The class of 2025 will be applying to college in the midst of a global pandemic, and Cornell has chosen to relieve the single most stressful aspect of the college application process: standardized testing. The Sun reported back in April that Cornell would be the first Ivy League institution to waive the standardized testing requirement for both early and regular decision applicants in this year’s admission’s cycle. All eight other Ivies quickly followed suit, but Cornell will be remembered as the one that paved the path. Despite its revolutionary implications, though, “Cornell will not go test-optional permanently.” This announcement was disappointing to me and, I’m sure, to many other prospective applicants looking ahead to a post-pandemic world. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to slow down and reflect on our old ways of life, but contemplation loses its significance if action is not simultaneously taken to reflect our newfound wisdom.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in which case, don’t move), you know the importance of self-isolating to protect yourself and others during the coronavirus pandemic. We might be stuck at home, but we need not succumb to boredom. It’s time to devour pop culture, learn new recipes or even invent the next Instagram or Airbnb. Unprecedented circumstances call for innovation and revolution.
And with that, I present: 161 (CLXI) Things to Do in Self-Isolation, aka my senior thesis. On behalf of Cornell University, I’ve decided that this will be the capstone of my undergraduate career.
Hardly a couple weeks ago, while still a student in the traditional sense, I observed the bespeckling of our once-tangible institution by a scattered but substantial population of a particular type of student. For the sake of your efficient recollection, I’ll attempt to compile them all into a cast of two characters (they aren’t a terribly varied crowd).
Paying absolutely no attention in an econ discussion section is student number one, daydreaming about enlisting in the active troops of America’s dumbest youth currently deployed on Miami beaches. With the full intention of turning these fantasies into realities, as well as the financial comfort necessary to do so, they envision themselves joining the battalions of idiots devoting their spring breaks to pillaging Florida suburbs filled with senior citizens and major airports filled with travelers from the world’s every corner.
Student number two is a Human Biology, Health and Society junior possessing the simplicity of a freshman and a propensity for hypocrisy like no other. They’re an all too common Cornellian, perusing Expedia sites in their Nutrition and Global Health lecture, feigning excitement over a now cheaper Cancún trip with their friends they know damn well Daddy could and would have paid for at a pre-Corona price. This is a student whose life is utterly untouched by the novel virus, who believes themselves immune despite having undergone thousands of dollars worth of “global health” courses, who has been a rather dedicated attendee of recent Catherine Street darties (daytime parties), who self-identifies as a pre-med “because they have a passion for helping others” and who seemingly cares not about the lives they put at risk with every mask-free breath they breathe beyond the boundaries of their campus and their parents’ home.
We are in the midst of a worldwide catastrophe threatening human existence itself, an advancing epidemic with enough vigor to have proven itself unstoppable by even the countless forms of privilege that have long shielded some of Westchester’s finest streets from most other earthly issues.
In a world of increasing specialization, students of the University often feel pressured to narrow their paths of study. Business major, English minor and chimesmaster Sonya Chyu ‘18 was a joyful exception to this rule. When she transferred from the University of Texas at Austin, her acceptance to the University “was contingent upon studying Applied Economics and Management. I was always interested in the people-centric nature of business, especially marketing, and I wanted to merge qualitative and quantitative skills during my time at Cornell.”
This merger happened sooner than she anticipated. Chyu said that she “stumbled upon the [creative writing] minor in a meeting with my faculty advisor.
It’s the most eccentric, trailblazing and radical time of the year! Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, the planet of freedom, originality, rebellion and revolution. The most unconventional planet in our galaxy, Uranus spins on an axis tilted by a whopping 98 degrees. A real oddball, indeed. If you’re an Aquarius, you’ve probably been told “there is no one like you” all your life, and it’s true!
I am holding a paper sign that says, “Because over 90% of LGBTQ tech employees surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination at work,” inside the intersection of Duffield Hall, where Women in Computing at Cornell (WICC) took a picture for their Fall 2019 Diversity Photo Campaign, #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Discovering my passion in Computer Science & Information Science
In Fall 2017, I took CS 1110 with Professor Walker White and became more interested in CS. Before Professor White started his lectures, I looked around to find my kababayans, or my fellow Filipinos, without much luck. I was also too shy to initiate a conversation with a classmate near me, so I did not know many of my classmates, which made me feel lonely. Though I tried to pay attention to his lectures, I wondered where the Filipinos were sitting so that I could start a conversation with them after class.
It’s Capricorn Season! That’s code for: time to get your sh*t together! If Sagittarius szn was about exploring uncharted territory, broadening your horizons, and expanding what you thought was possible, Capricorn season is the time to filter that newfound knowledge into decisive action. This cardinal sign is ruled by the Sea Goat, a mystical creature with the upper body of a goat and the tail of a fish. Goats can summit any mountain with stamina and poise, while fish swim smoothly through water.
How did Scorpio season treat you? Did you barely escape the murky waters alive? Or did you jump in, dive deep, and manifest your most powerful transformations yet? Either way, the sun has officially entered Sagittarius, bringing holiday spirit and a fiery energy of warmth and radiance. Mercury has left retrograde and Sag is here to cheer us up — to illuminate our world, no matter the weather outside.
Check-in time! It’s about halfway through the semester at this point, and everyone’s favorite time of year: flu, prelim, and snow season. With daylight savings now behind us and the sun setting as early as 5:00 p.m. each day, the lack of Vitamin D can really get to a person. So make sure to keep yourself busy and not fall into that Ithaca-winter funk! The cold weather can definitely be a deterrent for getting up and out of the library or dorm in the morning, but just because the temperature dropped doesn’t mean that activity on campus did too.
What many people don’t know is that having access to Cornell’s fitness centers also means having access to an array of group fitness classes – not just taught by elderly and overweight ex-PE teachers, but also your overly enthusiastic but super strong peers. Luckily, these classes span gyms across campus and boast tons of time slots – perfect for your 7 am Yoga or 7 pm HIIT. So if the freshman fifteen is hitting you hard, here are some of my favorite of Cornell’s Group Fitness Classes to get you started:
Functional fitness using plyo box jumps, core bags, slam balls and more makes POWER H.I.I.T. the new Barry’s Bootcamp. Offered both weekdays and weekends, this workout is the perfect sweat sesh.
Times: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at Appel Commons
CU Row (shockwave):
It combines circuit training and water rowers to make you feel like you’re actually on the water. The circuit contains 8 stations: 6 strength exercises on the floor, and 2 cardio bursts on the water rower.
Anyone who has binge-watched Modern Family, Full House, or any other family based sit-com can admit to laughing loudly at situations, while simultaneously smirking and thinking “this would never actually happen…”
I’ll admit, I once believed this too. The events in those shows seem too scripted to ever actually happen. The timing too perfect. The misunderstandings too construed. The setbacks too unlucky.