Goodbyes are not easy for me. I would rather duck out quietly and avoid them altogether than face the inevitable heartbreak that I feel when leaving behind the people and places that I love. But quietly bowing my head and hitting the road would be the most inappropriate ending to my time at Cornell. Cornell and this publication in particular have given me so much — a true love of learning and a passion, but also most importantly, the confidence that what I have to say can have an impact.
Coming to Cornell, my case of imposter’s syndrome was severe. I purposely did not apply early decision to Princeton, my father’s alma mater, because I never wanted to question whether I had gotten in on my own merit. Cornell was my own trail to blaze. But after almost failing a class my first semester here, I was not quite sure why the elusive admissions staff thought I deserved to be here. A slew of extracurriculars and high school leadership positions had clearly misled them into thinking that I was smart.
And then I joined The Sun. Under the incredible leadership of Haley Velasco, I started writing for the sports section covering softball. I had written for my high school newspaper and as a former three-season varsity athlete (Note: This sounds impressive, but my athletic career took place almost exclusively at a small Jewish private school), writing for sports seemed like the obvious choice. That, and I did not have to make a multimedia project to try out like I would have for the News Department (Another note: Why did we stop doing this?).
Then, things started to slowly come together. I cannot really say if this was because of The Sun or because I learned that studying the night before an exam would not cut it here. Either way, my anxiety levels fell to their normal baseline (which is fairly high), and I ended my freshman year as a full-fledged staff writer with over a dozen articles to my name, all posted prominently on my mom’s Facebook wall. A few months later, Haley convinced me to run for assistant sports editor, and as they say, the rest was history.
While I still may not be the loudest voice in the room — especially in a room filled with impressive academics and brilliant peers — putting my writing out into the world week after week allowed me to see that people (my mom and her Facebook friends) wanted to hear what I had to say. I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by an amazing staff for all four of my years writing and editing for The Sun, who have encouraged and reinforced this belief as well.
And while I still am going to try my best to delay my goodbyes, I have many people that I need to thank for getting me here.
Thank you to my parents, who instilled in me a love of reading, writing and sports early on. While neither of my parents are particularly athletic (I’m sorry Dad, but intramural volleyball in graduate school does not count as an athletic achievement) or interested in sports, they weathered hundreds of town and school sports games to be there when I scored the occasional goal or served the few and far between aces. Despite a busy work schedule, my dad could always be found on the sidelines, listening to his iPod as he sat in his green folding chair from Modell’s and my mom was the loudest voice in the bleachers, even though I can safely say she had no idea what was going on 80 percent of the time. Also thank you to my brother, Adam, for just generally being my best friend. I will continue to run at a glacial pace half a mile behind you for the rest of our lives, but do not worry, I will always make it back home.
Thank you to Jessica Sion and Dara Levy for your numerous late-night trips to the Commons when I needed to be picked up from the Sun office. No number of blue Dum Dums or bagels and lox could be enough to show how much I appreciate you both. You listened to me complain about angry coaches and general stress with patience, all the while reading about sports teams you did not really care about just because my name was in the byline. Also, a shout out to the rest of my loving friends: Olivia Butkowski, Ari Bernstein, Emily Hardin, Julia Smith, Kay Xiao, Claudia Steck and Yasmin Alameddine (and many, many more, but I have a word count here). Your love and support mean everything to me.
Thank you to the Cornell athletics community, which allowed me to heckle and bother athletes constantly throughout my time as writer, assistant sports editor and sports editor. To all of the wonderful athletes and coaches who sat down to speak with me after games or in between classes — your time is so valued and appreciated here at The Sun. Without you, we would not have a sports section. You may not have as many fans out in the stands as you would like on a given weekend, but know that all of us sports writers admire your immense talent. Keep making us proud.
And finally, thank you to Adam Bronfin, Joon Lee, Shane Lewis, Scott Chiusano, Haley Velasco, Caroline Flax, Tyler Alicea, Annie Bui, Sloane Grinspoon, Jayne Zurek, Sami Briggs, my amazing sports staff and the rest of 133rd Editorial Board of The Cornell Daily Sun. You have put up with my nuttiness and grammatical errors for far too long, so congratulations on being free of me. In all seriousness, you are such a talented and driven group of people. Kick some butt in your future endeavors, but please do not forget all of the frustratingly wonderful nights we had together at 139 State Street. You have all pushed me to be better.
And to the Cornell community, thank you for making these four years the ultimate learning experience. You are gorgeous and gorges and beautiful down to your core. Keep striving to change for the better, but also take some time to applaud yourself for all that you do well. I am so proud to be graduating with your name on my diploma.
Anna Fasman is graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences. She was the sports editor of the 133rd Editorial Board of The Sun. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.