DO | On Studying the Humanities 

As of sometime last week, I am officially a humanities major. My switch to English from Human Biology, Health and Society was a move that 2020 Noah would never have expected, given my high school background in math and science. Before this column, writing was never a hobby of mine, let alone something I’d be willing to commit my college education to. 

I have to admit that as a pre-med, I am only really taking on half the burden of a humanities track. My worries about employability are at least temporarily assuaged by the comparably hand-holdy structure of applying for medical school (granted, the extreme levels of competition makes that process scary in its own right). The skeptical confusion that people get when I tell them my major at least turns into mildly doubtful fascination when they learn I’m still on the pre-med track. 

Even if I’m sort of two-timing the liberal arts crew, I still feel I am uniquely qualified to comment on the division that seems to exist between sciences and humanities.

YAO | Choosing Wisely

After all, isn’t that the pinnacle of what makes choosing difficult — the worry over making the wrong decision? We waffle over whether normal Cheerios or the Honey Nut ones would be the better purchase and spend ages picking out what outfits to wear to class. We worry that our majors aren’t practical enough and wonder whether our initial jobs might silo our careers. 

MEIDENBAUER | Major Decisions

After making it through pre-enroll, classes began without much fanfare.  Everything started off really fine.  Well, until the first prelims came around.  All of a sudden, I was working harder than ever before, determined to prove I was worthy of a Cornell Engineering degree.  I spent countless hours studying, talking with professors, agonizing over problem sets, all determined to reach the ultimate goal of what I thought was ‘success’.  But, I never took a second to question whether or not I was happy.

JONES | Cornell Needs an Undergrad Applied Math Department

Pen and paper in hand, I felt a jolt of relief as I finished scribbling the last answer to a math problem set due in 20 minutes. Feeling accomplished, I paraded from Olin Library to Malott Hall, the mathematics building, hoping to find my TA’s office where homework is dropped off. Upon arriving at Malott, I opened Blackboard to look for his precise office location. The result was appalling: My moment of accomplishment immediately receded as I discovered my TA’s office was located 15 minutes away in Rhodes Hall, which is by the Engineering Quad on the opposite end of the campus. Fortunately, after sprinting to Rhodes, I somehow was able to submit my homework on time.

AHMAD | Change Your Major

I never anticipated that my happiness in college would be so directly correlated to my major. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but I never really believed the whole “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” mantra. I figured that I could get away with being mildly interested in my major and rest assured that I’d get a decent job that would make me enough money to fulfill me. But as anyone who has changed their major multiple times will tell you, that certainly isn’t the case. No matter how much I tried to convince myself that studying biology for a measly four years of my life couldn’t be that bad, I was miserable in every class.