August 22, 2010

O-Week Advice (And 160 Other Things)

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If you’ve made the mistake of driving through North Campus these past few days, then you certainly know what time it is: THE FRESHMEN ARE HERE!So while I’d love to welcome you all back to Cornell, I’d like to dedicate my very first article to the Class of 2014(!!!). Of course, a majority of the members of the Class of 2014 are most likely still holed up in their dorm rooms, meaning they probably won’t be picking up this year’s very first issue of The Sun. So let me revise this dedication: I dedicate my first article to those freshmen brave enough to emerge from their new 8×10 enclosures. The freshmen that refuse to eat every meal with their roommate (who failed to mention how much he enjoys picking his nose with chopsticks on the Official Cornell Roommate Compatibility Test 2014). The freshmen who actually know CTB exists, find a stand stacked high with newspapers and, two days before classes start, say to themselves: “You know what? I think I’ll do some un-required reading today!” Well, for you brave few, I’d like to dole out some advice. Now, I still struggle with algebra and I occasionally have trouble tying my own shoes. But this is my second year living off campus and my third year at Cornell. That gives me exactly 1.5 credentials to work with. I’m sure you have all seen or at least heard of the 161 List. If you haven’t, google 161 and click on any of the first three suggestions. You’re Cornellians now! You can figure it out. Well, I’m going to make a few suggestions for some new Cornell 161’s. You know, spice things up with some exoticism. (I did spend some of my summer in Iowa … I’ve got exotic coursing through my veins right now.) Someone call Uncle Ezra and let’s get this show on the road!

161 People to Make Out With at Cornell

Gannett would be thrilled. Your parents would be thrilled. Your pastor would be thrilled.  The original 161 does not offer much in the way of furthering your education. Take, for example, #29: “Turn your face blue from screaming at midnight before the first finals.” Allow me a math equation: Blue face = no oxygen. No oxygen = dumb brain. Dumb brain = F-. F+ maybe, if the planets are aligned.But put making out on the list, now that’s education. I mean, look at the original 161. Gaze your eyes on #1. I bet you know it by heart: Have sex in the library stacks. There’s a reason it graces the top position on the holy grail of shit-to-do-when-I’m-bored-at-Cornell-lists. So get creative with it. Take Wines? Make out with your Wines TA (extra generous pouuurs). Watch a hockey game? Make out with the hockey team!  Meet Denice Cassaro? Well, you get the idea …

161 Pounds to Gain at Cornell

When you spend a year walking by Starbucks and CTB every morning to get to class, and there might be a few extra five pound tenderloins lurking, creeping, sight unseen, beneath your down winter jacket. So do what I did: gyyyym. Sure, it’s -14 degrees out. Sure, you haven’t shaved in six months and your only gym wear consists of jogging tanks and short shorts. Whatever. You’ll still go. Right?Wrong. #107 (Pay $300 for a gym membership. Never go.), folks. Read it and weep. Oh, the first few weeks, you’re all about those ellipticals. You’ll figure out when the gym is emptiest (right during opening on school days). You’ll plan just how to avoid that 90 lb. girl that always judges you so harshly as you trudge away on the Stairmaster while her twig legs move so fast up and down that you nearly fall off the machine trying to match her pace.  And then you’ll stop. Because an everything bagel with chive cream cheese and lox came calling. And you answered.

161 Opportunities to Miss at Cornell

A list you never, ever want to follow.While you freshmen are just starting your journey here, I find myself already at the halfway point.I’ve spent my Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Tuesday nights semi-conscious. I’ve replaced a full day’s worth of water consumption with Monster and Red Bull in order to study for those three exams I had on the same day. I’ve ordered two-dozen Insomnia Cookies with my roommates and polished them off as I teared up to The Notebook.That’s a pretty fulfilling college career, if I do say so myself.But I haven’t met everyone I want to meet. I haven’t taken every class that looks interesting, but has nothing to do with my major. And I certainly haven’t seized every opportunity this school has to offer. I’ve got two years. You all have four. So maybe you don’t have to follow the 161 to the letter. But I bet that when you’re starting your junior year like I am now, you’ll be looking over that list, reminiscing about the ways you made #3, #37 and #96 happen. Now, I’m not saying that #19, Milk a cow, is going to change your life. But hey! This is Cornell. Maybe it will … Cristina Stiller is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at Believe You Me appears alternate Mondays this semester.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller