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ARORA | Final Sunset

After four years of being a reporter on the objective side of things, I’ve often dreaded this graduation column. I’m not very good at articulating how I feel, and definitely don’t think I’m a great writer. So I’m going to stick to the basics and do what I know best: Talk about The Sun. When I first got to Cornell, I followed the advice that almost all of us receive and tried new things. I signed up for way too many listservs at Club Fest and attended a lot of G-bodies as that excited freshman during the first semester.

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FLEER | Thank You, Cornell

While searching through The Sun’s online archives for a Solar Flashback story last fall, I came across an editorial that touched me profoundly. It was from September 27, 1910, over a century ago, and it captured the very essence of my experience as a Cornellian. “And let us say that you do not realize now the days you are passing through,” it read, addressing new students. “Look back at the remembrance. It is a wholesome existence with room for work and play, room for thought but little thoughtlessness.

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LIU | Who Tells Your Story?

I joined The Sun in fall 2017 for reasons I no longer remember, but I was certain that I would not last a semester. I had never done any journalism in my life, and before college, I had never written anything in English more than 300 words. Somehow, I stuck around and even made it to editorship, but every single day I was down at The Sun’s red brick office in the Commons, I questioned if I was qualified to be there. When I had to call the shots on something, I wondered if the swarm of talented people in the newsroom was actually convinced by my reasonings, or if they were just being nice. I’ve been hyper-aware of who I am since the very beginning of my time in this country, when a customs officer at John F. Kennedy airport commented on how well I speak English “for a Chinese student” as he stamped my passport.

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PARK | So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

So this is how it ends. Not in the blistering heat on Schoellkopf field surrounded by all the people we love, but alone in our bedrooms amidst a global pandemic watching a nearly hour-late Swae Lee gyrate through our computer screens on funds we never asked to be spent, following some fighting kangaroos. Things could be better. This is not what I expected. Then again, so little of college turned out as expected.

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HUA | The Butterfly Effect

Freshman year — pneumonia and a broken heart. Sophomore year — a broken ankle and financial stress. Junior year — bronchitis and misplaced trust. Senior year — finally finding my family at Cornell, only for these last moments with them to be snatched away. If you had asked me on my first night at Cornell whether I would ever consider writing for The Sun, I would have scoffed.

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YANG | Weifeng the Freshman

I have always claimed, to those who know me, that my college experience here at Cornell has followed a healthy upward trend. My best semester was probably last semester. As a senior, I was truly living my time. I have found my community in Cornell Republicans and Cornell Political Union, among friends and mentors, often acting like an old man telling stories of the past (which, frankly, is just three years away). I found my voice here at The Sun, as the Chinese columnist annoyingly acting out his “Chineseness,” and daring to, for the first time, share my subversive thoughts about my beloved motherland with the public.

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SNABES | Writing in the Sunlight

One evening, while editing at The Sun’s office, a fellow editor walked into the building and informed us that a car had hit an elderly woman a few blocks away from the office. The other news editor in the room was busy writing an article, which meant that I was the only one available to go outside and check out the scene. I was used to timidly playing a secondary role and relying on other news editors to step up to solve a problem in the newsroom. But, at this moment, I was the one who had to cover the task at hand. I walked out of The Sun’s office, excited for this chance to cover breaking news.

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RUBASHKIN | Class of 20?? No Longer

The first night of orientation week freshman year, a friend and I got hopelessly lost looking for a fraternity annex party. In our flailing attempt to find our way to an address texted to me by a senior I had met only hours earlier, we somehow ended up on the Ithaca Commons. In that moment, as we wandered down State Street, Cornell seemed impossibly large. What is this place, we asked ourselves. And what are we doing here?