A Letter To The Cornell Class Of 2020

A Letter To The Cornell Class Of 2020

Congratulations, and good luck.


Dear Incoming Freshman,

You don't know me, but I used to be you. Three years ago, on December 13th, 2012, I found out that I was accepted early decision into the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University. I was so nervous to see my decision page that I refused to look until I got home from school, even though alerts went out at 3 PM. I broke down crying a couple times on the drive home because I was that sure I didn't get in.

Fast forward a few years, and I can say coming to Cornell has truly changed my life. I'm a completely different person now than I was three years ago, and I think that the experiences and opportunities I've had since coming to college are largely responsible for that. I know that the past few weeks must have been hell, and I'm happy to tell you that you're on the other side of it now.

In the next four (or five, for all you architecture majors) years, you'll meet people from cities and countries you've never heard of. You will be frustrated, excited, overjoyed, devastated, and hopeful, all rolled into one. You will get a B on something, and that's okay. Hell, you may even graduate in a major you didn't think existed. Just because you're sure of who you are now doesn't mean you'll be that same person come next August. And let me reiterate: That. Is. Okay. In fact, it's the people who let themselves explore new studies and experiences that grow the most.

In the next few weeks, reach out to others in your accepted students group--even as a junior, I still have friends that I met that way. Don't be afraid to mention that you're a Star Trek fan, or champion knitter, or whatever else you may passionate about--at Cornell, we're all a little strange, and unlike the brutal world of high school, it's okay to be eccentric--in fact, it's encouraged.

So congratulations. You're about to embark on one of the most challenging, yet rewarding journeys of your life. Sit back, relax, and I'll see you in August!

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