Like every other college, Cornell has tests. But, unlike every other college, we don’t call these tests “tests” — we call them “prelims.” Why, you may ask? Well, why is equestrian an Olympic sport? Some things we’ll just never know the answers to. Anyway, you will likely want to listen to music while you study for these prelims, and since I find music with lyrics distracting while I’m trying to read and memorize notes, movie scores are the way to go.
This is an open letter, one that will never reach the addressee, the type of letter that mostly benefits the author and maybe open some isolated, outcasted pairs of eyes. One of those that are not meant to be read, but meant to be written and spoken to strangers with familiar faces about familiar situations, one of those often charged with aggressive passivity, when maybe all they do is delineate a relationship between two people where names are not needed, where intimacy is beyond the point and from which no friendship will spring. I start and end with who I am, and in virtue of this identity of subject and writer I sketch the outline of who you are. To begin with, this is where I am from: a multitude of places, but – for the sake of this letter’s focus – from the self-sustaining micro-universe of a crowded dining hall. My face, I know you will not know, but maybe the colors will sound familiar – red speckled with a golden name tag, black over my hair.
This is an incredibly stressful time. We’re applying to jobs, we’re applying to grad school, we’re planning out the next chapter of our lives. Suddenly we’re confronted with the fact that a few months from now we will no longer be students of this institution and will no longer have a tailored answer for relatives and friends that ask what we are doing with our lives. For many of us, this is an incredibly uncertain time. For the first time in my life, I have no idea where I’ll be 6 months from now.