Anthony Halmon: 'Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.'

April 12, 2017

Anthony Halmon

Africana Studies

Chicago, IL

How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?

My belief about myself and education changed. The more I became informed about history and this nation, the more I saw where I fit in this society. My beliefs were challenged and strengthened at the same time. I began to learn what it meant to truly listen actively, provide constructive criticism and communicate effectively. I came in wanting to be an engineer, but it took me 2 1/2 years to realize that engineering wasn't the field that I was called to. I had to learn the hard way that I had to be true to my destiny and to the calling that was placed on my life, and my purpose began to unfold before my eyes as I pursued Africana studies.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

My advice would be a quote that stuck out to me as I read this prompt: "the catalyst for change is discomfort." I do not believe Cornell is built for those who want to remain complacent in life. While some may be able to get a quality education through complacency, it is change and the trying of something new that will provide Cornelians with the best college experience they will ever have. I would tell freshmen to be willing to step out of their comfort zone and to try something new and to do something different. I would also tell them "be yourself, because everyone else is taken."

What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Next year, I will be attending the University of Chicago Divinity School. In 10 years, I see myself teaching while simultaneously owning a non-profit organization targeted at helping young African Americans in Chicago land jobs and better their lives for the bright future that waits to be unlocked.

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