Again new students, welcome to Cornell! I’ve made a little list of things that I think may be helpful for new students
- Bag in bag: On one of my first days at Cornell it rained a lot (big surprise). I got wet, which isn’t a huge deal as I don’t dissolve in the rain, but all the papers and books in my bag got wet, which is a big deal. So I used a handy Cornell Store plastic bag to protect what’s in my backpack and have never had a problem since. I suppose this could be avoided with a waterproof bag, but extra protection never hurts. Water can be very destructive and in Ithaca you never know when it can show up.
- Get good shoes: Again with rain, but now I brag about my shoes. My shoes are awesome, they are water proof (not just water resistant), breathable, comfortable, and they are better than yours. When I by mistake step in a deep puddle (this will happen to you), my feet rarely get wet; there’s little worse than sitting though a boring classes for hours with soggy feet. I suppose the moral of the story is that you should always be prepared for rain in Ithaca.
- Schedulizer: http://www.schedulizer.com is a very useful site for scheduling your classes. The software that Cornell uses has a rudimentary capability of displaying your full schedule, but schedulizer is more powerful (and colorful!) and you can use it outside of the add/drop period. Just be careful not to rely on it as it’s not officially affiliated with Cornell and may not always be up to date with Cornell classes. Update: Schedulizer no longer has Cornell Classes because “Cornell has made it prohibitively difficult for us to maintain accurate course information” Update: Schedulizer is back up, but classes may be out of date.
- NetID’s: You should already know by now your NetID. Besides being the your all important Cornell email addresses, they are often used for identification. I recommend forwarding your email to another account since the Cornell interface for mail is pretty basic. You can do this at http://whoiam.cornell.edu/. My mail goes to my gmail account, which I really like. It’s also important to be aware of the personal information connected with your NetID in the Cornell Electronic Directory. Through searching on Cornell.edu, you can find people by using their names or NetIDs. By default, your campus address and telephone are displayed. If you are concerned with privacy issues you can edit and remove information on jtf.cornell.edu although for me it took a long time for changes to take affect. The Electronic Directory can be a useful tool for finding people, but I think that it is important for people to realize that the information up there is public for the world to see.
- Workload: Maintaining a healthy consistent workload is a difficult yet critical task. I have by no means mastered this myself yet, but I’d recommend experimenting to find how far you can go before it’s too much. Go ahead a try taking classes that seem like a stretch, but know when you have taken on too much.
- NUBB: Stands for the Network Usage Based Billing System. There is a charge of $0.0015 per additional MB of bandwidth you use over 10 GB every Month at cornell. It’s a good idea to keep track of your bandwidth usage by visiting nubb.cornell.edu although it’s only updated daily. You will get an email when you pass 10 GB, but with the speed of Cornell’s network it very easy to go way over quickly. As to why there are charges for bandwidth and what I think about them, that’s a whole other article.
- Cornell Planner: It’s smart to keep track of everything with this little book. It is a calendar with a lot of useful dates specific to Cornell University. This year it’s a nice looking blue color with a picture of Uris library from west campus. This is my third planner, I think I’m gonna start a collection.