Cornell University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Erin

The advice I would give my former self is to not be afraid to challenge myself. Do not be afraid to get to know new people, because they are all so amazing and come form places and have done things you have not even dreamt of yet. Remember not to be afraid to present your work, you deserve to be here, and your contributions will help your peers as well as the underclassmen who will look up to you. Don't let work control your life, but understand that working hard will earn you respect for yourself and what you do. Be open to being put out of your comfort-zone, it's where magic really happens and where you will always surprise yourself. Finally, stay warm! Ithaca can be cold, buy good books.

Jenna

Dear Jenna, If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to think very carefully about what you want. It may feel easy to choose Chemical Engineering because you did well in Chemistry, or Disney Imagineering so you can work at Disney, but there is more to a career than that. Think about what you enjoy doing. What projects have you loved working on? What type of work do you use to procrastinate from doing less interesting work? Those are the clues that you should start paying attention to. Don’t be afraid if it’s not engineering. Passion is what drives success, not industry. When you do figure out what it is you want to do, use this to make informed decisions. While choosing your college, research the courses offered. Do you have the opportunity to learn what you want to learn? If you apply to the Disney College Program, look into what the roles actually entail, and think about what will be most valuable for your future. Finally, don’t obsess over being "the golden child", make friends and keep them, and have some fun. You’ll do great. Love, Jenna

Alex

Relax. Alex, 10 AP classes was enough, you've done enough and you've more than earned your place at a world renown collegiate institution. The poverty, and long weeks of hunger and struggle are over now. You don't have to carry the weight of feeling that you are not equal to those around you anymore. You can move on. Surely as you prepare for your undergraduate years and pursue your premedical future, these things will permanently be a part of who you are, but they do not have to dictate the person that you are meant to become. Remember to keep moving forward, and in times of doubt, think about all of those times you saw yourself through the darkness, the assault, the near death experiences, and 9-11 calls. Cornell is going to be tough. It's going to be tough. I know you are a fearless boy, but a huge part of your success will come in learning how to put your trust in others. You're not invincible, and you can't handle it alone. Everyone needs a support network, so don't be so quick to turn friends away. I'm rooting for you.

Abri

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, knowing what I know now about college life and making the transition, the advice I would give myself would be to focus, organize my life before it’s too late and my grades and mental stability suffer the consequences, and to not feel wrong for loving two guys but picking neither and choosing yourself. I would say I needed to focus more on what works for me and not what is said to have worked for others. As far as organization goes. It is very important for me to have an organized life and understand where I am going with that life and this year I didn’t so I would make a point of telling myself to get organized. Lastly, as far as the love life goes, “Abri, do not feel wrong for loving two people or for choosing yourself. In the end you make the right decision and get closer to God thanks to such loves. So relax girl.”

Adora

The word "irrelevant" is the sole word that comes to mind when I think back to high school. After spending four years in high school with the same people (possibly 12, if you include kindergarten), one starts to feel as if your classmates are the only people that matter. It was when I went to college that I noted that my classmates were irrelevant to my future success. Their opinions, thoughts and feelings about me had zero bearing how the decisions I was going to make in college. If I could go back to high school, I wouldn't care what people thought about me. I wouldn't let the petty drama impact me. However, I would've been free. I would've been more comfortable with my body, my seuxality, my race and my friends. I'm home for Christmas break after my first semester at college and all I can say is I want to see my friends, the ones that supported me. All the rest are irrelevant.

robyn

The only thing that keeps youfrom getting what you want is the story you tell myself, the story that keeps you in the grips of resistance that reminds you why your desires cannot happen. I know that a person’s thoughts can literally change his or her biochemistry. Sometimes not getting what you want helps someone else. Life is about what you become, not necessarily about getting what you want. Success depends on how you define it. Success depends on you. What you are looking for is meaning; success without meaning is worthless. The best solution to gaining purpose is to develop an intention that motivates you to act in your best interest. Pursue an idea that changes your life. Look back at your experiences and answer the question: what made you happiest? What gave you a sense of fun, a sense of freedom, a sense of purpose? How can you use your skills for a purpose greater than yourself? When you are able to answer these questions and fill the role you were made to do, you will not feel a need to fill yourself with external things and you will make your dreams reality.

