Our campus culture is in a quirkiness crisis, and it largely stems from the fact that many of our students are in a hobby crisis: At a school where we are so trained to map out our academics and careers, we lose the ability to set, and take seriously, non-academic goals.
One would expect email — like landlines or flip phones — to have become outdated with time, ultimately giving way to modern forms of communication like social media or texting. Yet, email has sneakily blended in amongst modern social media, even though its core principle remains largely unchanged from its inception in the 20th century.
Dealing with stigma is a battle everyone fights to varying degrees, and the school we choose to attend is a rather minor one at that. Yet, the very fact that this label is unimportant in the long run adds an element of contradiction to the superiority complex we inherit. After all, we choose to come here ourselves, and we should own up to any benefits or detriments that come out of that choice.
Picture this: It’s 10:55 a.m., which means that the end of your third Tuesday lecture is only five minutes away. You’ve processed maybe 30% of the information thrown at you this morning. Maybe. All the content is scribbled down somewhere in your notebook anyway; you’ll get to it later, but definitely before your test on Friday (right?). “It’s going to be one of those weeks, huh?” you think to yourself. Your leg starts twitching. This time, though, it’s not from the stress.
Most questions that come to mind aren’t grand or conceptual in any particular way; they arise in a much more preliminary stage of the learning process, as we try to understand the details of going from point A to B. It just wouldn’t be productive for all of our hands to shoot up when the professor asks “Any questions?”, only to go over a certain part of the lecture over again.
When I see the six players in red and white on the ice, I see my fellow Cornellians, past and present, known and unknown to me, with whom I’ve shared the Cornell tradition. College sports are mechanisms to uplift the campus community, and unite its students — who otherwise diverge into a wide spread of interests — behind one common goal. For those of us primarily immersed in Cornell’s academics, sports are a healthy outlet to engage with our community. In its attempt to build a more academically inclined, intellectual campus, Cornell should look to invest more in its sports programs.
Any deviation from the four-year graduation track, particularly by taking a gap semester, for example, often connotes burnout or a lack of direction. This perception isn’t aided by the administration’s similar treatment of gap semesters, or what they call a “Leave of Absence.” In particular, Cornell’s unwillingness to recognize study abroad as well as other endeavors during these semesters by rewarding academic credit furthers the stigma that a gap semester is counterproductive to the college diploma, prolonging our studies and slowing us down.
As an underclassmen, I envisioned adulthood at Cornell and off-campus life as one and the same. Well, now living in the heart of collegetown, I feel just as adult now as I did eating RPCC brunch freshman year. There comes a time in every off-campus student’s transition from on-campus living where we must ask ourselves: Am I an adult or do I just live off-campus?
My friend was ecstatic when he thought he found his professor’s profile on Snapchat. We’d soon learn that the discovery was too good to be true; the account was not the professor’s, who quickly disappointed inquisitive students in a Piazza post. The greater irony is that as students, our communication with professors outside the classroom is indeed limited to Piazza, aside from email and now Zoom. However, as younger generations increasingly link themselves to the social media phenomenon, it begs the question how much longer this “distance” between professors and students will remain.
It was easy to think, at least when looking past the masks, that our campus wasn’t in a pandemic this past week. From the groups of students lounging on the Arts Quad to the bustling Collegetown streets, it feels as if this is the closest it’s been to “normal” since the start of COVID. And through the lively campus ambience, one seemingly minor observation stuck with me. As I took a seat on a bench before the Arts Quad, I couldn’t help but notice someone running past me listening to music without earbuds. AC/DC, a friend beside me pointed out.