May 9, 2021

SMITH | 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do: 2020-2021 Edition

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Most Cornell students are well acquainted with The Sun’s 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do” list, which is slightly infamous for some of it’s more well known list items (see item 1 for probably the most notorious). There is also fellow opinion columnist AJ Stella ‘21’s “161 Things Every Cornellian Shouldn’t Do” published in 2019. COVID-19, however, has redefined what is possible for students to accomplish. As we look forward to next fall and fully in-person classes, I would like to submit this version of 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do: 2020-2021 Edition. How many did you do?!

  1. Actually mean 2019 when you say “last year”
  2. Lose all concept of time.
  3. Miss your COVID-19 surveillance test (accidentally).
  4. Forget to mute yourself on Zoom and disrupt a zoom lecture (extra points if it’s a 250 person lecture). 
  5. Pick up a hobby like knitting or learning an instrument.
  6. Give up the hobby because of pandemic-induced apathy.
  7. Attend a therapy session via Zoom.
  8. Call your walk to your testing site a weekly workout.
  9. Zoom into lecture from bed.
  10. Fall asleep in lecture because you Zoomed into lecture from bed.
  11. Overthink your outfit for getting your surveillance test because it’s the only in-person interaction you’re going to have all week.
  12. Give up and  get your surveillance test in your pajamas. 
  13. Vow to save money and cook your own meals.
  14. Order IthacaToGo . . . a lot.
  15. Watch Tiger King on Netflix.
  16. Have a surveillance tester mishear your netID.
  17. Attend Zoom Office Hours.
  18. Screen-share the wrong window during lecture. 
  19. Say “I think you’re muted.” 
  20. Have an 8:30-10:00 p.m. prelim in Barton.
  21. Wonder why we can’t eat together in dining halls but hundreds of us can be packed into Barton Hall for said prelim
  22. Receive a mass email from Martha Pollack about increased cases on campus.
  23. Say “it’s just allergies” when sneezing in a public place.
  24. Get your vaccine.
  25. Post about being vaccinated on Instagram.
  26. Make a joke about your vaccine containing a microchip.
  27. Weirdly identify with whichever vaccine dose brand you get.
  28. Experience neck and back pain you didn’t think you’d have until your 40s.
  29. Get in a fight about vaccinations or masks on Twitter.
  30. Judge someone for how they wear their mask.
  31. Use masks to identify political affiliations. 
  32. Sit in a Breakout Room silently until it closes.
  33. Receive a mask from a family member (bonus points if your grandparent made it).
  34. Have an extended family Zoom call during which everyone over 40 has technical difficulties.
  35. Watch every show on Netflix.
  36. Watch the 2020 presidential debates (debatably sober).
  37. Go through a sourdough phase . . .  after the  banana bread phase.
  38. Forget that you have a Canvas Discussion post due.
  39. Decide to miss that discussion post 
  40. In the interest of time rephrase the discussion post directly above your own
  41. Quarantine in the Statler or have a friend quarantine in the Statler.
  42. Watch “Your internet connection is unstable” pop on your zoom screen
  43. Tell someone “sorry, I think you’re frozen”
  44. Lose internet connection during lecture.
  45. Whatever happened to the murder hornets?
  46. Wonder if somebody is still cute without their mask.
  47. Download Tinder but be too afraid to meet up with anyone in person.
  48. Deliver or receive a COVID related pick-up line.
  49. Attend college courses in your childhood bedroom.
  50. Take a shower or go to the bathroom during lecture.
  51. Dread receiving another email from Martha Pollack.
  52. Re-google the symptoms of COVID every time you feel slightly weird
  53. Have a professor remind the class the exam is closed book.
  54. Go for a walk even though you’ve never been the type to “go for a walk.” 
  55. Attempt a home workout.
  56. Elbow bump people as a greeting.
  57. Download Tiktok.
  58. Develop a mild TikTok addiction.
  59. Develop a severe TikTok addiction
  60. Online shop just to feel something.
  61. Buy something online that you definitely don’t need.
  62. Wonder if you will ever be able to give up wearing sweatpants 24-7.
  63. Watch a childhood show for comfort (bonus points if it was Avatar the Last Airbender).
  64. Slowly stop attending Zoom meetings for clubs.
  65. Have a parent or friend walk into your room while your camera is on.
  66. Set an 8am alarm for an 8:05 am lecture.
  67. Sign up for more classes than usual because you have “extra time,” then realize you actually don’t a week after the course drop date.
  68. Go from constantly forgetting your only mask to having 100 masks lying around everywhere.
  69. Change your hair semi-(or very) dramatically.
  70. Flirt with your surveillance tester.
  71. Sign up for multiple  Zoom events/talks a week. Don’t attend any.
  72. Watch Ryan Lombardi on Hot Ones.
  73. Have a professor mention Cornell’s mental health resources on a slide for 30 seconds at the beginning of lecture.
  74. Have your professor introduce their pet during lecture.
  75. Nope, not this year.
