October 2, 2015

AUDACIOUS | From Aztec to Cornellian

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By SUTHESHNA MANI

During my second year at San Diego State University, I applied to Cornell. I can’t really explain why or how I came to this decision, but I clicked the name on my Common Application, filled it out … and now I’m here. I was a San Diego girl going to San Diego State — the obvious choice was to stay close to home, but I had this inkling that San Diego with all of its perfect weather, beautiful beaches, faces and glamour just wasn’t the place for me to be for the rest of my life. I felt that I cast a small net when I applied to colleges in high school, and now this window of opportunity was open for me to jump through and explore the foreign terrain of another school in another city — no matter how excruciatingly cold it is. I can’t even deal with the rain here, so I don’t know how I am going to deal with the snow. Pray for this California girl.

Maybe your transfer story is like mine, maybe not, but either way, you are here, your surroundings are new and you may not know what the hell you’re doing and/or if you made the right decision. Being a transfer student is awkward because everyone has their friend groups already, and you’re just kind of coming in like

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*Hey what’s up, be my friend! No, no? Come back … Wait … Hello…*

And you don’t get the plethora of resources available to freshmen to fully acclimate yourself into school, or in my case, Cornell, New York, Ithaca and the East Coast in general. And you also can’t find where anything is. And when a freshmen talks about CTB and Nasties and CCC and all these damn abbreviations that people here like to use, you’re just like

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Oh, and not to mention that you only have two or three years here while everyone else has four. Well guess what? That’s two fewer years of ridiculous tuition, so HA. But anyways. Here are some tips for newbies from a newbie Cornellian about how an awkward turtle like yourself can get to know people around here. It’s a small list — remember, I have only been here for like a month, so bear with me.

  1. Sign up for every club humanly possible. You will get a million emails, but narrow it down to three or four and bam: you have a nice pool of humans to get to know during meetings. You will have to endure the sweatiness and claustrophobia that is Clubfest.
  2. Talk to other transfers. This is probably the easiest way, because you are all in the same boat. Ask a transfer where he/she transferred from for the simplest conversation starter.
  3. Notice the person you sit near or next to in class, ask them about the homework or a concept you don’t understand — another easy conversation starter. Get to know them, build a rapport and then get their number so they can be your study buddy. Hopefully they’re cute, because that just makes it more fun.
  4. TALK TO YOUR PROFESSORS. After about, I don’t know, a month here, I can already tell that the professors here are really chill and are bored at office hours. Go see them. They will like you more and if you have no friends, they can be your friend! I’m kidding … sort of.

I am what some have described as an extraverted introvert. Yes, this is an oxymoron, but it makes sense. I can ramp up the energy to carry a conversation, but in reality, I actually find socializing pretty exhausting. I am not going to tell you to break your ways or change an intrinsic part of your personality, but there has to be some effort on your part to initiate a conversation. You may hate it, you may not mind it, but I promise you that if you don’t, you could be missing out on a great friend, study buddy or just good old candid conversation with a fellow Cornellian. These are all really helpful conversation starting tactics that I have used and succeeded with in situations here and other places. Hopefully they help fulfill your human interaction needs. If you have any questions, or want to be my friend, just message me on Facebook! Seriously! Please. Someone message me.

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