Shaun

If I could go back in time and give myself advice I would tell myself to stay strong. I would let myself know that the experience that I am going to face is going to be the toughest yet most rewarding experience of my life. Every now and then when things start to seem to get to impossible to complete, I would tell myself to take a step back and breathe. In that moment I would want myself to think about all the hard work and dedication that has brought me to my dream school persuing my dream job. Even though it may seem bad now, it will all pay off in the end and all I need to do is keep my head up high and stay on the correct path. I would let myself know that I have what it takes to make my dream come true.

Taylor

Let me begin by saying that you are lucky to have made the mistakes that you did in high school rather than in college. You learned that having a new boyfriend is nice, but it's not as good of an investment in your future as cuddling in bed with your biology textbook. You learned how to handle failure, and how the stinging pain of academic regret can linger for months under your skin. You learned that your friends will wait for you, but your teachers and professors shouldn't have to. These mistakes cost you rejection into many of the competitive colleges you applied to, but I am encouraging you to gain the confidence to dominate your freshman year in college and apply again to your dream schools. I am telling you that failure is never fatal and that missing the mark in high school can either cause you to wither in sadness or propel you to exceed all expectations. Please take my advice. Never did I once think that I would be a pre-med at an Ivy League school after failing high school biology. But I'm here now. You can do it.

Ellen

"I don't know anyone." That was the first thought running through my head as I first stepped onto campus last summer. At first, I was hesitant to approach others, and ate meals by myself for a month during first semester. I skyped friends every night, instead of making new friends. One night, my friend asked me why I was alwayas skyping instead of hanging out with my new friends. When I realized the reason was because I hadn't made any new friends yet, I became determined to make a niche in the enormous community that is Cornell. After the conversation, I tried to talk to everyone around me, the bassoon player in orchestra, or the girl who sat next to me in chemistry. I realized that I was the only one who didn't have friends yet, many people were just as shy as I was. Slowly, I made my own group of friends at Cornell, and my nightly skype calls lessened to once a week. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to be afraid, that no matter what it looks like, everyone is afraid to take the first step.

Jon

“Jonathan, stop stressing about what you want to major in and go outside,” I said to my younger, 12th grade self as he frantically researched different careers and their salaries.“Are you my long lost evil twin?” he inquired, briefly looking up from his clunky desktop computer.“No. I am you… from the future,” I replied in my most enigmatic tone, “You need to hear my message!”“The future? It looks like you haven’t aged at all. That’s great!” he said with a smile, and invited me downstairs to the kitchen for some chocolate milk- our favorite.My message to my younger self was about the importance of going into college with an open mind. It is not essential- and nearly impossible- to know definitively at age 17 what career he is best suited for. College is the perfect environment for self-discovery, cultivating one’s strengths, and developing new interests. Pointing to a college course catalogue, I highlighted the diversity of available offerings and encouraged him to take as many as possible. “Just go in as undecided,” I said, “Your calling will eventually find you.”Fortunately, he listened and we graduated with a degree in statistics.

Naa Shidaa

Take a break! Relax a little. You'll make it. Don;t put too much stress on yourself because at the end of the day, this is just one of the many faces in life. In the future, when you look back, you will not remember the hours you studied all night, but rather the times you spent with your friends and the valuable moments you share. Don;t miss out on your youth, because whatever it is, you will 'grow'. Better later than now... enjoy the journey and smell the flowers whiles you are at it.

