Dear freshman year,

Wow. I cannot believe that in a couple of short weeks, I will leave Cornell’s campus having completed an entire year as an undergraduate at Cornell. How did one-fourth of college feel like a mere few months?

I remember how nervous I was to begin college. I loved high school–both the communities within classes and after school extracurriculars–and I had amazing childhood friends who I did not want to leave. I loved my family, my home, and the pace of my life. We all know change is scary, but the fact that everything would be changing when I moved into school worried me. I had always been excited to go away to college, but once it was upon me, there was also an enormous pit in my stomach.

Now, I have a hard time remembering what life was like prior to college. While I am still very connected to those I care about at home, I could not be happier at Cornell. I have a new level of “normal happiness” that I hadn’t experienced before this year. I value my alone time, but living in an environment where I’m constantly surrounded by these new people I love—whether I’m just in my room getting ready for the day or deliberately doing something with friends—is so much fun. Even when I’m stressed because of school work, studying, or taking on too many commitments in a short amount of time, I’ve never felt more fulfilled. Between studying things that I’m genuinely interested in, volunteering with youth in the Ithaca community, taking part in campus clubs, and having the freedom to choose when I take classes, study, hang out, and sleep–and always having the company of good friends–it’s easy to see why so many people refer to college as the best four years of your life.

One reason I love Cornell so much is that I’ve met people and friends who I can’t believe I only met a few months ago. I love that, for the most part, people here have the same priorities as I do: Everyone cares deeply about their schoolwork, but everyone also recognizes the value and importance of having fun and experiencing life in Ithaca.

I’ll miss more than anything the freshman year culture at Cornell, and I can’t believe it’s coming to an end so soon. I’ll miss waking up to echoing laughter in the Donlon halls, eating with a huge group of people in RPCC, being a three minute walk to the gym and a one minute walk from Nasties, and being overly excited about all the Cornell traditions that were new to me. While my first year was amazing, I cannot wait for the years to come and the experiences I have yet to have here. Thank you, Cornell, for the best year of my life so far. I’m already counting down the days until I return in August.


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