I graduated from Cornell with a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering in 2016. Not only did I graduate without a job offer, but I never even had an interview. I certainly applied to plenty of jobs and I went to all the career fairs. Overall I think I had a relatively normal and generally positive experience at Cornell. I joined the marching band and the bread club, where I made lifelong friends.
Imagine you’re walking down the street, minding your own business when suddenly it approaches: something between the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Will Ferrell with a tranquilizer dart in his neck, leaving behind a trail of booze, sweat and drool in its path. What a horror! You exclaim, as it slowly gets bigger and bigger, crying “mmmmmf I waaan sanwichesss! And peeeezzaaaa!” and as you dive to avoid its pale, blubbery, annoying wrath, you see it, and then you know: side boob. What we have here is a big, fat, mess.
The nervousness! The intrigue! The walking into wrong classrooms! The first day of school is often exciting — the academic world rushing to welcome you in all of its charming geekiness.
But F all that optimistic noise: today also ushers in a whole year of hard work and late nights. Which is why lately I’ve started to think more and more seriously about time travel and astronauts.
I have had a particularly difficult time writing this, my final article. I wish that I could say that the difficulty is derived from the pressure of capping off two years of fine work, but the truth is that I happen to be brain dead after a night of drinking. I suppose that is not a valid excuse; after all, Hemingway was always drunk and what he managed to produce was halfway decent. As I reflect on the debauchery that was last night and whether this headache was truly worth it, I cannot help but contemplate life after graduation and how different it may be.
When they signed on with the men’s basketball team, the members of the Class of 2009 — Adam Gore, Khaliq Gant, Jason Battle, Conor Mullen and Brian Kreefer — must have been wondering what they were getting themselves into. In 2004-05, the year before their freshman season (except for Gant, who played that year), the Red went 13-14 overall with a respectable 8-6 record in the Ivy League. That team put up respectable, if not impressive, stats; it cruised to a second-place finish in the Ivy League, but did not pose a serious threat to Ancient Eight champion Penn’s 13-1 league record.
“Obviously we’re a lot better now,” said Gore, a team captain for the second year in a row.
As a senior soon to graduate, I have been reflecting on how much I have grown since matriculating at Cornell. I believe my undergraduate experience can be best summarized with the quotation, “I don’t know if it was heaven or hell, but whatever it was, it was wonderful.” I, like many students, have excelled and failed, found love and lost it, matured, evolved my cognitive processes, better understood myself, and have grown even more handsome (not like many students). Positivity does not sell, though – just look at Ithaca’s own Positive News — it’s free and no one reads it. For that reason, my editor encouraged me to reflect on some of the past four years’ hell.