Paul

When going to college, it is very easy to become very focused on a future career, so much so that many of the activities one pursues are done solely to reach this goal of a better future. While this relentlessly forward thinking will undoubtedly be beneficial in some ways with regards to a career, I have found that the most successful college experiences are accomplished by students who take the time to pursue their own passions. It took me a few years before I realized this myself, finally participating in extracurriculars that aligned with my interests, such as music, instead of ones that I did for my resume, such as being a leader in a club. In doing so, I began to develop and shape characteristics pertaining to the kind of person I am instead of the kind of professional I thought I should be. And somewhat ironically, this allowed me to perform at interviews much better since I was able to talk about my activities with much more enthusiasm. I would emphasize to my high school senior self that while technical skills are important, they should not come at the expense of the passions that drive me.

Anna

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I think I would have a number of things to say.

Marisa

Those horrible words made my stomach sink and ache; I would always ask myself, "What is wrong with me? Why do I deserve to be treated so horribly?" Day after day in high school I would be tormented by my classmates. I always enjoyed reading, doing well in class and volunteering in the community. I was ridiculed for not wearing make-up, "cool" clothing, and trying "too hard." I was torn apart for every aspect of my life while in high school. But, when I was accepted into Cornell University, I was ecstatic. I was eager to start fresh and make new friends. I am now a junior and have learned so much and grown a lot as a person. With what I know now, I would give myself the following advice: learn as much as you can, while you can. While I was bullied, I lost interest in school so I would not be targeted as much-- you can lose your job, house, car or even rights, but no one can take away your brain power. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world," -Nelson Mandela.

Darron

I would tell myself to make sure I research my university and to not just choose my college based on it's prestige.

Rasheedat

Choose a college based on which one will allow you to achieve your goals; name isn't everything.

Emily

Things will turn out better than you think so stop thinking it's the end of the world. You won't do as well as you wanted to in your first semester of college but that's ok! The first semester of college is all about adjusting to a new environment and a new way of learning. Besides, you'll be surprised how well you did compared to some other people you know. But that's not the point. My point being is that you are not alone. You may think that for a while, but there is someone always there for you. I know that you're probably going to hate the world that you live in a not want to do anything other than regret living for a while after Taylor dies suddenly, but she is in a better place. she is not suffering and she is in good hands. So here's my advice to you: Just do the best you can and don't compare yourself to what others have done but focus on what you can do for yourself and your future. Don't lose hope. Don't ever forget who you are. Hookem' Longhorns!

shrina

College is all about being preparded for whatever comes your way and sometimes the things you are faced with are not what you expected. This time around i would try to be alittle less plan oriented. I always had a plan, and there was nothing wrong with that but my plan did not take into consideration the bumps that might come along and throw things alittle off track. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer my plan to go to temple university and live on my own and become a pharamcist was alittle sidetracked. I decided to attend community college so i could be home take care of her ,while i went to school fulltime and worked part time at a pharmacy so i could still keep some sort of connection with my goal to become a pharmacist. This sudden change of events was harder for me to cope with because i was not preparded for it. Now that things at home have settled down i am ready to fulfill my dream and make my parents proud, only this time i am ready for whatever comes my way.

Alyssa

Alyssa, there will be a night in college in which your "friend" leaves you alone and steals your purse. DO NOT follow the boy who says you can use his phone. Even though this experience changes your life and your chosen coursework, I can just tell you right now, you should take classes involving sex, race, and public policy- you find out when you're 22 that you have the ability to advocate for women, children, and at-risk populations through the non-profit sector. I will also say, don't forget the power of direct service, theory can only get you so far. Also, don't take that Mandarin class, you will get a B-, it will ruin your GPA, and you will never use it!

Sophia

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game". This is the message I would tell my anxious and confused self before I headed off to college. Though this quote is a variation of a quote from the great Babe Ruth, I remember it from the cheesy movie of my pre-teens," A Cinderella Story". The main thing I would want myself to take from it is to encourage myself to try new things, and to not be intimidated by anyone or anything. This applies especially to other students and teachers, because though I did not at first realize it, the other students were just as bewildered by this experience as I was, and these teachers were very much there to help me, I just had to have the guts to take advantage of it. And though I remember this quote from a fluffy Disney movie, that doesn't undermine the message or make it any less meaningful or applicable to my college experience. It would be a good pick-me-up, and a reminder that college can be a very rewarding experience, but only if you take advantage of it.

