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Cutthroats at Cornell?

WolfBane2WolfBane2 - Posts: 352 Member
edited February 2008 in Cornell University
I am head-over-heels, tripping-over-myself smitten with Cornell (CALS, in particular). If Cornell was a woman, I would go gay for her. However, my mother (a veterinarian who visits the Veterinary Medicine post-grad school often for conferences and the like) insists that the atmosphere is extremely dog-eat-dog, and that it's not unusual for students to sabotage one another in order to get ahead.

Is there any truth to that? I know that every Ivy League comes with competitiveness, but is it noticeably worse at Cornell? (not that that would stop me from applying, but I'd like to hear from current students)
Post edited by WolfBane2 on
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Replies to: Cutthroats at Cornell?

  • gomestargomestar Registered User Posts: 4,699 Senior Member
    Cornell isn't cut-throat competitive, do a search on this board and you will find many threads on the topic
  • LugburzLugburz Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    my interviewer told me it's the most competitive of the ivies. however, he also said that such competition is not such a bad thing. coming out of cornell, so he says, you will dominate the job market and graduate school because you are better than others at competition and getting things done
  • gomestargomestar Registered User Posts: 4,699 Senior Member
    yeah, because the other ivies have a reputation as "tough" and "competitive"
  • tuntun Registered User Posts: 726 Member
    it's not cut throat. more like cut wrists, since you'll want to kill yourself instead of doing so much work ;)
  • sashimi46sashimi46 Registered User Posts: 482 Member
    it's generally competitive in a healthy sense..in that everyone wants to do the best work. people do support each other though
  • gomestargomestar Registered User Posts: 4,699 Senior Member
    I agree, everybody is putting forth a strong effort (unlike my high school). In addition, people tend to confuse challenging with competitive.
  • MyarminMyarmin Registered User Posts: 679 Member
    I don't know where people get this notion that Cornell's cut-throat. I have not seen any sabotaging. The cut-throat are a very small minority. ^^Cut-wrist definitely reflects the general atmosphere more accurately : P
  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 - Posts: 1,605 Senior Member
    If intense competition exists at Cornell, it would most likely be present in only a few specific schools or programs as opposed to being university wide.
  • gomestargomestar Registered User Posts: 4,699 Senior Member
    not even that, more like just a few specific people
  • dewdrop87dewdrop87 Registered User Posts: 3,397 Senior Member
    The only time Cornell gets cutthroat is when you try to find a seat in the cocktail lounge around the time of orgo/gen bio/gen chem prelims
  • norcalguynorcalguy Registered User Posts: 7,548 Senior Member
    Here's what Michael Crichton said about premed at Harvard
    In general, I found Harvard an exciting place, where people were genuinely focused on study and learning, and with no special emphasis on grades. But to take a premed course was to step into a different world -- nasty and competitive. The most critical course was organic chemistry, Chem 20, and it was widely known as a "screw your buddy" course. In lectures, if you didn't hear what the instructor had said and asked the person next to you, he'd give you the wrong information; thus you were better off leaning over to look at his notes, but in that case he was likely to cover his notes so you couldn't see. In the labs, if you asked the person at the next bench a question, he'd tell you the wrong answer in the hope that you would make a mistake or, even better, start a fire. We were marked down for starting fires. In my year, I had the dubious distinction of starting more lab fires than anyone else, including a spectacular ether fire that set the ceiling aflame and left large scorch marks, a stigmata of ineptitude hanging over my head for the rest of the year. I was uncomfortable with the hostile and paranoid attitude this course demanded for success. I thought that a humane profession like medicine ought to encourage other values in its candidates. But nobody was asking my opinion. I got through it as best I could.
  • Dennis173Dennis173 Registered User Posts: 868 Member
    i always heard that Cornell is collaboratively competitive, from a few people.
  • tetrisfantetrisfan Registered User Posts: 11,791 Senior Member
    What about the bio department? Even there, is it collaboratively competitive? With all those pre-meds?
  • 57575757 Registered User Posts: 369 Member
    can an engineering student comment on the cut-throat nature of the school. i was hoping to be done with the competing and starting the collaboration part of my life.
  • MyarminMyarmin Registered User Posts: 679 Member
    I'm a freshman engineer and it's not cut-throat. Of course it's competitive, but we work hard, we don't sabotage people.
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