After a year in which students faced a resurgence of COVID-19, limited academic opportunities, and restricted social interactions, students are viewing the approaching summer break with renewed hope, even for those remaining in Ithaca.
Many students staying in Ithaca over the summer are doing so for the academic opportunities provided by Cornell. Minna Chow ’25 expressed her excitement for the upcoming break and for the research on the British East India Company and modern British museums that she’ll be conducting on campus.
Chow added that she is optimistic about being able to conduct her research and relax despite COVID-19.
“A lot of it is looking through internet databases, calling people, which makes it kinda COVID-proof,” Chow said.
For Luke Martini ’25, his research — a lab research position at a Suffolk County facility studying tick-borne illnesses — allows him to stay on campus and presents exciting local opportunities.
Despite his research’s local nature, COVID-19 has made lasting changes to how it functions. Martini said the pandemic even helped make the research more convenient by moving portions of it to Zoom.
In addition to her plans to join a campus research lab, Emma Bourgeois ’25 said she’s staying on campus over the summer in order to continue her academics.
“I’m taking another class to get me back on a better track for my major,” Bourgeois said. Additionally, “I’m probably going to be working in a research lab for renewable energy.”
Despite largely staying in Ithaca, these students are planning their summer fun. For Chow, that fun involves returning to her hometown of Houston after completing her research.
“I have about a month of time where I want to go back home [to] Houston,” Chow said. “A lot of it is just hanging out with family, I haven’t gotten to see them a lot.”
Bourgeois, who will remain in Ithaca all summer, said she’s planning to enjoy her increased independence away from home by exploring Ithaca’s natural beauty in addition to focusing on her academics.
“I’m going to be enjoying the area, probably going to be fishing more,” Bourgeois said. “I haven’t gotten into fishing in this area, so I think it’ll be a new experience.”
After a year of disease and the usual Cornellian academic stress, those students remaining in Ithaca are looking forward to mixing rest and relaxation with their summer obligations.
“I’m excited,” Martini said. “It doesn’t hurt to go outside, get a tan and get paid.”