Current Cornell Student AMA

Currently a student at Cornell. I used this website a lot when I was in high school so I figured I would give back to the college confidential community. Feel free to shoot questions, but no chance me posts please.

How close is Ithaca? Do students go there a lot? How do they get there?

What made you choose Cornell and not one of your other acceptances? Would you still choose Cornell now that you’ve been going there?

Thanks, that is very nice of you. What I know so far about Cornell makes it highly attractive so it is great to hear from someone on the ground.

We were warned that Cornell being in an isolated area had a negative impact on student’s emotional well being and ability to withstand the high pressure environment. What do you think?

@tara00 As a business major, I wanted a smaller school with a good community aspect and ample networking opportunities. There are many business schools that offer similar education to Dyson, but I truly believe Dyson specifically offers an unmatched experience for those reasons.

From a more generic perspective, Cornell is big enough where pretty much anyone can find their crowd. I haven’t ran into many people that feel misplaced.

@ShamrockLotus It really comes down to preferences. Some of my friends that go to college in big cities feel “lost” by the vastness of it all. Personally, I think the isolated nature combined with bad weather can lead to some depressing days, but it really isn’t so bad that it is debilitating. Good friend circles and such will help you get through all that.

As far as the the high-pressure environment, I’d say it really depends on the major. I imagine pre-meds face a lot of pressure, but most people I’d say are generally pretty happy, with the exception of the finals grind, where everyone in the world would be pretty moody. At a school like Cornell, I’d urge you to not avoid pressure, but rather to embrace it- you’ll find yourself really evolving as a person.

While OP is catching a breather I will tackle #1.
OP will no doubt correct/amend as desired.

Cornell University is in Ithaca.
Outside of the campus proper, students can be found in basically every direction.
The most popular area is Collegetown, which is immediately adjacent to the campus. Students mostly walk to it.
Downtown Ithaca is down a steep hill. Students variously drive/get driven down the hill, take a bus, or walk, depending on who they know, access to a car, and where they live.
Ditto for other areas of ithaca.
Lots of students live in Collegetown, or in fraternities/houses/apartments not far from campus.
They (mostly) walk to/from campus.

Things may have changed, but when I was there, underclassmen went to Collegetown a lot, other areas less often. Upperclassmen (esp those with access to cars) often branched out much further in the later years.

Remember, Cornell itself is not small. This ties in with post #3: the area may be “isolated” in a sense that there is no huge city at hand, but the university is not small in itself and there is often a lot going on right on or near campus. There is usually no compelling need to go elsewhere. As an upperclassman I had a car, but before that I did not feel I was missing anything by engaging on the campus itself. Ithaca itself is the cultural center of Tompkins county and environs, and swings well above its size in terms of activities .

@sleepingswami Thank you

@monydad Thanks.

How close is the student body at Cornell? I went to a high school that was very competitive, which often created a toxic environment. Does the same hold true at Cornell?

@sleepingswami: Thank you for starting this thread.

Curious about class size at Cornell as I have heard that one very popular class enrolls a very high number of students.

Largest class size ?

Typical size of classes in Dyson ?

Thank you !