it is easy to see where this stereotype arose. The truth is, the school has a big enough undergraduate population that anyone can find their own niche. You don't need to be in the Greek system to feel a sense of belonging; you just have to make an effort to get to know people once you set foot on the campus.

L

I guess Cornell would be stereotyped as geeky, but with such a big school, there are many different types of people. There are the jocks, frat kids, art kids, kids who spend all the time in the library, and kids who never go to class.

Jessica

Well, my school was voted #1 douchiest school in America by GQ, so I guess most people here are stereotyped as douchebags. I personally don't think this stereotype is accurate. Cornell has some of the nicest people you will ever meet! Most people are generally chill and laid back. Yes, you will find the douche-y jocks and frat boys, but for the most part, the people on campus are genuinely nice and not arrogant at all.

Jill

There are definitely a few stereotypes at Cornell. The largest is probably that Cornell students are all huge nerds who only study and never go out. This is simply not true. Although Cornell is a challenging school, everyone I know is able to find some time throughout the week to have fun and put their school work aside. Since Greek life is huge at Cornell (about a third of Cornell students are Greek) there are also a lot of misconceptions about Fraternities and Sororities, especially since Freshmen can't rush until second semester. What's most important to know about Greek life is that there is a place for everyone. There are 12 panhellenic sororities, 35 ifc fraternities, and several other multicultural, community service, and career field (pre-law, business, etc.) fraternities and sororities.

Alex

Some people continue to believe that the student population stressed out, overworked, and likely to jump off a bridge at any moment. I am here to tell you that this cannot be further from the truth. As an engineer (the hardest college at Cornell) I can assure you that people are fun, friendly, and are not cutthroat in their studying. Yes, Cornell is a hard school, but you are going to an Ivy league institution, and you cannot expect anything less. A good part of the population is from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but there are all 50 states and plenty of other countries represented here. Cornell is large, and that makes the student body very diverse. You will find the people who want to sit in and study every weekend, but you will also find plenty of people who want to have a good time, and are fun, sociable, and not solely focused on school.

Maya

A big stereotype of Cornell students is that we are all BIG nerds! I must say that this is not completely true. Even though our nerd percentage is pretty high, Cornell students tend to be extremely diverse in regards to social standing, interests, and personality. Even though there are many computer geeks and science fanatics here, there are also really artsy people, extreme jocks/athletes, goof balls, preps, frat bros, activists, social justice advocates. You name it! Cornell has it! This place is so big, and extremely diverse as a result of its size.

Maya

I big stereotype of Cornell students is that we are all BIG nerds! I must say that this is not completely true. Even though our nerd percentage is pretty high, Cornell students tend to be extremely diverse in regards to social standing, interests, and personality. Even though there are many computer geeks and science fanatics here, there are also really artsy people, extreme jocks/athletes, goof balls, preps, frat bros, activists, social justice advocates. You name it! Cornell has it! This place is so big, and extremely diverse as a result of its size.

Lois

One of the stereotypes is that the students have no life. They say that students are always studying and rarely have any fun. This is not true at all! I have found that there are plenty of opportunities to go out and have fun. It is up to you to make sure you don't stay locked up in your dorm room!

Amanda

The stereotype of Cornellians is that we are the stupidest of the Ivy Leaguers. In reality, there are many different types of people at Cornell who have varying interests and varying skill sets. I, for one, got out after taking only one math class while many of my friends were in engineering majors delighting in the subject I have the least amount of affinity for.

David

At this point I have seen so many different type of Cornelians that it's difficult to think of a stereotype. As I was matriculating into Cornell, I thought that I would be in the library all day and be the biggest nerd. So I would say Cornell has a nerdy stereotype. Is that accurate? No! At Cornell there is an unbelievable diversity of students, not only geographically but in personality and interests. In a large student body who come from so many different backgrounds, everyone can find their niche at Cornell.

Monet

Some people stereotype the students here to be a bunch of depressed nerds. This is definitely not true. Like other great schools, the students here are very smart, but they also can be really cool. We go to the library and work hard, but we also make sure to play hard. People here are down-to-earth, and definitely not stuck up. We also aren't depressed or suicidal. The city of Ithaca may not be the most exciting, and the weather can be a downer some days, but that's often what brings us all closer. We're kind of like a family here. And the happy child comes out in all of us when a nice sunny day comes. Despite any negative stereotypes circulating, we really appreciate the beauty and opportunities that come with our school.

