People throw parties to have fun, but they require a detachment from each of our personal identities that makes the whole affair seem impersonal. Out on the dance floor and in the fraternity and sorority houses, everyone is looking out for themselves, only interested in making their night as memorable as possible. At a school as competitive as Cornell, I spend too much of my time battling the curve to have to fend for myself at a party full of strangers.
I’m sure many of you reading are already thinking of some people that you harbor a one-sided dislike for. At least, I hope you all are, otherwise this column may have just exposed me as a full-time narcissist. Regardless, I can think of a few examples of encounters with strangers that have left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
Late August and non-frozen-hellscape weather once again mark the start of a brand new school year. A fresh set of classes to attend to diligently, new dorm rooms to christen with unwashed laundry and a fervor for the spirit of academic exploration that runs through our Big Red veins. Not to mention, a whole new cohort of bright-eyed freshmen embarking on their college journeys — all in the surveillance test-free comfort of their brand-spanking-new dorms and boujee pastry cafes. Back in my day, North Campus was a pile of dirt, rock, machinery and cigarette butts. These whippersnappers just don’t know how good they have it.
As of sometime last week, I am officially a humanities major. My switch to English from Human Biology, Health and Society was a move that 2020 Noah would never have expected, given my high school background in math and science. Before this column, writing was never a hobby of mine, let alone something I’d be willing to commit my college education to.
I have to admit that as a pre-med, I am only really taking on half the burden of a humanities track. My worries about employability are at least temporarily assuaged by the comparably hand-holdy structure of applying for medical school (granted, the extreme levels of competition makes that process scary in its own right). The skeptical confusion that people get when I tell them my major at least turns into mildly doubtful fascination when they learn I’m still on the pre-med track.
Even if I’m sort of two-timing the liberal arts crew, I still feel I am uniquely qualified to comment on the division that seems to exist between sciences and humanities.
s column is published, I will be turning 20 years old in two days. It’s a big milestone, of course, leaving your teens. Even though 18 and 21 get most of the attention, entering one’s twenties marks yet another shifting of the line for what is considered adulthood.
One of the most common sentiments you’ll hear among Asian Americans is the feeling of being torn between two worlds. As immigrants and children of immigrants, Asian Americans have a stake in multiple cultures, nations and principles.
Mildly exoticized aphorism aside, I think most of us can identify with the idea of having multiple faces. No one acts the exact same way around everyone — we all make small adjustments to our inflections and vernacular depending on who we’re with and where we’ve drawn the lines of suitably familiar behavior.
Community is a funny thing to search for in an environment like college. We’re old enough to have lost the magical innocence of childhood that can forge life-changing friendships out of seemingly mismatched pairs, but we’re also plagued with the insecurities of youth. No one quite knows what they want, but they go out looking for it, anyway.
At the end of the day, we all just want to find someone to grow old with. The problem is that there’s no good litmus test for partnership, no way to know what it’d be like to spend every minute of every day with someone without actually spending every minute of every day with them. What we need to be doing is assessing compatibility and learning about the kinds of people we can be most comfortable around.
The math nerd, the sex-less science dork and the spelling bee winner all permit Asian-American men to find success in fields that benefit corporate America without encroaching on the ideal male prototype that is closely protected by white Americans. Think Ned Leeds, but never Spider-Man.