Jordan

Winter here... can get really tough here so make sure you are ready to handle the freezing weather! Oh, dining halls at Cornell are excellent compared to some of the colleges I have visited. So... watch out what you eat and how much you eat... because some of my friends have gained 20+ pounds during their freshman year!

Marissa

Pick the school that you know you'd be happiest at.

Maria

College is a place of success, where many students find themselves as who they really want to be in life. College life is just how you personaly want to take it, how you were taught, by acting on it.

Jamal

Take the time during freshman year to get to known as many people as possible. The more people you know and talk to, the better it will be during your later years. Join as many extracurricuar sports and groups as possible to get to know others. Take your school work seriously, but also take the time to relax and do something fun every week. Strees relief is very important.

Nicolas

I would tell myself to embrace the social life on campus rather than avoiding it. I spent a large part of my time during orientation in my room minding my own business when I should have been out making connections. Cornell has an extremely social campus and in order to fully take advantage of the opportunities here I need to engage and interact with other students. I would warn myself that isolation from the world only makes an individual depressed. I moved over a thousand miles away to attend a school where I did not know a single person. Keeping myself isolated made the transition almost unbearable. There were many nights when I considered suicide because of how depressed I was. I now realize this all stemmed from my lack of sociability in my first weeks. Had I gone to more events during orientation I likely would have made friends quicker and avoided the struggle of transition. That would be the main piece of advice to give my past self. I would encourage myself to be open-minded about other people and to pursue friendships rather than hiding away from the world.

Jordan

Don't take things too seriously. There is no such thing as an A+ life. It's much more about working towards a goal, completing that goal, then creating another. If you are lucky enough, you'll leave a legacy that others will follow and admire, but sometimes that's all there is to it, luck. Also, do things without always know where they'll get you. When in doubt, the answer is almost always yes. At the very least you will learn a valuable lesson. You are never to old to try something new; never too young to conquer something big. Sometimes you will succeed, sometimes you'll get kicked in the butt, but you will always end up with new opportunities ahead of you.

Cayley

Don't worry! Everything will work out as long as you keep an open mind. There are so many different types of people you meet at school and so many new opportunities, that you will just have a great time. Try as many new things as possible during the first few weeks, so you can make an informed decision on which of the great stuff you should continue with.

Isabella

Community college is a great way to save money, but if you want to transfer to a private university, you are going to have to save a lot. So, find wahtever ways you can to raise and save money. It's college, not a vacation.

Jungduk

Freshman year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to redefine who you are, break out of an identity you feel you no longer fit, or discover a part of yourself you never knew existed. Don't be worried by what others might think of you and sieze this opportunity to figure out who you are and who you want to be. It will give clarity and direction to your life. Also, take whatever classes you find interesting. Don't be worried about whether you are wasting time toward graduating in 4 years, or whether your dream job seems unattainable, doesn't pay well, or might take you in an unknown direction. Just find something you are truly passionate about and stay true to it.

Janette

You will be very happy with your decision to go to Cornell University. The transition to move out of state will be difficult, but you can always count on finding support from your new friends and professors. The new students you meet will be eager to become your friends, especially since they are just as scared as you are. And the professors will be understanding about any struggles you have in their course and will be completely available to offer you their help. The best advice I can give you is to not be afraid to take chances, especially the chance to go to Cornell. Another important piece of advice is to take advantage of what you have learned at home. Your family's advice on managing finances, their cooking lessons, and everything they've taught you about boys will come in handy when you live by yourself.

Bridget

I would advise myself to just apply to where I wanted and apply to the major I wanted and yet also to get a backup plan--either a double major or something to support myself on while I pursued my career in acting.

