was very naive when I first decided to go to
college. I thought that if I graduated from an Ivy
League school, regardless of my major, that I would be
hired into a top position at the company of my
choice. My parents and other family members had not attended
college in the U.S. before. I had no real career
guidance from family members or high school advisors.
Communication was a huge mistake. The Communication major at Cornell
is a complete waste of time and money. You will
not learn anything you don't already know. There is NOTHING
you can do with the so-called information and theories you
study in that major. They are all common sense stuff
you'd already know from being a human. I had about
three to five classes that stressed the freaking definition of
Communication even! How stupid! They broke it down to a
sender sending a message to a receiver and how the
message is not complete until the receiver gives feedback of
receipt back to the sender. Duh! Do we really need
to go over that? Anyway, going into that major was
my mistake. They certainly beat a dead horse with all
those useless, pointless Communication major classes. Heck, I learned to
communicate, as if I didn't know that already. I didn't
know how horrible the major was though, until I tried
to get a decent job after college. I realized how
unprepared I was and how skill-less I was after graduation,
after 7 years of bad jobs in NYC.
biology, chemistry, and psychology 101 classes that are required with
the major are taught breezily in the classrooms, but the
tests hit you like a punch in the face (usually
the exams are all multiple choice too). You look at
50% of the exams and wonder—was this ever even mentioned?
The biology and chemistry exams were graded on a curve
because so many people did so badly on those exams.
The teachers in these classes did not really help me
learn the material. It was all do it yourself. They
assign chapters to read, give their breezy lectures (during which
you have to take notes like mad because there are
no handouts), and then hit you with this in-depth test
that covers a lot of material you don't even remember
hearing or reading about. There is no homework to help
you learn the material and of course no study guides.
The exams at this school were usually a bad surprise
most of the time, especially in the bio, chem, and
psych classes. And I had a very minimal social life
and studied most of the time too. It's not as
if I wasn't working hard. I got only As and
Bs in all my classes, but still feel I learned
At the university I now attend, a small,
career-focused school, where I'm studying pre-health classes for entry into
a nursing program (yeah, an actual specific career that will
actually pay me a decent salary), the teachers really help
me learn the material and teach more slowly. They offer
study guides before exams, homework, quizzes, and the class sizes
are much smaller. I'm actually learning something useful at my
current school, which makes Cornell look all the more unhelpful.
Cornell does have some useful degrees such as Accounting, however,
considering the mad-pace and lack of learning tools offered in
my bio, chem, and psych classes, (i.e., the hard sciences)
I would be afraid to take a serious major at
that school. You'd probably leave the school knowing much less
than someone who studied at a smaller school where the
teachers put more effort in helping students learn. I felt
some of the classes were taught (such as my Music
105 class that I dropped or my Logic class) as
if you already knew the material and were just being
given a review of it. If I already knew it,
why would I pay so much money for you to
teach it to me? Is it all just so I
can get that name on my diploma? I actually wanted
to learn more and understand why the Ivy League is
considered to offer such a great education. I've learned more
from my local community college. Notice that Jeopardy champions are
hardly ever Ivy League students. That's no accident. If people
from the Ivy League seem smart, it's because they were
smart before they got there. The Ivy League, at least
from my experience, did not make me any smarter. It
in fact hurt me and delayed me. Looking back, it
seemed like a lot of smoke and mirrors. Though I
admit, many of my teachers you can tell had a
very high IQ, but they didn't all teach me better.
That is, the star athlete doesn't necessarily make the best
Good points: My English classes were all quite
impressive, I must say. All the English professors I had
at Cornell went a bit more out of their way
to help me improve my writing. Even in a big
Great Books class, the teacher took time to meet with
me to help me improve my paper. I was impressed!
Also the pre-calculus math class is very well taught during
the lab classes by the TAs. It's not all bad,
but my major was HORRIBLE. That was probably the biggest
reason I was so disappointed. Had I majored in something
else, I would probably have liked the school much more,
but I still am a bit doubtful of that. Avoid
majoring in Communication like the plague (no matter what school
you decide on). Ccommunication is a useless major that leads
to no career prospects no matter where you study it.
Another plus: Cornell has to be the most beautiful
campus in the world. I just wish I didn't have
to cross a bridge every time I go to class.
A beautiful place, but I wouldn't want to study there.
Go to a more career-focused school with smaller class sizes.
That's my recommendation. It's NOT the school name that matters
(unless you're going to be a lawyer or the President),
it's what you will actually learn from the school. Cornell
hardly taught me anything useful and the pace of the
classes is much too fast. It's a do it yourself
school that makes you pay big bucks.