BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: I went to a private all-girls Catholic school in Tampa, FL with a graduating class of 110 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
I had a lot of reading, that was basically our homework. Generally, I’d have presentations every two weeks.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
They do a good job of making sure everyone is connected. If you need help with anything, everyone in the department is very close and they’re very welcoming to anyone that needs help. You don’t feel like you’re bothering them or they don’t have time for you.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s pretty collaborative, especially in the Communications major. We do a lot of group work. It’s also a pretty small major so we can all communicate with each other.
Do you think people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I started out as a Nutritional Sciences major and I quickly realized that I hated science and I needed to do something different. I have a pretty bubbly personality and I’m a people person, and the Communications major popped out at me.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Mary Donlon Hall with one roommate. That was great, we’re super, super close.
Sophomore: Apartment that is technically off campus, but it’s right next to West Campus. I’ll be with three other girls.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I’ve felt pretty safe, especially in my dorm and walking around campus. There were times when I’d have practice really late and I always felt safe.
How was transitioning from Tampa, FL to Ithaca, NY?
It was really hard at first, but I don’t really if it was because of going from Tampa to Ithaca. I’m just pretty close with my family and hadn’t experienced being away from them for a long period of time. It was a bit of an adjustment going from Tampa where we have everything and you don’t have to plan ahead for what you need, and then going up to Ithaca and you have a mall but it’s not a major mall.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I’d say either just driving around Ithaca in general. Getting off the hill and out and around. Then the Target around campus, it’s something really simple. The campus is really busy, so getting off to somewhere simple and doing something simple can be nice.
Pros and cons of being in Ithaca, NY?
Pros: (1) It’s a smaller city because you can figure out if you like being in a smaller city or if you want a bigger city.
(2) I think it’s a good experience to be in a place where you can’t get everything and you have to plan.
(3) It’s a different culture, at least coming from Florida.
(4) There’s a lot of nature and it’s really pretty.
Cons: (1) It’s far away.
(2) The phone service can be sketchy.
(3) It’s hard to get to. You need an airport to get home, and there isn’t one super close.
(4) The weather is very temperamental.
How did you meet your closest friends?
One was my roommate, we just got really lucky. Another one of my closest friends I met on the first night during our floor meeting.
How would you describe the social scene?
I feel like you can go out if you want to, but you don’t feel pressured to. It’s pretty active, there’s always something going on around the school.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
They seem to mix pretty easily. I don’t have a ton experience with that.
How would you describe the student body?
It’s pretty diverse, which is one of my favorite things about Cornell. I meet people from all over and actually one of my really good friends is from Ghana and I don’t think you’d meet somebody from Ghana in a lot of places. It’s cool that we get a lot of different perspectives and I think that helps grow people. For example, even if you don’t travel anywhere you can [get that world perspective]. [About 21% of the undergraduate population are underrepresented minorities and about 10% are international students.]
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Cornell before entering as a freshman?
This is kind of silly, but being from Florida we don’t have any hills. I knew, in general, there would be a lot of walking to walk around campus, but I never realized there would be so many hills. It was actually a big adjustment to walk everywhere. I’m an athlete so I’m physically in shape, but it was an adjustment.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go get ice cream at the Dairy Bar it’s really good and it’s fun to brag that we have really good ice cream. Then, if you have the opportunity, go to a hockey game. It’s super fun and some of my favorite memories from this year are at hockey games. You’re able to see a bunch of the school go out and support the team and it’s a really cool way to feel the school spirit, especially at a school where we don’t have a big football team.
Reasons to attend Cornell:
1) To push yourself out of your comfort zone.
2) To experience a diverse group of people.
3) You get a phenomenal education. The name itself will help you in different ways.
4) Being in an Ivy League in general helps you grow so much more. Not even because of rigorous classes, but you have to grow to fit the name of going to an Ivy League.
5) To experience a different way of living and a different culture.
Reasons to not attend Cornell:
1) It’s very far from a big city.
2) The winters are really long.
3) It depends on where you’re coming from, but there are a lot of people who aren’t open to people with different political views. So, that could be difficult.