First-Year Student Athletes Share their College Experience
As first-year students across campus have spent the first half of their first semester forming friendships, first-year student athletes are also building relationships with their teammates, often by eating together. Winter Wallace ’26, a member of the men’s ice hockey team, explained that the team finished practice at 5:30 p.m. two days per week and at 6 p.m. two days per week, but smoothies, stretching, saunas and ice baths after practice mean that he arrives at North Campus dining halls around 8 p.m.
Because many team practices run as late as 8 p.m., Cornell Dining provides dining options and spaces for these team meals to occur, even after practice is over. Evan Nesmith ’26, a member of the football team, said that although there are options on campus that ensure teams can eat, he still wishes for longer dining hall hours. Most dining halls close between 7-9 p.m., sending student athletes to late night eateries like Bear Necessities instead.
Caleb Straayer ’26, a member of the men’s track team, agreed with Nesmith, but acknowledged that there are challenges with keeping the dining hall open later. He is optimistic about a potential solution. “It’d be great if they could be open ‘til later although I am aware, of course, of the staffing issues, so somehow finding a way around that problem would definitely be beneficial for student athletes,” Straayer said.