Jasmyn

I would tell myself not to compromise who I am for others. Being in college for the first time, it can be easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle. If I could go back, I would tell myself to stick to my guns and my values. I would also tell myself not to procrastinate and to go to the gym.

Marissa

The most surprising yet insightful advice I ever received did not come from a mentor or CEO or celebrity; it came from a fortune cookie: “You must do the things you think you cannot do - Eleanor Roosevelt.” Although I am a self-proclaimed “foodie” and restaurant fanatic, the meal was forgettable; the quotation, however, has stuck with me. I continuously push myself to do the impossible, step outside of my comfort zone, and study topics I know nothing about. I am not satisfied doing something that I do not know thoroughly and comprehensively. This desire has infused me with unique qualities and enabled me to grow into a savvy business leader and dedicated team player, which I strive to put into practice every day. Therefore, if I could go back in time and give myself a piece of advice, it would be to continue working hard and striving to be the very best I can be. I am incredibly proud of what I have been able to accomplish in my 26 years so far, and I can say without a doubt that it was all worth it. Looking back on my high school and college career, I have no regrets.

Jerry

I've learned to see things from a different perspective. I think the most important thing college has done is broaden my worldview. The sheer diversity of the students forces you to consider things from different angles, but consider concerns that you alone may not have thought of. College is a gathering place for ideas and I think those ideas are valuable in and of themselves. That's what I've gotten out of my college experience.

Leah

Moving from Shanghai China to Ithaca New York was not an easy transition. The skyline of buildings disappear and are replaced with rolling farms and trees. In my single at Clara Dickson, I ached for the familiarity of home. However, just one short semester at school has changed everything. I have recognized the importance of finding passion and independence. For me, this came in the form of art and poetry. It was not in class but in the solitary hours that I spent before the rest of my dorm woke up, drawing in my sketchpad that I found art; it was in the infamous "Freshman Writing Seminar" that I found the beauty of poetic discourse. A window of inspiration opens when you open yourself to knowledge. To live deliberately, to live with a purpose, and to live with passion is what secondary education is beginning to mean to me. The value of university lies not in what career your passion will lead you to, but in the joy you feel when you exercise that passion. In just four short months, the most valuable lesson I have learned is self discovery.

Christine

Though I have not completed my entire experience at college, I have already gained so much. I am a resident advisor, a peer, counselor, and on the executive board of two organizations. My experience is something that I do not think I would have experience anywhere else but Cornell. I have grown as a person and have began to discover who I am.

danielle

I am able to make friends along the way and still have time togo to class. the college that i go to is 5 minutes away from my house so it is very convient for me to go to school. i love the college lifestyle and i get to experience different culutres and different people and i am able to be myself

Caitlin

I have gained a new self-confidence in my experience at Cornell. After failing my first exam of the first semester, I had no confidence and was ready to quit. No longer living with my parents, it was hard for me to encourage myself that other students were in the same situation; I was used to having my parents to console with whenever I was stressed. However, as I continued onto my next exam, I realized that the reason that I had not succeeded in my first exam was my nervous attitude, not my lack of understanding of the material. By motivating myself and encouraging myself to be confident, I was able to achieve a higher, passing grade on my next test. Therefore, I am proud to say that in my college experience so far, I have not only become more confident in my own potential but realized that the motivation and ability to succeed lies within me; If I want to do well, all that I need is a positive attitude.

Stephanie

My college experience has truly changed my life. I entered college fearful of what awaited me, both academically and socially. I had never been that far away from home and it proved to be the most amazing learning opportunity. When I entered college, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to major in and what I was truly interested in. Through my course selection, I realized my passion lied in international relations and humanitarianism, which has greatly influenced the area of law that I want to pursue. In addition, I have found some of my best friends in my three and half years at school, people I know I will be close with years after we leave college. Their disctinct views and opinions have opened my eyes to the world around me and help me become a much more open and enlightened individual. Their desire to succeed and acquire knowledge has also pushed me to succeed and learn as much as I can in life. I am extremely grateful for my college experience and I would not change a single thing.

