Freshman year sometimes gets a bad rap–it is new and exciting, but at the same time intimidating, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. But by the time you are a senior, as the real world looms closer and your days on the hill become numbered, the nostalgia sets in. Here are some of the things seniors long for the most as they reminisce about freshman year:
1Living on North
Dorm life is not for everyone, but if you lived in CKB you really have NO RIGHT to complain. And even if you didn’t love the dorms or the roommate experience, the best part about living on North Campus is that all of your friends are a five minute walk away max. Not only that, but the dining halls, fitness center, and Nasties are all so easily accessible and are all convenient places to meet up. It is easy to take that for granted until all of your friends are spread out through Collegetown and you won’t just run into people in the dining hall.
Before you are forced to declare a major, you can pretty much sample the intro-level classes in every department, most of which are large lectures that involve very few assignments throughout the semester. But by the time you reach senior year, you might be forced to take 8:40s that are required for your major. Even worse, your schedule might be packed with all of the distribution requirements that you’ve put off for the past three years. When you’re sitting in your 4000-level seminar that you have to take to graduate, you will definitely miss the freedom you had in your schedule freshman year.
3Having meals cooked for you
I will never understand the people who complain about the Cornell dining halls. There are infinite options, the food is actually really really good, and you get to eat with all of your friends. Sure it may get repetitive, but can you really complain when someone else is cooking for you? No need to worry about the overwhelming stress of going grocery shopping at Wegman’s or learning how to work the stove.
4Not having to know what you want to do with your life
As a freshman, when people ask what you want to do after college, the easy and totally acceptable answer is to tell people you aren’t sure yet. Then, seemingly overnight, people are scrambling to get internships and real-life adult jobs, and the feeling of panic sets in. Now, when people ask you what your plans are for after college, you are essentially expected to have a 10 minute speech on file and ready to go.
5How everyone you meet is new
It is so easy to meet people when you are a freshman, and it is so easy to take that for granted when you are older. Everyone is just as new, confused, and lonely as you are, and people are more than willing to chat after classes and grab lunch in groups of 20, because the more the merrier. By senior year, people are noticeably more busy and less friendly, and consequently less willing to have a real conversation with a new person. There’s also that weird deja vu feeling where even at this huge school, everyone starts to look vaguely familiar even though you have no idea where you know them from.
6Having an acceptable excuse for why you are completely lost
Similar to #4, when you are a freshman, no one really expects you to have any idea what you are doing. You can ask people for directions around campus or how to make an appointment at Gannet or where the best places to study are, and no one will bat an eye. As a senior, you are pretty much expected to have all of this figured out, so it can feel much harder to reach out for help when you are struggling.
7So many groups/organizations that you still have time to get involved in
As annoying as it is to walk though Ho Plaza and have dozens of quarter cards thrown in your face, it is exciting to know how many potential ways there are to get involved. At such a diverse school, you will always be able to find someone who shares your interests, no matter what they are, whether it is singing or synchronized ice skating or scrabble. As a freshman, the possibilities are endless. But as you get older and your time at Cornell is coming to an end, it can seem more and more daunting and less and less practical to try something new.
8Having so much still ahead of you
Overall, freshman year means new-found freedom, a fresh start, and endless opportunities. It can be easy to push things off, to decide to take that trip to the gorges another time or to put off that really interesting class that you want to take until next year. Four years seems like a long time, and it can be easy to complain about the annoyances and that stress with being in a new place with new people. But the things you complain about when you are a freshman will become the very things you miss most when you are a senior. So enjoy those nights spent with your roommate even if you fight about when to turn the lights off, take advantage of club fair even if you have a million things you would rather be doing, and go to as many RPCC brunches as you can, because before you know it, you will be getting ready for graduation.