As evinced by the swarms of young, innocent-looking adolescents roaming around campus with worried in parents in tow, we are in the midst of college application season. Many of you already have been called upon or will be at some point be called upon by younger siblings, family friends, and children of your parent’s boss to serve as an unofficial representative of Cornell and tell them about your experience. While we all know Cornell is not all butterflies and roses, there is an unspoken agreement not to let the undersides of this university be exposed until after high schoolers have gotten in and put down their deposit. In that honor of that future time, here are the lies you tell prefrosh when they ask about Cornell.

1Winter is not that bad

This is the most popular question among prefrosh but also the one that inspires the most lies. When you get down to it, the winters here are pretty brutal, so when someone asks how you survive, it’s impossible to just brush it off. In this case, deflect the question by saying that we are in much better shape than the kids who go to Syracuse/Michigan/anywhere in Boston.   

2Cornell classes are easy

This is one I get asked frequently and thus, frequently lie about. Classes here are easy in the same way is that rocket science is easy–in other words, not at all. However, this won’t stop me from frequently telling wide-eyed 17 years old that I don’t find the workload to be too difficult and that high school fully prepared me for college rigor.

3We have a lot of fun here

This is not so much a lie as it is is an omission of truth. Yes, kids here have fun, but in no way, shape or form do we have as much fun as kids who go to state school. Unless you count making fun of state school as form of entertainment, in which case, we have lots of fun.

4The hills/slope are a non-issue

Walking uphill to get class is such an ingrained part of Cornell that I forget that other schools exist on entirely flat planes. Occasionally, you will be asked if this is a negative in your eyes. Here is when you deflect the question, and talk about how defined your calves have become during your time here.

5Ithaca isn’t that remote

A common quip amongst potential students is that they don’t want to go to school in “the middle of nowhere.” I respond to this concern by saying that Ithaca now has not only an overpriced DIY salad chain (Core Life) but also a trendy Thai ice cream place. If that isn’t a mark of high culture and civilization, I don’t know what is.

6You will make friends from all over the world

A lot of high schoolers see going away to college as a way of branching out from the people in their town. Cornell is a great place to do that if your idea of branching out means meeting people from the other side of the tri-state area. If you get lucky you might even might befriend someone from Florida or California!