Luby Kiriakidi: 'My professor helped me feel like my ideas matter'

Luby Kiriakidi

Classics & College Scholar

Rochester, NY

What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?

I participated in a Body Positive group that helped me realize the scope of negative body image and self-talk. I realized I wasn't alone in the struggle to accept my body, and my attitude and behavior can make a huge difference for myself and the people around me. My accomplishments, personality and drive give me worth outside of whatever shape my body is in.

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

Without a doubt, Professor Frederick Ahl. He was my randomly assigned advisor when I was undecided freshman year, and he got me hooked on classics, the study of ancient languages, performance of translated Greek and Latin plays and appreciation of wordplay and subversion in literature. More importantly, he has helped me feel like my ideas matter as I have been writing my thesis. His kindness, skill and zest for life are unparalleled and I feel extremely lucky to have been his student.

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

Get your eyes off of your phone screen when you're walking on campus, eating at Robert Purcell Community Center or taking the TCAT bus and just talk to people. There are so many opportunities to seize when you open yourself to meeting new people and learning about different experiences. The first year is especially friendly to this "talking to strangers" habit, but it still reaps benefits even in the coming years, when your friend groups and co-curriculars have been secured.

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 Luby Kiriakidi