Cornell’s first-year student dormitories are all located on North Campus, providing new students the opportunity to meet their class and form friendships with those around them. During their sophomore year, students may live in different areas on Cornell’s campus, including Greek life housing and West Campus.
As the 2022-2023 academic year begins, sophomore Cornellians have reported varying experiences with their adjustment back to school.
Rita Stachurski ’25, who lived in Jameson Hall last year, said she feels isolated living in Ganędagǫ: this year.
“I’m separated from most of my friends who are either in sorority houses or on West, so I’ve had some difficulty adjusting to the new environment,” Stachurski said.
Similar to Stachurski, Mana Setayesh ’25, who now lives in her sorority house, said that her new living situation has also posed some social challenges.
“I met a lot of my closest friends in my dorm, especially since I couldn’t join greek life until second semester,” Setayesh said. “Not living with those people has definitely been a big change, and I’ve found myself having to actually schedule times to see them once every few weeks instead of just running into them every day.”
Although the transition to sophomore-year housing has proven difficult for some students, Nicholas Varela ’25 is finding his adjustment to sophomore year much easier than the past.
“In freshman year, you learn so much about how to balance friends, classes, extracurriculars and sleep. You learn what classes you like, what majors you want to explore and what you want your friends to be like,” Varela said. “You enter sophomore year with a lot more figured out.”
Like Varela, Setayesh said she feels more comfortable at Cornell at the start of her second year.
“It’s definitely easier to transition back to Cornell this year. The little things feel a lot less awkward, even something as simple as walking to the shower in my bathrobe,” Mana said. “Knowing things like my favorite places to eat and where my classes are make it a lot easier in general.”
Looking back on their first years, several sophomores offered some advice to the Class of 2026.
“No one is expecting you to have everything down yet. Enjoy the novelness of everything, and how excited all your peers are to meet each other,” Varela said. “My biggest piece of advice is to talk to upperclassmen, whether that is a teaching assistant or someone from a club you’re in.”
Stachurski also stressed the importance of being open to meeting new people.
“Freshmen definitely talk to anyone and everyone,” Stachurski said. “Nobody has solid friends yet, so everybody is open minded and more than willing to talk.”
Julia Salatti ’25 shared her academic advice and stressed the importance of balancing a busy schedule.
“Cornell has a reputation of being academically challenging for a reason,” Salatti said. “Practicing self care is so important. Don’t overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion.”