'Talking with students and professors from all over the world has been amazing'

Juan Cancel

Lansdale, Pa.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

This is more of an ongoing experience rather than a memory, but I really cherish how much all my friends have changed and evolved as people in the last four years. Just like me, the plans they had when they were freshmen are not the same ones they now have as seniors. In all cases, they seem to be happier with how things turned out for them. This is something you can only experience if you were in the same undergraduate environment for four years.

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

I am most proud of how much I improved my writing skills, especially in relation to my linguistics courses. In the span of just two years, I went from having no clear idea of how to write a linguistics paper to being in the process of writing my senior thesis.

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

Having the chance to talk with students and professors from all over the world has really been an amazing experience. Not only did it allow me to learn new perspectives on how to approach problems, but it also allowed me to question my own assumptions. Besides that, I was also able to discover my true vocation in linguistics, something that I did not expect to happen since I had other plans in mind for my major when I got here as a freshman.

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

I would tell them to always take some time for their friends and for themselves. Your education is important, and it is definitely one of your priorities here at Cornell, but you shouldn’t let it encompass every aspect of your student life. Spending time with others and taking proper care of yourself can really go a long way in making your experience at Cornell as best as it can be.


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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