Jessica Sion: 'My advice is not to get too comfortable'

May 24, 2016

Jessica Sion

Sociology

New York City, NY

What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?

I first began writing for the magazine department of Slope Media, Cornell's student-run multimedia group, my sophomore year. This extracurricular was so important to me for two reasons: first, it allowed for exceptional growth within the organization, as well as my own personal growth. I began as a writer, stuck with it long enough to receive my own column, helped copyedit for the bi-annual print issue and eventually rose to the position of editor-in-chief my junior year. This position taught me much about leadership and cooperation and by the time I passed the baton to the next editor, I felt I had really left my mark on the organization.

The second, more notable reason that I cherish my time with Slope Media is because it has introduced me to a group of unique individuals, both on the executive board and on my staff of writers, who have helped to make my time on campus so special. It's so easy to become trapped in your own personal network of friends ("day 1 homies") and forget to keep branching out, but this extracurricular brought many new people into my life, many of whom I could not imagine my time here without.

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

I think I’ve learned to view the world from a more sociological perspective, which includes taking a step back and looking at a situation from a point of view other than my own. I’ve also gone through a number of different possible career paths. My sophomore year, I thought I might want to go into education. That soon changed as I became a communication minor, and an interest in media and journalism began to emerge. After spending the summer before my senior year interning at a magazine, I decided it was not for me. Though I have yet to decide my next career path, I am still fascinated with the field of sociology; my interest in what I study has been consistent through it all.

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

You may feel uncomfortable at first; such is life in a new setting. That will soon pass. My advice to you is not to get too comfortable, either. Push yourself to keep stepping outside your comfort zone – meet new people, make new friends, explore a different side of Ithaca, and, in the wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “do one thing every day that scares you.”

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