Intuitively, everyone would benefit from the widespread acceptance of men undergoing vasectomies before sexual maturity. Both sexes would be freer to focus on developing stable lives before even thinking about pregnancies or babies. When a couple does decide the time is right, all they would have to do is ring up a urologist.
I’d say the clearest conclusion I drew is that consistent little wins made me happier than the achievement of a large goal. Going back to the grade example, instead of setting an end-product goal of an “A”, I say “my goal is to study twenty minutes each day”. Accomplishing something like that is not only more attainable but allows me to be happy seeing growth rather than focusing on some far-off result. Focusing on instilling success-inducing habits can be more satisfying than the success itself. Outside of school, it was important for me to find a community of people who I care for and care for me. My happiest episodes came when I was sharing a moment with someone else. Even if it didn’t have the sparkle of a new job, I found that it was these minutes I spent together with people important to me that made a lasting impression on my day.
This semester, Cornell University officially opened a new school: the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy. Named after Jeb E. Brooks MBA ‘70 and the Brooks Family Foundation, this new school “aims to unite policy-related disciplines and increase Cornell’s prominence in the social sciences.”
As the newest school of its kind, we are presented with an exciting opportunity to introduce a curriculum that reflects the modern dynamics of policy in our country. With technological conglomerates and business executives shaping policy, testifying in Congress and participating in our politics more than ever before, Cornell is uniquely positioned to emulate this complex relationship between technology and policy by following frameworks set forth in our tech entrepreneurship-infused community.
Not only could we speak to the relationship between technology and policy — and the influence technology specifically has in shaping public policy — but we could even go a step further. I believe our school has an unparalleled opportunity to incorporate practical characteristics of the tech world in the establishment of our public policy curriculum. This could both make the world of public policy more accessible for those from STEM-oriented backgrounds and it could also streamline and democratize the process in which policy is determined and developed.
Few unifiers exist within an incoming class of over 3,000 first-years and hundreds of transfer students. Impressive scholastic ability, strong leadership and commitment to community surely make up this class, but what most strongly brings this community together are the endless opportunities these students will encounter during their time at Cornell. As the Student Assembly’s Director of Elections, as the President of Cornell Votes and as a student who has dedicated himself to the importance of our community’s civic participation, I specifically write to all of our first-year and transfer students: voting for your representatives in the Student Assembly is your first opportunity to become a civically engaged Cornellian and take part of the shared governance system Cornell prides itself upon. The Student Assembly was born following the takeover of Willard Straight Hall in 1969, and just recently marked its 40th anniversary as the undergraduate contribution to shared governance. Throughout its relatively short history, the SA has continuously fought on behalf of student issues and although many of these issues have been solved (a moment of appreciation for the most recent success of free printing), Cornell remains a place in which we, as students, must always strive to reach a more perfect university. Nine first-years and two transfer students have offered themselves to you, the newest members of our community, to be your advocates, your problem solvers and your representatives in the Student Assembly.
When I found out about the Cornell swim test, I was somewhat surprised and certainly not excited. But I reluctantly admitted the benefit of this “life skill” being certified by the time I left college. It does make me wonder, however, why Cornell opts to help us swim and not sink literally, but leaves us to our own devices in many metaphorical ways. One way which has occurred to me recently is cooking and feeding ourselves. As a nutrition major, my daily life understandably has a greater focus on food than the lives of most people.
I hoped I would be done writing about the coronavirus this semester. Twice was plenty. Yet, I find myself unable to turn away from the University’s actions on this issue — the irrationality, evasiveness and complete lack of transparency. On Friday, Provost Michael Kotlikoff announced that the University would be returning to “Alert Level Green,” reflecting “improved surveillance testing results and the relatively low number of current cases of COVID-19.” Notwithstanding the improving situation, all current restrictions are being maintained with no criteria for when, or even if, they will eventually be lifted. This should concern all students.
I came to a frightening realization the other day — I’m a senior. I’ve been vaguely aware of that fact for some time, of course. The little class year listed below each column tends to remind me. But as a former spring admit and someone who spent a semester studying remotely, it’s taken a bit of time to get used to the notion I’m nearly done at Cornell. It’s also hitting me that I’ve now been an opinion columnist for four semesters.
This idea of perpetual discussion being a tool of oppression towards Palestinians was certainly not directed at anything specific. Like all discussions regarding human rights and their violations, the conversation is not localized, but global, affecting all people. The point struck incredibly close to home for me. Earlier in 2021, the Palestinian struggle gained global notoriety due to the eviction of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, leading to a rally of Cornellians sympathetic to the cause, organized by Prof. Eric Cheyfitz and members of Students for Justice in Palestine, at which others and I gave speeches. Cornell’s response to our voices left much to be desired.
After making it through pre-enroll, classes began without much fanfare. Everything started off really fine. Well, until the first prelims came around. All of a sudden, I was working harder than ever before, determined to prove I was worthy of a Cornell Engineering degree. I spent countless hours studying, talking with professors, agonizing over problem sets, all determined to reach the ultimate goal of what I thought was ‘success’. But, I never took a second to question whether or not I was happy.
This isn’t to say that Cornell Dining is perfect. Yeah, sometimes it’s crowded, and it’s annoying when the food you were waiting for runs out and there isn’t any more left. However, having access to an abundance of food as a college student is a huge privilege. BestColleges also echoes that since “many college students struggle to cover basic needs,” how “those who lack family support are especially likely to struggle to afford food, and report eating less, eating less healthy, and going hungry.”