'I gained perspective from my Arts & Sciences education'

AnnaBella Adragna

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Why did you choose Cornell?

I chose Cornell because I really appreciated its motto of "any person, any study." As a first generation Latina, higher education intimidated me but Cornell seemed like it created an environment where it reassured me that I belonged. Besides the environment, financially it was affordable for me to come to Cornell as a low-income student and I felt like I was going to get the support I needed during my college journey. 

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

I gained perspective from my Arts & Sciences education. I was able to study some of the things I am interested in through various lenses and this has helped me understand that not everything is one-sided. It also showed me that one needs to always be critical and keep asking questions that push the conversation forward.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of?

girl in front of white wall

I am very proud that I passed my Statistics for Sociological Research class. I struggled a lot when I took that class because I was unfamiliar with coding and math. I really had to push myself to understand the material and conceptualize what I was learning. This was definitely a big personal accomplishment for me. 

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell?

I have discovered that I am resilient. I managed to graduate as a first-generation student who did not know anything about college while also dealing with a pandemic at the same time. I discovered that I am a hard worker and that I pushed myself even when I wanted to give up. But most importantly I discovered that my entire identity should not be centered around how resilient I am. I learned that I deserve breaks, I deserve rest and that it's OK to admit when I do not feel OK. 


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 2022.

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