Renee

My college experience not only awarded me a degree, a necessity today, it also is a place where I made great relationships, learned a lot about myself, and gained hands-on experiences in areas I was interested in. Within my time at Cornell, I not only met people who traveled from Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Sweden, England, and Australia to attend. I also met people of all religions and backgrounds. By participating in a multitude of different cultural events, I now have a broadened point of view of what the world contains - the diverse experiences and points of view that exist. College was the platform at which all of these relationships were built. Additionally, I went to school very unsure of the end goal but while I was there I gained a tremendous amount of interests and enlightment. For example, after taking my first education course at Cornell, education became something I am deeply intrigued in. This unpredictable interest is currently leading the way for my future and I am working to gain an Education Law degree. The one course, a college experience filled with quality hands-on opportunities and resources, sparked this interest that will help me make an impact.

Amanda

At Cornell, I have tried a large variety of activities on campus that have allowed me many different views of college life here. Immediately, I became involved in the Women’s Rugby team as a way to feed my love for sports and meet people. A month into school, I decided to switch to the Nordic cross-country ski team – tackling was definitely not my forte. I have continued to be involved with this team as it promotes both extreme athleticism and casual team bonding reminiscent of high school sports. I also became involved with Cornell Concert Commission, Habitat for Humanity and the Cornell Swing Dance within the first few weeks of school. I believe my involvement with such a wide range of activities gives me a good perspective of what extra-curricular activities Cornell has to offer. Though I did not last long on the Rugby team, it gave me an initial feel for Cornell sports and now allows me insight into how many of the club teams are run here; my involvement has also provided me a better awareness of the Cornell community in general and has allowed me to shape my Cornell experience into something muti-dimensional.

ivan

Going to college is a whole different life experience. I have gained so many new friends and I have had five times as many cherished memories then my time in high school. College really forces you to work hard and prepare for life in the real-world. I am able to pursue all of my academic interests here because of the vast amount of resources that only colleges are able to offer. The knowledge and experiences I am gaining in college are things that have shaped my life and will continue to affect my life in a positive way.

Jiali

Studying in College is nothing like studying in high school. Everthing you learned here is related to the real life, why, what and how it is applied in a daily situation. You learn to truely understand the relationship between different terms in your textbook and how they altogether form the beautiful world we live in. Once you see the connection, you will soon discover that, amazingly, one idea links to the other. At the end, the seemingly unrelated courses that you are studying are in fact, linked and connected to each other. My perspective of the world and the way I think have changed ever since I went to college. I learn to view the world, the society and humanity from different aspects. I learned to think in the big picture first, observe the society and nature as a whole system. I am like a child trying to solve a complex and huge puzzle. Attending college makes me realize that everything I have learned and will learn gives me a part of the picture; they are connected in certain way such that once I figure our the correct pattern, I will be able to understand the universe we live in.

Jasmine

Without a doubt, Cornell University is a prestigious institution. My experience thus far has been beyond valuable because it has greatly increased my self-worth. I am most grateful for the opportunity to study Engineering at an Ivy League university. I finally see my years of hard work paying off. In addition to academic stress, however, I face other challenges in being a first generation, hispanic, female student. My parents struggle to make ends meet, and this burdens me tremendously. Finding suffient funds for my education is not easy, and for this very reason I greatly value my experience at Cornell. My mind was set on making my experience worth every dollar of tuition because I understand how hard my parents work.

