open letter to cornell matriculants

<p>Dear prefreshman,
As of recently I have been sensing a lot of anxiety on the Cornell board. As a rising sophomore, here is my advice to you:</p>

<p>Do not worry about the small things (your room mate, your dorm, your class schedule etc). You will find amazing friends, you will fit in perfectly somewhere, you won't drop out due to academic stress, and you will pass all of your classes. I guarantee all of these things to you as long as you invest at least SOME time in studying, and SOME time in building relationships outside of the people that you are forced to interact with (IE, do more things than just orientation week, meet people outside your dorm). </p>

<p>To be honest, the best advice I can give you is not about choosing a single over a double, or about being Bio in cals over Bio in Arts. The best advice I can give you is that you need to be open minded about the next four years. You are whoever you want to be. Most people, or maybe even everyone, will never know where you came from, or who you were in high school. Do what you love, and don't hold back. Don't be afraid to take chances. If there was one place designed for you to take chances and fail it is college. FAIL, for godsake, feel what happens when you don't succeed. Try something that is just too damn hard for you to accomplish; who knows, maybe you can't accomplish what you set out to do, maybe you can, but the only thing that matters is not your success, but the fact that you tried. If you fail, learn from it, if you succeed, learn from it. Whatever you do, learn from it. </p>

<p>One year ago I was in your shoes. I was anxious, I had a few good friends in my hometown, and I was happy where I was. To be honest, I was ready to go to college but I was afraid. I was afraid that no one would like me, I was afraid that I would fall through the cracks, I was afraid that I would fail out. I was afraid that I would not be happy here at cornell. Coming to cornell, I knew I would never join a frat (LOL). Let me tell you, frats here are much different than you think they are. If "getting fratty" doesn't seem like a fun thing to you, visit Llenroc, rockledge or Phi Tau, the are both the least fratty and most enjoyable frats that I have ever been to, and I am now a brother in Llenroc (LOL, I am a frat bro, I could have NEVER seen this coming EVER, even during rush week LOL). I was also afraid that I would not find good friends at cornell. I currently have THE BEST friends I have ever had EVER at Cornell and I know in 3 years when I leave them I will be INCREDIBLY sad. I found a great group of friends through outdoor odyssey. Outdoor odyssey is pre-orientation trip for prefrosh that is designed specifically to help prefrosh form social bonds before orientation week. My best friends were on my Odyssey trip, and we are going to live together next year in an off campus apartment. Orientation week is stressful, there is now way around this fact. The university tries to facilitate bonding between 3,100 students through awkward meet and greets, ice-breakers and dumb academic meetings. Outdoor odyssey made my Orientation week experience much less stressful because I already had a core group of friends to rely on. I highly suggest outdoor odyssey trips to any prefrosh available to go on them. </p>

<p>So prefrosh, as you anticipate your big red future, do not be afraid. The future is a big place. In fact, the future is big enough for all of us. Worrying will gain you little so relax. You are about to embark on the greatest journey of your young life, be proud, be brave, take chances, do not be afraid to make mistakes, and PLEASE, for the love of god PLEASE explore. Take the next 12 months to find where you belong, to find happiness, to find friends, to find something to work on, to find something to improve, to find a bond between brothers or sisters, to find yourself. You have no limits, you infinite possibilities. Make the most of what you have, because we are jealous of you. No matter what happens, the next four (or five or six, or maybe even seven) years will be the best years of your life.</p>

<p>Very well said. Thank you. I am going to pass this on to my son who is not nervous, but should really read this.</p>

<p>there are no ABSOLUTES OP...</p>

<p>but being a negative nancy gets you nowhere ;)</p>

<p>Thank you OP. I will definitely take note.</p>

<p>Thank you so much OP, for your heartfelt words.
I am in the exact place you were last year, wtih the anxiety and insecurities, but with the exception that I got to read the letter of a wiser Cornellian to ease my fears. It's finally time to get EXCITED about university instead of scared and anxious. I can't wait to go on the Outdoor Odyssey and have the time of my life at Cornell.</p>

<p>Wilderness Reflections (er... Outdoor Odyssey) rocks. Lifetime friendships.</p>

<p>This past weekend I attended a wedding of one of my trippers and I'm proud to say that around half of the students on her trip were in attendance as well. And we still knew all of our old jokes from ten years ago.</p>

<p>Tboone -- Do you guys still play King Monkey? I actually brought that game to Cornell.</p>

<p>OP - You should be a speech writer or something, because that was very well said and inspiring. Thanks for such good advice. I hope the next three years of your life are the best ones you'll ever have.</p>

<p>yay for the shoutout to rockledge. im wondering if i know you tboone...</p>

<p>king monkey, no</p>

<p>but I would love it if you PMed me the rules</p>

<p>(do you know mark holton?)</p>

<p>the big games now are yee-haw and wah </p>

<p>and thumper when we are drinking</p>

<p>King Monkey is very similar to thumper. Only it's better. Everybody is a member of the animal kingdom and the hand signs represent different animals and there's a pecking order (e.g. monkey > elephant > shark > alligator > walrus > bear > moose > fox > turtle > fish > grasshopper > snail > amoeba > unicorn).</p>

<p>When you mess up, you become the unicorn and everybody else moves up one. The goal is to stay the king monkey as long as possible.</p>

<p>The game is also far more rhythmic -- every turn is comprised of four beats (downbeat upbeat downbeat upbeat) typically with a knee slap and a hand clap. On the upbeats you would throw your own symbol and then the next person's symbol. As skill increases, the beats get much faster.</p>

<p>Bonus points if you can think of the alternative name for the unicorn.</p>

<p>Thanks so encouraging. Yay Cornell '14!</p>

<p>It sounds like it was a bad idea to pass over the Outdoor Odyssey thing.</p>

<p>Thank you! :D</p>

It sounds like it was a bad idea to pass over the Outdoor Odyssey thing.


<p>Not too late to sign-up. Still some 60 spots left:</p>

<p>Outdoor</a> Odyssey</p>