CHOUNG | Reflections on a Freshman’s Fall Semester

Letting go of the mindset that friends can only be found through classes was instrumental for me in opening my eyes to the possibilities outside class. Classes only make up a small portion of our day; how we choose to spend the rest of it is an indicator of where we can find our friends. August was a period of new beginnings and reflective goodbyes as I started to settle into my new life. 

CHOUNG | A Nod to New Beginnings

To my fellow first-years, to those who are excited for a new chapter in their lives and those who are afraid to close one: believe it or not, we are in this together. We will all step foot onto campus, find our groups, find new groups, laugh, eat, sleep, cry and throughout all that, find that things do eventually become okay. It may take days, weeks or months, but before we know it, the year is over and we find ourselves counting down the days before we can return again.

SENZON | An Adjustment Period

Transitioning into a new environment can be largely overwhelming — it’s a time when everyone is navigating an entirely new chapter of life. As a freshman at Cornell, I’ve made it my goal to effortlessly transition into this new chapter. I can confidently say that the transition has been anything but smooth.

GUEST ROOM | Why the Name Hu Shih Deserves to Be on One of Cornell’s 600 Buildings

On the evening of June 21, I joined thousands of other first-year Cornellians in a battle to access the crowded housing portal to see our housing assignments. After finally getting access, many of us flooded Discord chatrooms with messages along the lines of “What is a Hu Shih?” upon winning the lottery for a brand-new air-conditioned room. 

Once all the dust had settled, questions like the one mentioned earlier remained in our heads. Though I will be a fellow Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall resident myself, I also wondered about the origin of the name “Hu Shih Hall,” the building adjacent to mine. The answer was easy to find. After just some simple Google searching, I quickly learned the significance of Hu as an individual and realized how fitting (and even overdue) it was to name one of Cornell’s over 600 buildings after Hu Shih 1914. 

According to Cornell’s official news release, the buildings of the North Campus Residential Expansion were named after “deceased Cornellians with inspirational, groundbreaking careers and who reflected the history of Cornell’s diversity.” This is so true for Hu — so true to the extent that it actually surprised me to learn that Hu Shih Hall is the first building on campus to be named after an international alumnus/alumna, and also the first to be named after an individual of Asian descent.

A Skidmore Medal Topped with Runny Pasta: Freshman Year with Zero Meal Plan

$147 and a big shopping cart were basically my Saturday afternoon in a nutshell. Five large, packed grocery bags wobbled back and forth inside the cart as I meandered my way to the bus stop. The bus came before I was there, so I had to run uphill and unload my cargo onto the decently occupied vehicle. I left the cart on the road; if you found one stranded around the Ithaca Mall, it could have been me. I apologize.

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.