Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Cornellian Experience—JP

My three weeks at Cornell are undoubtedly part of some of the best weeks of my life so far. I was genuinely very happy there for the most part, and the ability to meet so many new people that I would've never known existed otherwise is mind-boggling to me. Looking back at it, I don't think I would've done anything differently other than be completely anti-social in order not to cry on the last day. On a serious note, I absolutely loved my class and how many topics we covered that weren't directly linked to debate but something we could debate about. 

The class was rigorous in the sense that we had so much to read in such a short time, when in the regular school year they'd have more time to read the material. Nevertheless, it was something very manageable, which I'm so happy about. There was a lot of respect for the professor, and it wasn't degraded at all by the fact he told us to call him by his first name.  Everyone was there to learn, so not only was the professor making an attempt to make the class engaging, it stayed that way because everyone cared about what we were learning.  The class wasn't quiet because it was boring. On the other hand, it was quiet because it was interesting, and if someone wanted to speak they made it evident by raising their hand. More often than note, Sam would let them share their comment or opinion. As a matter of fact, he encouraged us to share our thoughts. He was a strong advocate for thinking for ourselves.

Being on campus made me really excited for the college years to come in which hopefully I'll be able to run into some of the friends that I've made and make even more friends. I feel like the Bay Area, and California in general, is a very diverse place. At Cornell, I felt like I was more aware or maybe immersed in that diversity. Some of these kids were coming directly from foreign countries. 
For example, I had never met a person from Jordan before, even less one that spoke Arabic, English, and Spanish. The time there partially made me really want to go to school out of state. I had considered it before, but wasn't really sure. In reality it wasn't too bad being 2,000 miles away from home, because I knew that eventually I was going to go back. 

Additionally, meeting these international students opened my eyes to wealth disparity in other countries a little more. I was already aware that in many countries, some people were just incredibly poor while others lived extremely  wealthy lives. I met some people, that even though their country is practically bankrupt, their parents still had the money to send them to Cornell plus more. Some were more humble than others of course, and in general, I met some people that valued wise money-spending or investing more than others. 

I was hardly ever bored, thanks to the combination of work and endless opportunities to explore. I signed up for every state park trip possible, and like I mentioned in a previous blog, we went on adventures of our own. Ithaca may not be a big city, but I personally feel like it has a lot of character. It truly is gorges and fences. The campus felt smaller as I walked around it everyday, but there's actually so much to do, and it was made known to us that during the school year there's even more going on. 

Beyond being very analytical about the experience and my encounters with people of different mindsets. I had a good time, and I've probably stressed that a lot. I found people that I got along with for many different reasons. I can't imagine myself being friends with anyone else other than I people I did become friends with, because they made the experience so many times better. So many laughs shared, but also opinions. I learned a lot from the people I met, what they thought about certain issues and what they aspired to be. Up until to the last 2 hours we had all together at the Donlon lounge, I was so grateful I met them. Although, it did make departing so much more difficult. Now all we've got left is just to hope that, even though most were rising seniors unlike me, we all end up within close proximity of each other in the future. At the very least, I'd like to see them all once again.

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