Cornell had been my dream school in freshman year and it was amazing getting the opportunity to look at the school in person rather than in pictures. It was different than I expected but still cool in a way. The school is very big, yet we were more centered on North Campus so the sense of community was still felt at the school. It was incredible getting to see how gorgeous the campus really was and it was a huge change from the city life colleges I'm used to (such as Berkeley). However, in Ithaca, Cornell was literally considered the city there. And it was also very green.
I had a lot of fun at Cornell because I had my own freedom to do whatever I wanted to do (as long as I made it back before curfew). I really enjoyed this system because it felt like I was at real college and almost had all of the freedom as a real college student. With Cornell's small community yet huge environment there was always a lot to explore, from going out to the Commons to heading to the Ithaca Mall. However, I think Cornell's wonders where not pertaining to the commercial side, but to their environmental side and how the campus was literally surrounded by nature. The school had multiple gorges to explore and hiking trails to wander off in. It really felt like a school where one can be alone and go on an adventure if they wanted to. Also, with the fact that T-mobile coverage doesn't quite reach Ithaca very well, it allows for once to put down the phone and tune in with nature instead.
The wealth disparities with the people attending summer college were definitely visible. Vineyard vines (an apparently popular east coast designer brand?) was seen everywhere, and everyone seemed to either have a business or have a non profit to "do better for the community they serve." However not everyone made this wealth gap very obvious and over pushing and many people were very humble about it so it didn't feel awkward being around such people.
As for the class, I found it very interesting. I'm happy I took it because I have been very interested in things related to economics and public policy however I didn't know how to combine it with my interest in science. Being at Cornell and taking my class, I was happy to figure out what economics and public policy were and how I could blend it into the major of my choice. The class was super interesting, however a lot of work. But Cornell gives many resources to help out with this work including multiple libraries, study areas, computer labs, heck, I remember at one point just taking my blanket outside and going to study on the grass. It was fun watching the college atmosphere with 5 people in a circle practicing their Frisbee backhand or people lying on the grass waiting for time to pass.
Being at Cornell really opened my perception to multiple outlooks in life politically and economically. I used to be very one sided on such issues however after having the opportunity to look at both sides and where they are coming from I can definitely see my views changing a little bit. I credit this especially to my Public Policy class.
I also like how you can feel a sense of sisterhood at Cornell. When hanging out with the friends I met there one could only grow closer to them at a faster than usual rate because we basically lived together and spent most of our days together. It wasn't just a regular summer camp type of thing, in this program we were learning to survive with daily situations from people that we meet to the classes and homework that we got from each class. It gave the "we only have each other" type of atmosphere which was really cool and as an independent person it was interesting learning to be more dependent on people.
I'm happy that I've managed to go to Cornell. The difference in the atmosphere made me really appreciate where I live a lot more and hopefully my adventures with Cornell do not end as I apply for a spot for the freshman class of 2017!