Ithaca, NY: This past fall I made many trips to visit Cornell University to watch my sister’s soccer games and visit with her. During these visits I got personal tours of the campus, and the sense for what the average life of a student attending Cornell University is like.
Cornell is perched on the top of a hill overlooking downtown Ithaca, beautiful gorges, waterfalls and Lake Cayuga; it truly epitomizes the beauty of upstate New York. While the campus is isolated, it is only an hour away from Syracuse and about four hours from New York City. Driving up from a suburban area of New York City into a more quaint countryside with less civilization, undoubtedly I got the feel that Cornell was in a unique setting . Considering Cornell University is one of the top ten research facilities in the U.S., I found the location interesting. It was a very scenic drive through hills and beautiful trees just beginning to change colors. Downtown Ithaca seems like a perfect college town with many things to offer. There are many different kinds of restaurants, clothing and gift stores, and activities. Downtown Ithaca is located at the bottom of the hill and is two miles from campus, with easy bus transportation for students.
Instantly upon arrival at Cornell, I noticed a completely different feel than other Ivy League Universities. There’s a mix of modern architecture and traditional buildings covered in ivy. There is a mix of everything yet everything fits perfectly together. This follows one of Cornell's most important values of diversity not only in the physical campus but also the people in the school. It creates an environment that draws unique students from throughout the world to grow and learn from each other. The university also has a large campus with spaced out buildings, but with bus systems transportation is made easy.
While being there, I learned that all freshmen students had to live in North Campus, an area with many options for dorming including townhouses, double or single rooms, and all girl dorms. It offers freshmen a unique opportunity to get to know other students in their first year and provides many resources targeted towards freshmen. Living on North Campus provides a smaller community that makes the first year of college less stressful.
While watching my sister’s soccer games, I got a sense of the athletic facilities and programs offered to the student athletes. The athletic center is well equipped and provides free snacks to the athletes. The school also has many outdoor facilities such as turf fields, baseball fields, and tracks that the school takes pride in.
After making many trips to the school this past fall season, Cornell University is definitely a school I would like to further pursue and potentially apply to my senior year. The school has a very competitive admission process drawing from top students throughout the world, that any student would be excited to be admitted into.