Ithacating

Jen, a prospective undergrad, wanted me to address the weather in a blog. While this might seem like one of those topics that you discuss with your grandparents when there is nothing else to talk about, it is actually a legitimate concern for plenty of people.

When I applied to school, I would inevitably get bored while not doing my homework senior year and wind up browsing sites like CollegeProwler or PrinctonReview looking at schools that I was hoping to attend. One day, I decided to see where Ithaca and South Bend, my two top choices, fell on the Weather grades. I kept scrolling past the likes of U of Florida, and Pepperdine, and even Saint Louis University (I’ve heard it rains garbage there…) until all the way at the bottom was Cornell and Notre Dame, both given D- grades.

Sure, the weather in Ithaca can suck: we were wearing shorts and sitting on the patio of CTB a week ago and now we have 6 inches of snow on the ground, but really, this isn’t that big of a deal because what it proves is that if you don’t like the weather in Ithaca, stick around for a day or two: it is going to change.

A typical school year for us goes like this: August and September are unbearably hot. (To be fair, if it is 80 out, I think it is unbearable…) The end of September, October, and most of November are awesome. The trees change and the hills look increadible as you walk through campus. December thru February is typically pretty consistently cold, though not usually frigid, and we’ll have snow. Plus, it is so incredibly pretty. March until graduation could see snow again, but it is typically warmer and great to spend time outside. The summer in Ithaca is virtually unparalleled though. Between the sun, the gorges, and the quiet of Collegetown, you are hard pressed to find a better place.

Look how pretty the snow is!! How could you possibly give that up? Photo credit: Sam Jones
Look how pretty the snow is!! How could you possibly give that up? Photo credit: Sam Jones

My advice: don’t pick a school based on the weather. I like having the seasons, and one of my good buddies who ended up in California struggles to not skip class and play Frisbee every day. Meanwhile, I find it easy to stay inside on a day like today where it is 38, cloudy, and drizzling. This is good news because I have plenty of work I have been putting off. Even my roommate from California or friend from Singapore have gotten used to the cold of Ithaca. Hope that helps Jen!

100 Days

There are 100 days left until Graduation.

A good buddy of mine graduated last year and is currently being trained in Abu Dhabi, before he returns to work in Siberia where he has been stationed for the past 4 months. Needless to say, we don’t get to talk that often, but over gChat the other day, he asked me if I had gotten to the point where I was ready to leave. For a while, I knew I was, and if you had asked me last semester I definately would have told you that.

Now that I have reached 100 days until I am no longer a Cornell Undergrad (we’re going to work under the assumption I am going to graduate…) I don’t think that I am ready to leave.

There are still so many “Cornell” things I have to do: get an apple from a vending machine, go to Buttermilk Falls, oversleep and completely miss a class (not partially miss, completely miss), and so on. I haven’t even met one of my most avid readers, President Skorton, yet!
And the most daunting thing about only having 100 days left isn’t that I’m unemployed or rapidly going broke, but is that this is the last time I will know where all of my friends are at any given time. If I want to see almost the entire senior class in my fraternity, I walk down the street and they’re all there. I want to see my closest girlfriends, we can grab coffee on a whim. I can go to a bar and know everyone there. This is it!

What I told my buddy was no, I am definately not ready to leave Ithaca, but I am ready for the quickest 100 days of my life!

Too Crowded

One of the worst things that has happened to me during my time at Cornell occurred today. It wasn’t that there was too much snow, or that I forgot to turn in an assignment, and my alarm didn’t go off a few hours early. No, this was much much worst.

All of my napping spots were taken.

Catherwood Library, by the window seats? Full. Couches in A.D. White? Occupied. Pale Fire Lounge in Goldwin-Smith? Not happening. A girl looked like I had stabbed her puppy when I asked if she wouldn’t mind me moving her books so that I might nap in one of the comfy chairs…

This has never happened to me before, where ALL of my prime napping spots were taken. Take note Skorton, we need to cut admissions. There are too many people here.

Cooking in Collegetown

So the rumors go that Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York does. This isn’t that difficult to believe, especially considering how little of a capita Ithaca has. And there are some great eats both in Collegetown and in the Commons. CTB makes some of the best sandwiches known to mankind, Miyake’s Japanese food isn’t too bad, TBP is as good as Chipotle, and I haven’t even started talking about the rest of Ithaca.

The problem is eating out every night is not only expensive, but makes me question how healthy I am being. That was, in fact, one of my biggest fears in coming to school: not eating my vegetables. My mom wouldn’t let us leave the table unless we ate all the greens (or orange…we ate carrots a lot). For three years, this was a non-issue. The dining halls provide an incredible variety of options, and my fraternity’s chef is pretty awesome.

But now that I am living on my own in Collegetown? Life got a whole lot tougher. I’ve had to learn to cook things beyond Hot Pockets and frozen pizzas, and buying groceries is surprisingly expensive…I will say this, I have learned to make a pretty mean chili/stew/beef with various veggies and beans mix.

Pepsi vs Coke

Cornell is a Pepsi campus, probably due to the bottling facility located in upstate New York and correlated with things like the “Pepsico auditorium” in ILR. But I wish we were a coca-cola campus. I like the taste better and it is tough to find Coke in most of the dining halls.