'I fell in love with books again'

Annabel Young

American Studies and Literatures in English
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell originally for its math program, although that is not what I ended up pursuing! The campus was beautiful, and the students seemed really down to earth. I could tell when I visited that people genuinely liked each other, cared about each other.

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

I've been a member of NAISAC (Native American and Indigenous Students at Cornell) for the past four years, and have served as both secretary and co-chair of the org. NAISAC is where I found community, where I found the people I love, and where I laugh the hardest.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

I worked at Temple of Zeus for three out of the four years I was here, and while I don't have any specific memory in mind, I loved every day of it. I loved making food for people, and seeing my friends and professors every day.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I'm most proud of having written my dissertation abroad. I was studying postcolonial literature at Cambridge. It was really difficult and I can't believe I finished it.

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

I learned that our world is shaped by colonialism and exploitation. I learned the very specific ways in which America was founded on stolen land with stolen labor. And I fell in love with books again, even when I thought I loved them before college.

Every year, our faculty nominate graduating Arts & Sciences students to be featured as part of our Extraordinary Journeys series. Read more about the Class of 2021.

More News from A&S

Girl receiving award
Annabel Young, left, receives the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program's Merit Leadership Award from Urszula Piasta-Mansfield, the program's associate director
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