STELLA | Wednesday’s Fall Break — The Semester’s Saving Grace

The freshman year on lockdown, the shortened senior fall, the choppy internet connection on Zoom — they’re all side-effects of an uncontrollable variable about which we can do nothing but hope to end. Thank goodness for the one saving grace of this semester. The golden goose from that one fairytale, the walk-off homer in little league playoffs, the utter sense of relief when you finally make it to a bathroom after holding in a large Coke for the entirety of Parasite. Wednesday, October 14: our Fall Break. I don’t know what we would have done without it.

STELLA | What Do We Want To Be Now That We’re Grown Up?

Some of you still have a couple years before you need to figure this out, others of you already have – the return offer signed, sealed and delivered. But how many of us will answer this question the same way as we did in kindergarten? Our misspelling hands scrawling on our first homework assignments, writing down the reasons we wanted to be firefighters, astronauts, artists, secret agents, veterinarians, movie stars, the President, our fathers and mothers. Not once did you hear trade analyst, consultant, HR representative. Yes, that’s probably because half those words weren’t in our vocabulary yet.

STELLA | The Four Stages of Quarantine Blues

Today marks the 44th day that shelter in place has been instituted in California, and there is still no real end in sight. If you’re in one of the majority of states that still have lockdown orders, or if you’re virtuously still trying to limit your outdoor adventures in the states that are reopening early, the days are feeling long and seldom fulfilling. The activities we used to be excited about having the time to try now seem like undesirable responsibilities that we didn’t sign up for. Growing a mustache was exhilarating at first, but now grooming and styling with mustache wax has become a daily chore (need to keep it until quarantine is up though, the public needs to see what I’ve accomplished). Shearing the dog was all fun and games, but now mom makes us put sunscreen on the parts we messed up.

STELLA | The Cornellian’s Guide to Abroad

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” The oraculous Douglas Adams once wrote a book about a book about surviving the Universe and its contents. Diseases that cause global house arrest wouldn’t exist if the Universe didn’t, but then again, neither would Pokémon Emerald or Joe Exotic. One thing that has made our Universe slightly more tolerable (before the age of quarantine) is the ability to travel while “studying” on our little, blue, insignificant planet. It makes us feel more significant (as we can tell by the abundance of social media outbursts from local acquaintances in foreign countries).

STELLA | The Quest For Human Interaction in the Age of Coronavirus

It’s been a week and a half since I returned to The States from my shortened semester abroad. I’ve been in quarantine since stepping back inside my childhood home, not just because I was in Europe, but because the Bay Area instituted shelter in place two days after my return. The state of California followed suit a few days later, and other states such as Illinois and Pennsylvania have the same restrictions. There are now 20 countries under a Center for Disease Control level 3 warning, not including the fact that the entirety of Europe is a level 3. Additionally, the CDC has put all travel anywhere at a level 2 warning.

STELLA | Nobody’s Likin’ This American Boy

Despite our best efforts to blend in with the locals, Americans often stand out even before we even display our unattractive accents. Countries around the globe hold stereotypes about tourists from the States: We’re loud, obnoxious, oblivious of our surroundings and worst of all, ignorant, especially towards other cultures. If you’ve traveled outside the U.S. and interacted with locals, you’ve probably felt some judgement or critical stares. To be fair, a lot of the time Americans stay true to a lot of these stereotypes. One lovely tradition at Cornell, as with countless other colleges, is a Spring Break beach getaway.