Every year, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list identifies the most promising young visionaries, and Cornellians almost always make an appearance. This year, it was Chiamaka Ijebuonwu ’20 and Jehron Petty ’20 who were named Forbes Under 30 “Scholars,” recognizing them as up-and-coming “leaders, founders, investors and creators,” according to its website.
“Cornell professors really hype us up,” said one of my friends after a psychology lecture in which our professor spent the last 20 minutes of class telling us how incredibly “brilliant” we all were, and how “blown away” he is by our potential. I don’t even really remember what prompted him to go on this complimentary rant. One minute we were talking about the psychology of dreams, and the next thing I knew, we were being showered with compliments by a professor a hundred times more accomplished than anyone else in the room. While it may seem random, I’ve found that this is quite a common theme in a lot of classes at Cornell. As a freshman, I remember being told in every introductory lecture that we were all “extremely bright” and “driven” students, and I really believed it.
There comes a time when you’re forced to keep your cool, and try not to lose it. It’s called a breaking point; my pastor preaches it as a ‘defining moment.’ In that instance, people find out who you really are. For college students, this moment seems to come every other day. There are assignments to be done, prelims to cram for, labs to attend and interviews to be bombed — all stacked on each other like an ambitious game of Jenga. It’s stressful, I tell you.