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Cornell University

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Cornell is one huge rollercoaster ride.Quite BrightBiology
Cornell is one huge rollercoaster ride. One minute you love the place, and the next you completely identify with those who have jumped into the depths of the gorges. However, the element of challenge remains consistent when you think about Cornell. You are constantly pushed to the limits as an academic and a person. Fist of all, you work like MAD. A perfect is example of the intense work ethic at Cornell is the 24 hour library AKA Uris. Interesting fact about this new feature...it was totally brought about through student request. Forget school work for a second...Cornell is saturated with resources, people, knowledge and opportunity. Now, having all these things around you in utter abundace really forces you to think about what the hell you're going to do with all of it. But you really figure out who you are, just by identifying the activities you enjoy, the people you really like (warning...Cornell is full of rich, arrogant, clueless snobs), the classes and subjects that intrigue you, and even what caffinated drink you prefer (you will succumb to the evils of caffiene and other substances at this school). In summary, Cornell is a great place because you learn a thing or two about art, politics, physics or whatever subject you're studying but more imporantly, you learn an incredible amount about yourself. However, you need to be somewhat prepared with a substantial amount of self-knowledge...otherwise you'll get lost in the madness.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2005
Education Quality: A, Friendliness: C
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I love this school.Quite BrightComputer Science
I love this school. The CS department is very theoretical, but thats ok because the theoretical stuff is more interesting to me than the endless coding that you will do your freshman and beginnign of sophomore year. But in reality you do some pretty interesting things early on. I got to make a game, program AI for some applications and pit other humans against it, and develop a functioning pipelined processor all in my first few semesters. The classes are hard, especially your core engineering classes. But once you get into the core CS classes you get much close with the professors and learn a great deal. Also the CS Major allows you a lot of room with electives, and the courses here at Cornell are so diverse that you can apply yourself to several areas and specialize in several things that will help you out in future life.Watch out for Chem 211 and Physics 213 !!
2nd Year Male -- Class 2008
University Resource Use/ spending: A+, Surrounding City: B
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I had to choose between NYU and CornellQuite BrightOther
I had to choose between NYU and Cornell and I was up for days and nights straight thinking about it. I'm from NY. I love the city. I felt that Cornell was in the middle of nowhere with a alcohol-driven fueled social life that gravitated around Greek life. I hate silence/the country side. I'm not a nature person. I don't like snow. I feared that I wouldn't fit in. I'm bright, but not a genius; what if I'm a B student at Cornell where there are so many valedictorians? Will that eliminate grad school for me or competitive jobs? What about the dorms? I never dormed before and I think I would prefer to live at home.

These were just some of my many concerns and these are the same questions I get from pre-freshmen time and time again, thus, I wanted to post here knowing that I once came to this site for advice at one point.

I hesitated to accept but was finally pushed in the right way by an alum.
FIRST: the social life. Cornell is full of every type of student body under the sun. EVERYONE finds their clique or special 'Friday night' group or extracurricular. There's a group of kids (around 20 of them) that play World of Warcraft on West Campus until 4am every night. There's also tons of parties all weekend long and plenty of groups to tag along with to go to them.

Subset to the FIRST: DORMS. North Campus is all freshman. Many are under 21 so very limited access to alcohol unless you go to a fraternity party in which case its just Keystone Lights which is practically soda. Everyone wants to make friends. After, people divide up into Greek, non-greek, and athletic housing. Greeks go to off-campus houses. Many go to West Campus. Bad lottery number kids go to college town. Athletes usually go to their respective athletic houses. Consequently, you will probably end up living with those who are somewhat like you. Many of the 'extremes' (greek vs non-greek) are often separated because of this dorming scenario. Also, many new dorms have been built on West Campus and North which are like hotels.

SECOND: Academics. This varies widely depending on your program. The engineering school is definitely the most difficult. The average GPA is roughly a 2.7-3.0. The architecture program is also brutal, but is ranked #1 in the world at the time of writing this. Other programs though are 'normal.' If you put in the work, you WILL get the grade.

THIRD: Surrounding area/the SNOW issue. *Buses leave from Ithaca to NY LITERALLY EVERY TWO-FOUR HOURS ALL WEEK for roughly $85 round trip, so going home is not a problem. They pick you up from central spots near all the dorms and drop you off in NYC. The weather in Ithaca is NO DIFFERENT than it is in Long Island. There is more snow, but the snow is warm. That's right, I'll say it again: the snow makes the weather warmer. You can Google this. There's some more wind, but that's about it. There is also a "TCAT" bus which goes to the dorms and drops you off to class (free) if you don't want to walk. Ithaca itself provides the ultimate undergrad experience. Kids laying around in massive grassy green quads, doing homework, throwing a frisbee around, playing music, your typical college experience. There's plenty of places to eat/shop (Ithaca has the highest restaurant per person ratio in the U.S.) even throughout the night (Hot Truck, Jimmy Johns, Wilson Farms is 24.7, CTB closes at 2AM, etc).Fourth: Food. Cornell is consistently ranked top 10 in the U.S. for food. The dining halls are 'all you can eat.' I'm a picky NY eater and this is something I'm going to miss a lot when I graduate. Cornell food is great.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2010
Scholastic Success: A+, Individual Value: C
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