Nicole

Since Cornell is an Ivy-League School students may be thought to be studying all the time, but this is not necessarily true. While there is a lot of work and lots of studying, there are also many campus events and other social activities for fun. Although I am not into it, greek life is much bigger here than I thought. Sometimes people call Cornell "the easiest Ivy" but I do not think this is true. The other saying is that "it is the easiest to get into, but the hardest to get out of" mostly because the academics are challenging at times, so I think (but am biased) to say that it is not the easiest Ivy.

Yoonsoo

As soon as people hear Cornell, the general question seems to be, "have you been to the bridge that students jump off of to commit suicide?" Basically, the stereotype of the students at Cornell is that students here tend to get suicidal because of the intense environment. In actuality, during my four years as an undergraduate at Cornell, I studied, partied with, and lived with other Cornellians that balanced a rigorous stressful academic workload and a typical college social experience as well. Sure, there is pressure and sure, there are moments when you feel that you may crack. But these are hard-working students with a strong work ethic who are backed by supporting faculty and family-like environment. After all, being in the boonies does force you to create closer ties with those around you and you will rarely feel that you are alone. The best thing is knowing that others around you are sharing a similar experience.

K

Okay, let me get this out of the way right off the bat -- no, students at Cornell are NOT all suicidal, depressed people looking for a way out! The people I've met here have been the most well-rounded, happy, grounded, friendly people I have ever met. Yes, Cornell is a tough school... but isn't that why people want to go here, so they can get a top-notch education? I can guarantee that if you come here, you'll be earning your degree, but it's not like there's anything wrong with that. There's also the Hotelie stereotype, that people in the Hotel school never study, or that people going to Cornell are all going to the Hotel school. The Hotel school is pretty awesome looking, quite honestly. They may not seem to study quite as much as the rest of us, but hey, we don't have to make beds in the Statler. And there's also the idea of the crazy Engineers. Engineers are very, very smart, and they have a lot of work, but they're by no means antisocial. The majority of my friends are in the engineering school and they're some of the funniest kids I will probably ever meet in my entire life. I think it's somewhere around 30% of people who are involved in Greek life... Cornell isn't a crazy fratty Greek campus, but it's definitely a major part of the partying social life. But it's not like you can easily point out who's a frat boy, who's a sorority girl, who's this or that. Cornell's campus seems pretty stereotype-free once you're in it.

Bryce

I don't find there are many stereotypes that fit with Cornell. It's motto "any person...any study" really seems to apply to its student body which is incredibly diverse. A few people are wealthy, may be considered "nerdy," or fall somewhat into one category or another, but the huge diversity in economic status, race, and topics of study makes Cornell unique to many other schools.

Shannon

People think Cornell students jump into gorges and are smart but shallow greeks. This is not true. Our suicide rate is at the national average. Greeks at our school are Cornell students first, they have depth of interest and are smart as well. Greeks only represent 1/3 of the student body. Though they are a large social force on campus there are many other options to party and socialize.

Sam

Cornell is a veryyy fratty/Greek life-oriented school. This is a fact of which I was only somewhat aware upon starting at Cornell, but became aware of extremely quickly during my first week here. While a majority of students are not involved in Greek life, Cornell has one of the highest percentages of students in Greek life of any school in the country, and Frat parties are a huge part of the social scene, especially for freshmen and sophomores. For more info on Cornell's rep, see the following link: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/humor/201108/douchiest-colleges-america-2011#slide=10 Having visited many other colleges, both before attending college and since beginning Cornell, I do not actually believe Cornell is the "douchiest." But the reputation isn't entirely undeserved either.

Ben

According to this site: http://www.gq.com/entertainment/humor/201108/douchiest-colleges-america-2011#slide=10 Cornell ranked as the douchiest college in America. However, I think this is completely false. An excellent rebuttal can be found here: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-07-20/lifestyle/30003002_1_cornell-gq-hotel-school Due to size of the university I don't think there is any one general stereotype that can describe students here. Sure there are plenty douches, jocks, frat boys, sorority girls, but there just as many geeks, nature lovers, hippies, and plain hardworkers. With such a broad range of majors and interests there are people of all sorts. Everyone can find their own niche.

