It’s amazing how quickly one word can affect your life. For freshman and transfer students, the prospect of coming to Cornell is almost overwhelming. But often so much of our energy is put into paying tuition, deciding where to live, picking a roommate, and finishing the New Student Checklist that we never stop to think about the reality of what student life will be like on the slope. With so much happening around us that we need to adjust to, it’s not uncommon to feel lost.
If you’re feeling this way, don’t stress. Finding your place at Cornell isn’t as scary as you think. Cornell may have a big campus with a lot of students, but there are ways to keep yourself from feeling like a small fish in a big pond.
One great way to feel more in your element on campus is to get involved in all of the things that you loved in high school. Whether you sang in choir, danced in your school’s dance troupe, or played sports on the varsity team, there are so many on-campus groups and activities to join, with plenty of other people who share your interests–and probably your quirks too. Plus, it’s a really easy way to branch out without straying too far from your comfort zone. A lot of them had booths at ClubFest, but there’s tons of info around campus online too. You’ll be a lot happier doing something you love.
Another avenue for getting involved is to go to different events happening around campus. From movies, game nights, speakers, performances–you name it, Cornell has it. Remember those flyers we all usually walk by? A lot of us never stop to look at them, but they’re really a diamond in the rough. You might even learn something new or try something that you never thought of.It’s a fun way to meet people, and it gives you something to do that’s outside of your regular routine.
Your major also has its social perks. Even though there are dozens of libraries on campus, many people end up studying in the same building of their major, which is great for ~study bonding~. Whether your major is small like ILR or large like Bio, you’ll find that you will recognize a lot of people and make a ton of friends in your major. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. You never know what similar academic interests can lead to.
Of course, not all new students are first years-shout out to the transfers! It’s really difficult when you’re a transfer student and you feel like a freshman that is expected to know as much as the sophomores or juniors do.Thankfully, Cornell is equipped with crash courses. Transfer colloquium, a 1 credit course transfer students take during their first semester, puts you in a class with other transfers in your major. You’ll hear different opinions on whether you really learn anything, but it’s actually a great opportunity to meet people who are at the same place as you. You’ll find that transfers are really close and will make group chats so they all can navigate Cornell together.
There are so many opportunities to find people with similar interests as you, and you’ll have chances to meet other students who are just trying to find their way around this campus on a hill. But there’s one more secret to starting a successful journey as a Cornellian, and this one happens inside of you.
You belong here.
No matter where you came from, what school you went to, what grades you had, or what other people tell you, you were accepted for a reason. You should never feel you have any less of a right to be here than anyone else. You’ll never find your place here if you think you don’t belong. Everyone brings something unique l to this school.
Cornell may seem overwhelming at first, but I promise you’ll find your place. There are so many different people here that you are bound to find your niche. The more you’re willing to put yourself out there and get your nose out of the books, the more that you’ll enjoy your time here.
You did it. This is your home. Now all you have to do is make it feel like one.
Slope Media Magazine Fall 2016