11 Things That Will Happen When You Transfer to Cornell University

11 Things That Will Happen When You Transfer to Cornell University

You're not a freshman, and you're not technically an upperclassmen either.
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You've gotten your acceptance letter, notified your school that you will not be returning next semester, and paid your deposit. You are officially a transfer student at Cornell University! Now that the hard part is over, here's some things that may happen to you as you transition to life at Cornell.


1. You'll realize the housing process is a mess.

In your orientation packet, you are told that if you pay your deposit by a specific date (in my case, July 1st), you are guaranteed on-campus housing for transfers. However, this doesn't guarantee it will be good housing. Typically, transfers are placed on West Campus with other upperclassmen. This year, several transfer students, including myself, received an email stating that they would not be getting a housing assignment on the day they were supposed to. Due to "an unusually large incoming class of transfer students," many new transfers (including myself) were placed in temporary forced quintuples in study lounges on North Campus. As housing opened up, they were moved there and promptly charged for the price of the room they were placed in. This practice was incredibly frustrating, especially to students with no prior knowledge of Cornell's housing process.

2. You'll learn that finding housing in Collegetown is just as hard.

If you decide that living in the dorms isn't for you, Collegetown is your next best bet as a transfer. However, you'll quickly realize that finding an affordable living space is much harder than you'd think. Due to Ithaca's housing crisis, students wait outside rental offices overnight months in advance to get a good lease. So as an incoming transfer student, you're pretty late to the game. Even if you do find a lease, apartments in Collegetown are usually exorbitantly overpriced, and are typically low-quality. Subletting is the easiest route in my experience, but constantly negotiating and moving to new living arrangements is just another stressor.

3. You'll struggle to learn the lingo.

During your first few days at Cornell, you'll learn a lot of new vocabulary. Prelim, TCAT, Hotelie, CTB, BRBs... the list goes on. You'll hear these phrases all over campus, and you'll have no idea what people are talking about. The key is to make friends with an upperclassmen who doesn't mind explaining it all to you like you're five. And even then, you probably won't understand it all until your second semester.

4. You'll figure out the food options, and realize that they're all terrible.

As a transfer, you'll probably struggle with figuring out Cornell Dining for the first few weeks. It feels like there's a million dining halls, but deciding where and when to eat is a real struggle. If you're not eating on North, you're stuck trying to figure out the menus on West. And what the heck is a House Dinner anyways? If all else fails, you'll probably end up at Okenshields. You'll probably develop strong feelings about Cornell food, especially regarding the Trillium vs. Terrace salad debate (#TeamTrillium). If you're a commuter, I recommend getting as many BRBs as possible--it's much easier than relying on swipes. Bonus--if you have enough left at the end of the semester, you can blow it on expensive food and coffee!

5. You'll learn that finding a study spot is even harder than deciding where eat.

Depending on your college and where you live, you'll grow very attached to certain study spots and quickly learn the types of people that inhabit each one. You'll probably feel the joy of snagging an alcove in Duffield, getting a seat in Libe, finding a good couch in Mann, or taking a spot in the coveted A.D. White Library. If you really want to upgrade the scenery, check out the Law Library.

6. You'll discover the list of 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do and wonder if you'll ever finish it.

As a transfer, you're already late to the game when it comes to Cornell traditions. You've missed one or more Dragon Day, Slope Day, and other experiences only Cornellians know. It feels almost impossible to finish all the items on the 161 list in your limited time at Cornell, but that shouldn't stop you from trying!

7. If you're not into hockey, you'll quickly become a fan.

If there's one thing Cornell is known for other than lack of sleep and incredibly hard classes, it's hockey. You'll go from not knowing what a puck is to following the stats and chanting "Let's go red!" by the end of your first semester.

8. You'll develop insane leg muscles and get a workout any time you need to walk across campus.

Whether it's trekking up the slope, walking from Collegetown, trudging up East Buffalo Street, or just hustling from one class to the next, you'll quickly learn what a workout truly is. After all, Cornell is filled with hills! Even if you're in the best shape of your life, walking around campus will seem to suck the life out of you. It'll only get tougher once the snow and freezing winds start up.

9. You'll learn the art of dodging quarter cards on Ho Plaza.

Clubs and organizations recruiting on Ho Plaza are ruthless. First, you'll see the seemingly never ending chalkings all over campus advertising for acapella auditions, club meetings, and other activities on campus. As you make your way through Ho Plaza, you'll be bombarded by brightly covered cards and enthusiastic students trying to convince you that their organization is best. If you don't want to talk, it's best to avert your eyes and walk quickly, or avoid Ho Plaza all-together.

10. You'll develop intense school pride.

Within the first month, you'll turn into a full-blown Andy Bernard. Cornell will be the best at everything, even if it isn't--period. You'll soon find that your closet is full of red gear, and you'll try to convice your other friends that they should transfer too. You'll instantly feel better every time you hear the fight song. And if all else fails, you'll know that HARVARD SUCKS (but so do Penn, Brown, Dartmouth, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale).

11. Even though Cornell is probably way more stressful than your old school, you'll grow to love it.

Although Cornell's brutal weather, prelim season, and competitive nature can be almost too much to handle, it'll become your second home. You'll join an organization you love, find your way around campus, and (hopefully) expand your horizons. Even on your most stressful day, you'll hear the Alma Mater or Evening Song, and you'll be proud to say you're a Cornellian.

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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