As the first prelims of the spring 2022 semester approach, Cornellians are re-adjusting to in-person learning, changing their study habits and rushing to catch up with course material before their tests.
The recent switch to in-person classes has excited many students for the semester ahead, but as the first week of prelims approaches, some have expressed apprehension about the start of exams due to the stress they faced last semester.
In November, occurrences of bomb threats and gunmen on campus were followed by finals week. Students including Lindsey Feinstein ’24 and Amber Lao ’24 expressed that they feel built up pressure to finish their assignments and perform on their exams while many are still struggling with poor mental health.
For many, online classes were not an easy undertaking. Feinstein spoke on the stress that online finals this past semester gave her.
“This shift was very abrupt, and it was anxiety-inducing to shift gears into a different format of learning,” said Feinstein. Feinstein said that students have felt a decline in their academic process due to external factors, such as the bomb threats and the gunmen announcement. Feinstein said the threats made her feel less safe on campus, which consequently disrupted her daily routine.
In short, in the last three days it’s started to seem like Cornell andIthaca have been doing a speed-run of apocalypse bingo or something to that effect. In fact, one of my roommates made the quip, “What’s next, an earthquake on Thursday?” and we all had a good laugh. Jokes aside though, there’s been a lot of abnormality in the last three days and it’s brought out many different reactions among the members of our community.
I’d say the clearest conclusion I drew is that consistent little wins made me happier than the achievement of a large goal. Going back to the grade example, instead of setting an end-product goal of an “A”, I say “my goal is to study twenty minutes each day”. Accomplishing something like that is not only more attainable but allows me to be happy seeing growth rather than focusing on some far-off result. Focusing on instilling success-inducing habits can be more satisfying than the success itself. Outside of school, it was important for me to find a community of people who I care for and care for me. My happiest episodes came when I was sharing a moment with someone else. Even if it didn’t have the sparkle of a new job, I found that it was these minutes I spent together with people important to me that made a lasting impression on my day.
This week’s Breathing Room is an encouragement to us all to stop for a moment and remind ourselves that, yes, we are privileged to have time and air to breathe, and most importantly, to stop and take that breath.
This past Wednesday, I learned a surprising life lesson: Ambulances are surprisingly comfortable. Let me explain. On Tuesday, in an attempt to start eating healthier, I bought a nut-free, almond butter-esque spread that happened to have sunflower seeds. Upon consumption, I promptly began to have an allergic reaction, which devolved into mild issues breathing and my first call to 911 — by myself, for myself. So instead of spending my Tuesday night doing homework, I was whisked away in an ambulance to Cayuga Medical Center. I have learned quite a bit from this entire ordeal.