As the first round of prelims conclude, Cornellians are excited about their plans for the extended fall break weekend. Whether they are visiting friends and family back home, traveling or simply staying in Ithaca, students look forward to releasing some of the stress that they have accumulated during prelim season.
Morgan Hunt ’25 is flying back home to Boulder, Colorado where she looks forward to hiking and spending leisurely time in Coloradan nature, giving her time and space to relax both physically and mentally.
“I don’t think many of my friends will be home since we all have different breaks,” Hunt said. “So, I’ll probably be hanging out with my parents a lot.”
Anushka Shorewala ’26 will also be heading home, returning to Long Island, New York, where she will spend time with her family.
“I like to watch movies [with my family] when I’m at home,” Shorewala said. “I think it will be a relaxing weekend, and I’m really excited.”
Like Shorewala, many first year students are thrilled to reunite with their families after being separated from them for the first time.
Noah Salzman ’26 is traveling to his home in New York City to meet his family and enjoy the urban scene that cannot be seen in Ithaca.
“I like that I’m going to see my family,” Salzman said. “I haven’t seen my twin sister in a while because she goes to [another school]. I’m also looking forward to playing with my little cousins.”
Aside from reuniting with family members, Salzman hopes to visit coffee shops and venture through his home city.
Fiona Neibart ’26 plans to travel to New Haven, Connecticut, to visit her twin sister at Yale University in time for Yale’s Family Weekend.
“I’m just excited to see my family again,” Neibart said. “As a freshman, it’s strange having been away from them for so long.”
Meanwhile, other Cornellians view the break as an opportunity to be adventurous; some are traveling to new places to collect memorable experiences.
Quinn Reinhardt ’25 will be driving to the Adirondacks to go camping with his friends. He expressed both excitement and apprehension about “going with the flow” on his first camping trip.
“We don’t exactly have [solid] plans,” Reinhardt said. “We’re going to drive around and figure things out along the way.”
Although nervous about unexpected turns and potential encounters with bears, Reinhardt said he looks forward to de-stressing from academic pressure amidst wildlife and establishing stronger bonds with his friends.
Similarly, Tianzhen Jia ’24 and his friends have arranged an East Coastroad trip from Saturday to Monday.
“We’ll be passing by many state parks,” Jia said. “I’m especially excited to drive through the Blue Range Parkway because it’s the best season to be sightseeing there.”
When he arrives at his ultimate destination, Washington D.C., Jia hopes to transition from admiring fall views in nature to actively exploring the historically-rich cityscape.
Some Cornellians will forgo traveling and remain in Ithaca for the duration of their days off. For instance, like many fellow international students, Giovanni Mariotti grad from Italy will be remaining on campus over the break. He aims to sleep in and complete work.
“I have to stay [in Ithaca] because traveling is too expensive,” Mariotti said. “But I’ll definitely be doing a lot of catching up. Plus I’ll be putting aside time for Netflix and workouts, which is something that I wasn’t able to do recently due to academics.”
Despite the crowd of students leaving campus to travel and visit home, those remaining in Ithaca over Fall Break are determined to spend time outdoors.
Cornellians can explore local produce and handmade goods at the Farmer’s Market, walk around Collegetown after grabbing bagels with friends, or go shopping at Ithaca Mall. Fall Break is an ideal time to experience the charms of Ithaca and immerse oneself in the beauty of autumn in upstate New York.
As Shorewala put it, “[Fall break] will be a good chance to refresh and re-energize.”