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GUEST ROOM | An Open Letter to Rep. John Lewis

Thank you. You allowed me to see the future and the past in the same gaze and have given me a guiding light that I would never have seen otherwise. Your writings on the Civil Rights Movement have not only fueled my passion for history but granted me something that I would never have envisioned: An avenue to fight for the basic liberties that every person should possess. I have no words to truly convey the impact that your book had on my vision of social change. But, I attempt to speak to it because I wish to, in any minimal sense, express that I would not be as passionate or as understanding as I am now without it.

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BARAN | Live, Laugh, Lonely

Loneliness is scary. It creeps up at night in our apartment, at lunch with our peers or on the ride back from your job at a local restaurant. We begin to feel unenthusiastic about our life and the future. The world seems a little bit bigger, a little bit darker. Your phone is right next to you but reaching out to someone seems impossible.

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SIMS | As Seen on TV

The best fictional dramatization of a newsroom is the 2012-2014 HBO series The Newsroom. The best dramatization of a newsroom, though, is the Sun office. They have a lot in common: ringing phones, dry humor, hair-trigger reactivity, lots of take-out, late nights, more coffee, love-hating co-workers, excitement, frustration. It’s regrettable that The Newsroom doesn’t have scenes about being late to a meeting because you were playing mini golf with the other editors or when you have an office slumber party and watch The Proposal. But their main characterizations about journalists — as seekers of goodness and truth, tireless and exhilarated workers and self-righteous investigators — mapped accurately to my time at The Sun.

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FUNG | A Familiar Friend

Cornell is ever-changing, and it took me the better part of my college career to make peace with this reality. Whenever I felt I had found a foothold at last, Cornell came around again to challenge my conviction. Are you sure this is what you want? By the way, here’s some new information. This rapid change has been overwhelming at times, and I will be the first to admit that I am not the best with change.

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SMITH | Getting Cold Feet

Whenever being home was getting to me or quarantine seemed like it would never end, I would comfort myself with a vision of the little studio apartment I’d saved up to lease in Ithaca. There would be houseplants galore, I could once again see my friends and I would be more mentally challenged than I am currently by my three-month free trial of Skillshare. Enter Pres. Martha Pollack’s email, announcing the hybrid, altered semester and the start of classes on September 2nd. That email was the answer to a lot of my prayers, though there are the obvious limitations as a result from COVID-19. Yet, ever since it arrived in my inbox there’s been a sense of anxiety I can’t kick.

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REYNOLDS | A Girl, a Newspaper, a Voice

As I reflect on my time at Cornell, The Sun will shine brightly as one of my most lasting and positive experiences. Not because it jump started my career as a journalist or gave me the thrill of seeing my name attached to a published piece, not because it allowed me to speak to science luminaries like Steve Squyres or Carla Gomez (although I covet the audio recordings of our interviews), but because I got to work with and learn from a talented team of passionate writers, reporters and friends. Working as a writer and editor for The Sun primarily taught me about journalism, but it also taught me about myself (cheesy, I know). Ultimately, it solidified my long-held appreciation for good writing and reporting. What I learned about journalism, through my time at the Sun, is reflected in the words of author John Irving — “Before you can write anything, you have to notice something.” It is the responsibility of a journalist to report on what is noticed and, importantly, what people fail to notice.