Many students use spring break, a week-long period in which students take a break from their rigorous schedules to relax before the end of the academic year, as an opportunity to escape the frigid Ithaca weather, others to visit family and friends. For some first-year students, the break served as an opportunity to reflect on their first year at Cornell.
Vindhya Kathuria ’25, an international student from Copenhagen, Denmark, used her vacation to travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to escape her school-related stress.
“I purposely didn’t bring my laptop with me so I wouldn’t be tempted to work during break. I feel that I was finally able to properly relax,” Kathuria said. “I do realize, however, that I am fortunate not to have prelims as soon as I return from break, which isn’t the case for most students.”
Unlike Kathuria, Aneesha Kodati ’25 did not find the break to be long enough for her to fully relax.
“I traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Bhangra team, which was so much fun, but I do feel like a little more time would’ve helped,” Kodati said. “In college I barely have enough time to focus on anything besides school and my extracurriculars that I think some more time to relax would’ve been beneficial.”
Many Cornellians, including Bradley Wang ’25, used this break as an opportunity to spend time with family.
“My mom ran the Paris marathon, so I was able to go and support her,” Wang said. “After that, I visited my sister at her college in Boston. It was a much-needed break.”
With the end of the academic year just four weeks away, some freshman students were able to take the time during spring break to look back on their first semesters at Cornell, and what they wished they could tell themselves before starting their journeys as Cornellians.
Kathuria felt that she prioritized her academic life over her mental health and social life during her first semester and wished to be more spontaneous.
“I wish I could tell my first-semester self to live in the moment and to say yes more; whether going on a spontaneous hike, trying out a new restaurant in college town or seeing a movie,” Kathuria said.
Similarly, Kodati said that she felt she should have let go of some of her apprehension while coming to Cornell and live in the moment.
“I’d love to tell myself to trust the process. I was so stressed going into college, unsure of how my future would unfold,” Kodati said. I eventually learned that everything falls into place, and just to go with the flow.”
Like Kodati, Wang learned to seize the new opportunities that were presented while entering college.
“I would tell my first-semester self to just have fun with it. I knew college would go by fast, but I didn’t expect it to be this quick,” Wang said. “Just take advantage of all the new opportunities, socially and academically.”