LIM | Back to Reality

“Deadline for new checklist items for Spring Programs: November 1st”

Receiving automated study abroad notifications long after they were meant to be read was somewhat funny. Beyond being an administrative inconvenience to various parties (sorry!), having a more long-drawn application process has also meant interrogating — far more extensively than productive — reasons to stay or to go. No matter the cause, a trend among many who leave for a semester abroad is to do so during junior spring, not infrequently for reasons beyond the permissiveness of academic structures or the attractiveness of programs elsewhere. I’ve heard peers speak of the need to retrieve a sense of perspective narrowed by being in the whirling stress-pool isolated in “Shithaca” (not my title, this place is … alright). Grateful as I am to come from the other side of the world in search of perspective, I wonder what it means to be at a point where I so resonate with this sentiment that I feel “reality” could be better grasped by returning.


I look around Mac’s Cafe in Statler Hall and see a group of highly energetic, white Hotelies gather around a table to discuss their real estate finance project. A table away, three athletes in their team sweatshirts — I can tell from their facial expressions that they have just finished a long, cold practice in the snow — now search for the energy to study together. Another group of Asian students sit together in the left corner of the room talking about their courses. Two black, male students write on a white board in a conference room. Nearby, three engineers sit next to each other, each immersed in their work with their headphones in.

WAITE | White Discomfort

Outside our summer Cornell residence hall, a group of high schoolers chase each other with water balloons. They laugh uproariously when their attacker misses and viciously when they instead soak their targets. A girl in the program and I look at each other — we were merely acquaintances at this point — and arrive at the same conclusion: these kids are having a blast. “We should go join them,” I exclaim to my friend. She remains expressionless and says “I don’t fit in with them.

GUEST ROOM | An Open Letter to Cornell and the President’s Council of Cornell Women

When I first came to Cornell, I felt out of place. I am a first-generation student of color from a working-class background. My background made it so that I experienced macro and microaggressions constantly at Cornell — from being tokenized to being unable to navigate academic spaces that required cultural capital and “know-how” that I didn’t have. No one cared to demystify for me. It was only through the years that I created community and a sense of belonging by forging my own spaces and investing in issues and events that were important to me.