Photo Courtesy of Brandon Steiner

April 27, 2016

MUKHERJEE | Breaking the Ice

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Time is a funny business — one moment seems to drag on while another flies by. We try to make sense of it, but try as we may, it is a concept that continues to elude us.

When I got my acceptance letter to Cornell, the first thought that crossed my mind was, “How did I get in?” I did not feel as though I deserved a place in this prestigious institution. However, I wanted to take up the challenge and prove that I deserved this honor.

I remember coming to Cornell about eight months ago and wondering how I would make it through freshman year. An exciting and unknown journey lay ahead of me filled with new classes, new friends, a new campus but also new apprehensions and insecurities. Watching all the upperclassmen walking around campus, I began to question if I would ever find my place in this enormous school and hold my own here.

The “pre-frosh” who have been visiting campus for the past couple of weeks mirror the emotions that I felt at the start of my Cornell journey. I was enamored by all the diversity that lay before my eyes and I could not wait to start looking for my little puzzle piece that completed the rest of the jigsaw that is Cornell. Every new experience filled me with a sense of bewilderment and every new thing I learned was quickly absorbed by my brain. I had daily new opportunities and I was going to make sure that I drew every little thing out of each day.

Now, eight months later, I can’t believe that freshman year is drawing to a close. In another month and a half, I go from being a “freshman” to a “rising sophomore”. I feel like I have taken this past year by its horns and tried to squeeze out every possible experience out of it. I have not only grown academically, but I have also discovered nuances to my character that I had not realized before. I feel like the person I have grown into is more confident, more capable and more self-assured.

This past year has been the wind beneath my wings and I have finally found my place here. All the self-doubt, insecurities and apprehensions that I had come to Cornell with began to fade away and the load on my shoulders lessened. I have slowly started to realize why Cornell chose me — they might not have chosen me for my academic prowess but rather that they knew I would rise up to the occasion and make the most of the chances that I have been given.

As this semester comes to an end and we transition to our second year here, we should focus more on the highs of the past year and look forward to all the new experiences waiting for us on the other side. The first year has been fantastic, but I know that there are more memories waiting to be made.