  76. Retain absolutely nothing after intently watching a Zoom lecture.
  77. Watch the Zoom recording of that lecture.
  78. Go to the Ithaca Trader Joe’s. Spend too much money on snacks.
  79. Eat outside even though it’s freezing or raining.
  80. Have coffee in one of the CTB pods.
  81. Send a message in the chat when you meant to send it to one person only.
  82. Debate if it’s a good idea to go to grad school.
  83. Google “Maskne.”
  84. Zoom into class from a strange place.
  85. Answer your professor when they single you out and ask where you’re “Zooming” from
  86. Call into a Zoom lecture or meeting.
  87. Have a meeting on Google Meet or Microsoft Teams just to spice things up. 
  88. Get your surveillance test at least once at all of the locations (CVM, RPCC, Willard Straight, ILR Conference Center, Bartels Hall, Collegetown, Downtown Ithaca, West Campus or East Hill).
  89. Become addicted to Among Us and/or Animal Crossing.
  90. Hang out in a hammock on the Slope. 
  91. Go to ClubFest via Zoom. Leave quickly.
  92. Ask for an extension on an important assignment.
  93. Show up to the surveillance testing site one minute before closing.
  94. Work at the Cornell surveillance site. 
  95. Eat six feet away from your friend at Terrace.
  96. Be grateful you don’t have to walk to class in the snow. 
  97. Come back to Ithaca, enroll in only online classes.
  98. Tell yourself you’re going to catch up on work during your Wellness Days, sleep through all of them instead.
  99. Decide to double major because “why not?”
  100. Pick up a random minor. 
  101. Wave at a friend over Zoom.
  102. Have a professor ask you to turn your camera on when you are in your pajamas and haven’t showered.
  103. Ignore your professor’s request to turn your camera despite them feeling lonely
  104. Hook up with someone during a Zoom lecture.
  105. Get a Cornell mask.
  106. Turn 21. Spend it mostly sober with 2 other people. 
  107. Send a picture of your professor’s Zoom background in the group chat.
  108. Have your plans to go abroad fall apart. 
  109. Not recognize someone because of their mask.
  110. Have a telehealth appointment at Cornell Health.
  111. Make a reservation to eat at RPCC or another dining hall.
  112. Lose a friend.
  113. Make a friend.
  114. Make a University of Phoenix joke. 
  115. Think you forgot your mask. Realize you’re wearing a mask.
  116. Attend a Zoom concert.
  117. Attend virtual Slope Day just for the screenshots and memes.
  118. Watch Hamilton on Disney Plus.
  119. Get a Masterclass subscription.
  120. Run out of streaming platforms to get a free trial for.
  121. See how long you can go without doing laundry (some things don’t change).
  122. Become vitamin-D deficient.
  123. Spend the entire summer of 2020 wondering what will happen in the fall.
  124. Confuse your pet by being home all the time.
  125. Buy a friend a mask as a present.
  126. Argue with your parents about the BLM movement.
  127. Vote in your first presidential election.
  128. Buy a coloring book. 
  129. Buy a Squishmallow. 
  130. Serve as the family IT department.
  131. Listen to a lecture like a podcast while doing things like folding your laundry.
  132. Hold it in instead of using a public bathroom. Almost wet your pants in your 20s.
  133. Watch the Oprah, Prince Harry and Megan Markle interview.
  134. Watch Prince Charles’ funeral.
  135. Buy roller skates.
  136. Attempt e-girl makeup. Know that 13 year old you would have thought you were cool.
  137. Attend a birthday Zoom.
  138. Live your best introverted life.
  139. Realize you are an extrovert.
  140. Realize maybe your laptop owns you and not the other way around. 
  141. Spend your whole day alternating between screens of various sizes.
  142. Actually watch everyone’s Instagram Stories.
  143. Adopt a pet.
  144. Buy him a PS-5.
  145. Walk socially distanced around Beebe Lake.
  146. Have an entire conversation with a friend or relative while they stand on their porch.
  147. Become a hand sanitizer snob.
  148. Criticize the Cornell hand sanitizer for smelling weird or drying out your hands
  149. Put your health in the hands of the Bath and Body Works glitter sanitizers
  150. Sit in Olin Basement completely alone
  151. Go for a walk or run with your mask down and immediately pull it up as someone approaches 
  152. Be reminded of how many people can be in a room or a lounge by an RA
  153. Ask for an extra fruit cup or dessert from a dining hall
  154. Order something from a cafe to be told that “due to COVID we don’t serve that anymore.”
  155. Fight for the tables with an outlet at Temple of Zeus.
  156. Cry when you are finally able to eat Choklay’s lentil soup again. 
  157. Go to Duffield to do work even though you never have before this year.
  158. Quickly learn that it is impossible to get a seat at Duffield. Sit overlooking the RPL instead. 
  159. Rehearse the dramatic retelling of the events of the pandemic that you will tell your grandkids.
  160. Post a picture of the campus cherry blossoms because it’s amazing to see new life (and you’re feeling basic).
  161. Get pumped for Fall 2021!

Emma Smith is a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at esmith@cornellsun.com. Emmpathy appears every other Friday this semester.