SMITH | Feeling the Burn(out)

I don’t feel entirely left behind by the administration. After a class did poorly on a prelim one of my professors is looking into changing how the class functions a little to address what might be lacking. My academic advisor reached out to see how the semester was going and if I needed anything. However, the thing I need is something they can’t give me, or at least have decided they won’t give me. More than anything I need a BREAK and the scary part is . . . a break isn’t really coming.

BERNSTEIN | Winter Break is Almost Here; Savor it

We’re two weeks away from the end of the first of two dominantly online semesters, but the metaphorical (and literal) hill left to climb feels as high as it was in September. With finals yet to come and a near universal post-Thanksgiving lack of motivation, winter break feels miles away. But our 48 days off from mid-December to February 8th represent so much more than freedom. The extended break is real, it’s coming and it’s a necessary time of respite in the wake of months of total anxiety. Burnout is always real, and online school and the pressures of the outside world (like you know, the pandemic) have only made it worse.

YAO | Bring Back Opt-In S/U

Last semester, Cornell implemented an opt-in S/U grading policy, where students had until the end of the semester to switch any class to S/U — even if the course did not previously offer it as a grading option. Furthermore, courses where students received a satisfactory grade could be used to satisfy major or minor requirements. In doing so, the University recognized the need for flexibility and solicitude during a year where we saw the world as we knew it fall apart. Some of that empathy might come in handy this semester as well. This fall, Cornell chose to revert to standard grading practices, implying that students should treat the semester the same manner they treated every other year.

WANG | Smile, You’re on Camera

As most of you reading this probably know, online classes kind of suck. Yes, online classes do mean I can get up ten minutes before class and still be on time. However, this also means that when I collapse into my desk chair and open up Zoom, there is a very high chance that my brain is still half asleep, and I will not fully process the majority of what my professor is saying. But in my opinion, that’s not the worst part of online classes. To me, the worst part is showing up to my classes and discovering that pretty much every single person has their camera off.

FOX | Hybrid Semester Threatens Cornell’s Claim to Nonprofit Status

I’m spending the month of October in Michigan, a key swing state among a small cohort sure to decide both the presidential election and control of the Senate. While this is the priority I chose to set for myself this semester, I remain enrolled as an online student taking a full credit load at Cornell. The readings are immersive and the lectures are informative. Given that most of my peers living in Ithaca have only one or two in-person courses, the class component of my education this semester is not too dissimilar to theirs. Still, without the ability to study in groups, engage in free-flowing conversation and take full advantage of university facilities, a pressing truth becomes clear: This is not worth the money.