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.
I came to Cornell as a naive, optimistic, wide-eyed freshman, filled with a sense of unbridled excitement about what the future would bring. I left as a cynical, pessimistic senior with bags under my eyes, filled with a sense of overwhelming fear about what the future would bring. Not exactly the profound character development I had been hoping for. Alas, life isn’t a sitcom and happy endings aren’t guaranteed, but I am so incredibly thankful for the many moments of Sun-shine I experienced in between an awe-inspiring arrival and a dismal departure during my (almost) four years in Ithaca. Four years ago, I didn’t know what I was going to major in, I didn’t know who my friends would be, I didn’t know which extracurriculars I wanted to join and I especially didn’t know if the brand new winter coat and snow boots I bought would get me through the Ithaca winters.
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.
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.
There are so many beautiful days, so many amazing people, and so many incredible opportunities at this school. Over the next four years, you’ll meet your best friends and live some of the best days of your life. But this letter is not for those days. This is the letter for the bad days, the times when it seems like exactly nothing is working out. These are the things I wish I knew earlier that carried me through the best and the worst: