'I treasure any and all 3 a.m. conversations that took place'

Laurence Minter 

Sociology
Chicago, Ill.

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

Through my Arts & Sciences education I have been able to learn more about my own background experiences and how that has informed not only who I am but how I perceive the world around me. Taking this applicable perspective and adding this context to the lens of how I interpret other peoples' decisions and experiences has been an extremely valuable lesson. 

man outside middle school

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

I treasure any and all 3 a.m. conversations that took place in the spur of the moment, despite the reality of having classes in the morning and work to do. These discrete investments in the time we shared and getting to understand each other, as well as the universe around us, is an unforgettable experience. 

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

My greatest accomplishment as a Cornell student has been intrinsic —  it's been finding a greater sense of understanding of who I am and what my purpose is. This came with nothing but the help of God and how He has used this experience to show me what I am worth and how much that worth was already proclaimed and affirmed before and after my time at Cornell. 

Laurence Minter in front of CU Tonight sign

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

The Black community at Cornell influenced my education the most. From living in Ujamaa, meeting black faculty and staff who are so thoroughly invested in my success, I've received a global perspective and understanding of my Blackness and the responsibility as well as purpose that rests on my existence in this space. 

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

Cornell is a microcosm of the real world; reframe your perspective to understand that while it is a bubble, it is not omitted from the realities of the world around it. Use this experience to challenge the institution to invest in you and not the other way around. 

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.

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