Cornell is a difficult place – colloquially, we are known as the easiest Ivy to get into… but the hardest to graduate from. While many of you are among the swaths of high school valedictorians, science fair winners and speech and debate aficionados, all of you will certainly fail at some point in your college careers. Whether you be staring at your grades with a terrible kind of awe, realizing three days later that you never turned in (or started) your final essay, or getting sent to the hospital for drinking too much during O-Week, Cornell will crush your souls in every way, shape and form. But worry not! After pressing on through four years in this frozen wasteland, you will emerge as elite graduates who have a remarkable capacity to change the world for the better.
Maintaining full sanity is the most grueling challenge here; accentuating your failures will be a host of mildly-to-seriously infuriating inconveniences. There are times where you will not see the sun for days, eat crappy Collegetown food because the dining halls close before the sun sets or stumble into class soaked from the unannounced snow storm that decided to roll through before lunch. These small issues pile on to you and begin to weigh like a trillion tons. The key to success at Cornell becomes a juggling act.
Understandably, the juggling act can bring immense and undue stress – few of us have juggled before, let alone proficiently. But you can do it! To serve as triage and help you keep your sanity (especially for all of you incoming students), below is a great list of Cornell tips and tricks from seasoned seniors:
1. Tape a smiley paper sun made of yellow cardboard paper to your dorm wall to remind yourself what the sun looks like when the weather gets bad. Alternatively, if you’re feeling cheeky, paste a copy of the Cornell Sun print edition to the wall. What? You weren’t going to read it anyway…
2. Cry exclusively in the middle of Duffield Hall – all the engineers are crying too so you’ll surely blend in.
3. Glue a sturdy paper bag around your mouth so you can hyperventilate your way through prelim season without fainting.
4. Make sure you dedicate a sufficient amount of your time to network with the big banks to stand out – companies such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are incredibly competitive and therefore review hundreds of applicants.