Phaedra

From my college experience I have learned from a handful of the smartest people in the world. I have interacted with future will-be-renowned scientists, business women/men, anthropologists, and individuals. My education is teaching me to understand the inner workings of the world around me; scientifically, mathematically, financially, business-wise, even psychologically and phylosophically. I want to use my major to become the president and CEO of an organization whose sole mission is to irradiate a specific disorder, disease, disaster,or problem. My major is the optimal catalyst to my make my aspirations a reality. Because my school offers so many clubs and organizations, I am involved in five philanthropic organizations/clubs. This fall I even co-founded my own club, S.A.V.E. (Students Against Violence and abusE). I am constantly working to stop the spread of prejudice and disease. I fundraise to educate about specific disabilities, to prevent stereotyping, I help fundraise for cardiac care, for the prevention of malaria, and for the awareness and prevention of child abuse. I am also involved in spreading diversity in women in engineering. My school has provided me with endless intellectual and unique academic, internship, and extracurricular activities.

Dajahi

Although I am only a freshman entering my second semester, my experiences at Cornell have been meaningful and rewarding already. As an involved American Indian student on campus, I was able to attend the 2010 National AISES Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to attending this conference in November, the furthest west I had traveled was Ohio. Seeing and experiencing the southwest was an experience that I will never forget. In terms of academics, I've had the privilege of being taught by professors at the forefront of their fields already, including Professor Peter Katzenstein for Introduction to International Relations in the Government department. Professor Katzenstein is regarded as one of the foremost scholars of international political economy in the world. I also took Introduction to Cognitive Science, where I gained in-depth exposure to the idea of using computers as a model for the human mind and brain. The classes can be difficult, but I enjoy the intellectual challenge immensely. It has been valuable to attend college because the approach to education is different than what students experience in high school. The intensity of learning is levels above what it was in high school.

Hongyu

Meeting and living close together, always hanging out with a group of close friends. Being independent from family and having to manage my own time and responsibilities while having fun. Learning from professors, although some of them are pretty bad at teaching but seem to know their stuff anyways.

Khullat

Moreso than a mere theoretical education, from my experience at Cornell University I have gained a sense of the dynamic social world we live in. My on campus experiences outside the classroom were in some ways more instructive than my studies. Working with various student organizations on campus events and campaigns, organizing students around passionate causes, and rallying departments and high profile faculty to support these causes became a central focus of my university experience. I had the opportunity to serve on the boards of several campus organizations, and dealt with issues ranging from natural resource usage to civil rights and religion. My four years at Cornell have taught me how to fund raise thousands of dollars in emergency situations, how to motivate other students to work for important social causes, and most importantly – how to deal with students with diametrically opposing views to my own. Because all of these skills can be translated and applied in the “real” world outside of college, I firmly believe that Cornell has equipped me with the life skills necessary to become a leader today.

Marissa

Cornell University is my own personal Disney Land - It is MY happiest place on earth. I find it impossible to spend one day there not smiling and enjoying every single minute. The most important thing that I have so far received from Cornell is the feeling of finally finding a place that fits me. I found my niche of hard working students who understand the desire to succeed, while at the same time realize that it is important to persue your interests outside of the academic enviornment. Cornell has given me the opportunity to experience new activities like participating in research, while still allowing me to keep up my work ethic and enjoy the activities, like swimming, that I have participated in my entire life. The faculty is constantly willing to go above and beyond to answer any questions that may arise in my studies, and even encourages me to persue my academic interests. The other students at Cornell are similar to me in my personality, but different enough that I have been able to become friends with people I had never even dreamed! I have never in my life felt so happy in one place. I love Cornell University!

Katherine

So far, college has taught me not only the factual information that I pay professors to teach me, but also how to learn and how to interact with people that I've never before been acquainted. Going away to college is a buffer of sorts, a buffer between life lived under your parents house and life lived without the help of anyone. In terms of investment, an education is probably the best investment to invest in. A college education provides substantial increases in quality of life not only in the life of a student, but also in lives across the nation. When many students attend university, a competitive atmosphere is created. Because of society's value of success, each and every student will work hard to be successful, which in turn will create a successful community, city, state, and nation. College isn't just where one learns to write, but where a person learns to live. Life of a college student will be vastly more rigorous, more competitive, perhaps even more valued to society than a life of a high school or college drop out. I would say that life is more worth living if you graduate from college.

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