DERY | Upperclassmen should actively introduce first-years to normal campus life post-COVID

I used to envision a daily routine where I wake up early enough for a relaxed breakfast, and make the most of my spare time in between walking from class to class. When I first started college last fall, these goals regressed into oblivion in a matter of a few weeks and my standards fell to limiting myself from pressing snooze more than twice. Now, in a semester where going to class requires the minimum of a few presses of the mouse, my optimism heading into the semester — including a hope for a routine as close to “normal” as possible — has fared even worse. 

For many of us, online classes have only enabled the tendency to only do just enough to get to class on time — and it has greatly lowered that threshold. What used to be a morning routine and walk to class is now a roll out of bed. This heightened convenience has let even those of us on the strictest regimens slip up.

CHANG | COVID Lessons Yet Unlearned

“This semester is just so weird.” 

“I don’t know what it is, but this semester is harder than all the other ones I’ve had … and I’m a senior.”

“I’m studying remotely, but this is still hell.”

This is just a small sampling of where so many Cornellians are at this semester, as classes end (for the first time) and we begin a schedule of semifinal exams and project deadlines before returning to two more weeks of being beat up all over again. Weary, seasonally depressed, hurting and alone in so many ways, what are the lessons we can take from this semester in preparation for the next? When I first registered for classes this semester, I thought that coursework might be a bit easier. The end of last semester demonstrated that professors realized that online exams were nearly impossible, and it was much better to use open-note formats, which I perceived to be less challenging. This pattern was repeated this year: Fewer classes have exams, and instead, course staff are relying on projects, assignments, problem sets and quizzes to assess students.

SMITH | On Friendships, Cornell and Covid

My mom’s favorite things to share about her college experience were all the memories she had of her friends. The late night study sessions, the dorm dynamics, the nights out, and sneaking extra coffee cake from the dining hall. So as I took my first steps on North Campus, I was filled with excitement and expectation thinking of the great friendships that awaited me. Similarly to high school, I was fed a narrative of college being the greatest time of my life, the place where I would make my forever friends and other rose-tinted statements that are simultaneously true and false. 

While I certainly talked to and gave a lot of people my phone number during O-Week, a lot of those numbers are sitting in my contacts like emails in my inbox from the club listservs I joined out of genuine interest but never ended up going to. Still, I’ve met many wonderful people that have been invaluable to me as pillars of support, cheerleaders, relationship coaches, comedians, study buddies and just proof that amazing human beings are out there.

Amidst the Pandemic, Masita is Earning Its Spot on the Collegetown Scene

When Jin Kim and Jeesoo Lee opened Masita this past winter, they (like the rest of us) had no way of knowing what was right around the corner. The coronavirus hit restaurant owners incredibly hard, and many Ithaca businesses were forced to close their doors and regroup. Kim and Lee, having only been open for a month, were at a major disadvantage, as they lacked the dedicated fanbase of other established restaurants. Fortunately, Masita was not their first rodeo. Back in South Korea, the two women were longtime business partners and owned multiple successful restaurants together.

AppleFest 2020: Maintaining Tradition Through It All

AppleFest, an Ithaca tradition, looked slightly different this year. Usually, the event boasts about 200 vendors with carnival games and every sort of apple-flavored treat imaginable. This year the event drastically reduced its capacity to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission and spread. Instead of the normal massive festival, Downtown Ithaca organized an “Apple and Cider Trail” as well as a small open air market. The trail directed attendees to different participating local businesses who were selling apple themed foods, drinks and gifts.

A Local Restaurateur’s Look at Influx of Students

Carriage House Cafe, John Thomas Steakhouse and Ten Forward Cafe.  These are just a few of Ithaca’s restaurants forced into early closings by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, Ithaca business owners had to reevaluate as they faced massive losses in revenue; as it is estimated that Cornell students spend around $4 million every week in Ithaca, the loss of this steady income took its toll. Yet as Cornell students begin to interact with the greater Ithaca community once again, how are local restaurateurs reacting to our return? Is it a welcome change to have the students back in town once again, or has our arrival made some Ithaca business owners’ jobs even harder?

The Freshman Dining Hall Experience

After waiting in line for 30 minutes, I finally enter the dining hall, ready to scan my Cornell ID via the GET app, a process similar to Apple Pay. I then check-in with the worker indicating if I’ve made a reservation or not. A two-step process, made to be simple and efficient, successfully plays its part. Once the dining hall worker checks that I have a reservation, I am yet faced with another line that wraps around the tables used to seat students. This is another 30 minutes of slowly inching forward towards actual food.

Farmers Market Report: COVID, Farmers’ Recipes and Must-Get Treats

COVID Safety Report:
I was a little nervous going down to the farmers market this past weekend, as I have actively been trying to avoid public places since March (grocery stores and other necessary stops being the exception). But, when I got there, I didn’t see nearly as many cars as I have in past years, not to mention that it seems much of the foot traffic was locals. This apparent emptiness proved a fallacy as Amelia and I approached the entrance. Stretching from the front gate and all the way around the bend in the road was a line of market-goers, young and old, local and semesterly transplants. We walked to the end of the line, a good 250 yards long and for which it took us nearly an hour to get through.

Gen-Z: COVID Killers or Good Samaritans? — Reflections from an Atypical Quarantine

Boredom — modern man’s worst fear. Typically it’s avoided by countless hours of swiping left and right through cookie-cutter Tinder profiles in hopes of securing a post-quarantine hookup, scrolling through meme feeds on Instagram that no longer make you laugh, browsing your favorite subReddit in hopes of finding a new post since the last time you checked (two minutes ago) and sending pictures of your blank face to other expressionless victims of the same archaic curse. How else is a Gen Z-er supposed to pass his time when forced live like a Band on the Run? Any way you look at it, quarantine presents a psychological and social quandary of the likes my generation has never had to deal with. Solitude.