K

Okay, let me get this out of the way right off the bat -- no, students at Cornell are NOT all suicidal, depressed people looking for a way out! The people I've met here have been the most well-rounded, happy, grounded, friendly people I have ever met. Yes, Cornell is a tough school... but isn't that why people want to go here, so they can get a top-notch education? I can guarantee that if you come here, you'll be earning your degree, but it's not like there's anything wrong with that. There's also the Hotelie stereotype, that people in the Hotel school never study, or that people going to Cornell are all going to the Hotel school. The Hotel school is pretty awesome looking, quite honestly. They may not seem to study quite as much as the rest of us, but hey, we don't have to make beds in the Statler. And there's also the idea of the crazy Engineers. Engineers are very, very smart, and they have a lot of work, but they're by no means antisocial. The majority of my friends are in the engineering school and they're some of the funniest kids I will probably ever meet in my entire life. I think it's somewhere around 30% of people who are involved in Greek life... Cornell isn't a crazy fratty Greek campus, but it's definitely a major part of the partying social life. But it's not like you can easily point out who's a frat boy, who's a sorority girl, who's this or that. Cornell's campus seems pretty stereotype-free once you're in it, quite honestly.

robert

The Cornell Student is highly variable in the nature of their academic or extracurricular pursuits. But, from the party animal frat boy to the forever in the studio architect, all Cornell students put their all into everything they do. The general stereotype would be that all Cornell students are busy. Everyone manages to get so immersed in the wealth of diverse clubs on campus that, coupled with their academic interests, manages to fill up the majority of their free time. This doesn't mean we are all workaholics though, it implies that when we aren't doing school work or helping out with our other activities we are out in Collegetown partying three nights a week (maybe less if you're an architect or engineer). That being said, it is very easy to not get involved in the party atmosphere if that's not your thing, with the over 700 clubs and student organizations theirs something for everyone. And when the university manages to bring Kid Cudi, Phoenix, C-Lo Green K'naan,MIA, Nelly, Jon Stewart, Keith Olberman, Carl Rove, and even Billy Joel in a single Calendar year there is always something not alcohol related to do on the weekends. Lastly Cornell hockey fans are the most brutal in the world, the crowd at Lynah rink on a Friday or Saturday night truly shows the Cornell student as a whole, Excited, Proud, and just a little bit tired.

Chyanne

Cornell is big, not quite Ann Arbor big, but big enough to have a range of stereotypes. From an outsiders perspective, Cornell, like most all the Ivies looks pretentious, full of privileged snobs who wear a lot of Patagonia and Burberry. There are those people, they may be legacies, and their parents may be google-able but as my mother said upon our first family college visit to Cornell, it's the "Common Man's" Ivy. Go to Princeton and the surrounding town drips money. You can't even go into a library without a student ID. In contrast, Cornell is surrounding by gorges, cows, and incredibly quirky Ithaca. Once you get to Cornell you realize that most stereotypes are tied to the seven undergraduates colleges. According to the stereotypes, CALS (the College of Agriculture and Life Science) is full of animal sci majors who don't shower, Architecture students all wear black by senior year to reflect the depressing amount of work they do, ILRies (Industrial and Labor Relations students) like me, are all headed to law school, and the Engineers are so overwhelmed they never leave their rooms. Stereotypes tend to have a little nugget of truth, but I'm not going to law school and my best friend in Mechanical Engineering parties harder than any hotelie (School of Hotel Administration student) I know.

Bryce

I don't find there are many stereotypes that fit with Cornell. It's motto "any person...any study" really seems to apply to its student body which is incredibly diverse. A few people may be considered "nerdy" or fall somewhat into one category or another, but the huge diversity in economic status, race, and topics of study makes Cornell unique to many other schools.

Bryce

I don't find there are many stereotypes that fit with Cornell. It's motto "any person...any study" carries to its student body which is one of the most diverse there is. A few people may be considered "nerdy" or fall somewhat into one category or another, but the huge diversity in economic status, race, and topics of study makes Cornell unique to many other schools.

Zac

Probably that it's really stressful and hard. But I would not say that most Cornellians are stressed out. It depends completely on your major, and how much you like to stress over things. Some people do almost no work at all and do fine, while others spend all their time in the library. Most people get their work done and then go have fun.

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