Peer Advisor Program
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About the Program
As the largest of Cornell's seven colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a wide variety of possible majors. It is therefore very easy to feel overwhelmed. The peer advisor program was developed to help incoming first-year students become acquainted with all that the college has to offer. Although they do not provide academic advice, peer advisors are there to offer a student's perspective of life at Cornell, to answer questions, and to help make the transition to college life a bit smoother.
How to Become a Peer Advisor
Interested in getting involved on campus, developing leadership experience, and helping out incoming A&S freshmen? The A&S Peer Advisor Program is looking for motivated, charismatic, and responsible students to guide incoming first-years! Look out for emails early in the spring semester about the Peer Advisor application.
The 2019 Peer Advisor application is closed.
If you have questions, please contact Jayla Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is an A&S Peer Advisor?
A&S Peer Advisors facilitate the transition to college by providing new first-year students with an introduction to Cornell and the College of Arts and Sciences. A Peer Advisor is assigned a small number of advisees (no more than 12) and assists them while they prepare to come to Cornell and make a personal and social transition. A Peer Advisor is a good role model who values learning and the “life of the mind” and successfully balances academics and extracurricular activities.
What does an A&S Peer Advisor do?
- Attends two short training and professional development sessions (one in April, one during August orientation).
- Reaches out to their group of no more than 12 advisees via email in June, and begins answering questions about Cornell/the College of Arts and Sciences as necessary.
- Continues to be available for questions via email throughout the summer.
- Meets with their group of advisees during August orientation.
- Is available during the fall semester to meet with new students for two follow-up meetings (timing is flexible).
Will new students be assigned to me by major?
No. Your advisees may or may not be interested in the same fields of study as you are. Remember that many students change their minds about what they want to major in as they explore their academic interests and learn about majors they never knew existed.
Can I be both an Orientation Leader and an A&S Peer Advisor?
Yes – the two roles do not overlap.
Can I be both a Biology Student Advisor and an A&S Peer Advisor?
No – the timing of Orientation events does not allow students to serve in both roles.
Peer Advisor Profiles
Peer Advisor E-board Members
Nicole Davessar '19
Nadia Muhammad '19
Gauri Misra '19
Medina Keita '20
Austin Haycox '20
What makes the College of Arts & Sciences unique?
The Peer Advisors were asked "What makes studying in the College of Arts & Sciences unique for you, and what do you think makes a happy, successful student in our college?" Below are some of their answers.
Shilpy Agarwal '21
Being an "Undecided" student at the beginning of my college career, I think College of Arts and Sciences was the best option for me as it provided me with the opportunity to explore and figure out what my major would be. I started out as a pre-med hopeful and ended up being an Econ major. The opportunity to explore is what makes Arts and Sciences unique to me. I think a hard-working, consistent, determined, mentally and physically healthy student makes a happy and successful student in our college.
Alyssa Alishoev '19
I think it is unique because of the diversity that the school offers in terms of different majors, minors, classes, etc. It has the most wide array of classes offered out of any of the other schools, which is great for exploring your interests and making the most of your time at Cornell.
I think that a happy and successful student in Arts & Sciences takes time to pick a major that it is right for them and that they are interested in, challenges themselves with different types of classes, picks a reasonable workload and paces themselves over their years at Cornell in terms of class difficulty and credits taken, and takes advantage of of the many opportunities offered to them. Through Arts & Sciences, I'm currently studying abroad in Barcelona this semester and it has been the most amazing experience for me. There are so many great opportunities like this that Arts has to offer, and learning more about them and stepping out of your comfort zone can be key to thriving at Cornell.
Chloe Amsterdam '20
The college of Arts and Sciences is unique to me because of its diversity. With majors from English, to Chemistry, to Art History, to Astronomy, I think this huge range of interests is unparalleled in the other colleges. As someone who is a premedical student majoring in English, minoring in Music, Arts and Sciences has provided me all of the resources and opportunities I could want as a student with a wide range of interests. Furthermore, the professional advising staff has been helpful for me in changing my major, as well as in helping me to study abroad (which I will be doing next spring). Arts and Sciences has provided me a resource or opportunity in any area of interest I have thought of, making me really enjoy what I am studying, and feel like I have a community within Cornell as a whole. Furthermore, meeting friends within the college who are studying completely different things from me, but who are equally as excited about their studies, is really motivating to see.
Darshna Anigol '19
Studying in College of Arts and Sciences is unique to me because I have a very broad perspective on my subjects. Through a liberal arts centered education, I can understand how my different subjects relate to each other and are interconnected. In addition, as a part of the College of Arts and Sciences, I am a part of a diverse community that pushes me to try on different lenses and expand my way of thinking. My peers provide different perspectives that helps me push myself intellectually. Not only do I sharpen my critical thinking, but I am also challenged to expand my creativity.
A happy, successful student in the College of Arts and Sciences manages his or her time well. I think it is important to balance both extracurricular activities and academics, allowing for experiences that help one mature as a person and intellectually. Academics teach valuable skills such as analytical thinking and problem solving while extracurricular activities help develop leadership, independence, and communication skills.
Sohun Awsare '19
I choose the College of Arts and Sciences as an all-encompassing school that allows me to pursue my interests not only within my major but other disciplines as well. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge that is quenched by the flexibility of the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum and the diversity of classes allowing individuals to explore and pursue their passions ranging from economics and comparative literature to sociology and astronomy. All of these serve as outlets allowing me to continue learning and shaping the kind of person I want to become. Here, I have the opportunity to be proficient in multiple subjects ranging from Spanish to Chemistry. I am not confined to a prescribed set of classes as the breath requirements are truly all inclusive allowing me to broaden my horizons as a member of the Cornell Community.
Finally, the College of Arts and Sciences' mantra “Any person…Any study” has allowed me to expand my knowledge base and see the world through both a science and humanities lens. The College of Arts and Sciences has allowed me to explore various fields, some of which I did not know I had a passion for while opening new doors of further study. Our college is all about finding the balance between your major and your other interests. It is really important that as a member of this diverse college, one takes advantage of the plethora of opportunities to diversify your understanding of the world.
Marlene Berke '19
A&S, in my opinion, is the most "learning for the sake of learning" of the colleges. To illustrate my point, engineering students are very industry-oriented. ILR and Hotel schools are applied and business-y. A&S has a kind of idealism and imagination that the others lack. In A&S, you can study anything from physics to music to linguistics. I think a happy, successful student is one who explores the vast subjects at their fingertips and dabbles a little bit before focusing on their main interests. Once they know what it is they want to study, a happy, successful student pursues with determination. If it's requires a double major, they do it. If it requires a an independent major, they do it.
Happiness and success in A&S is also about the relationships that you make with faculty, classmates, and students in studies vastly different than your own. Such relationships are incredibly rewarding, and they are the part of learning that cannot take place studying in your dorm with headphones on. You have to venture out and explore. Studying in A&S is unique in its opportunities for exploration, and taking advantage of those opportunities leads to happiness and success.
Alexander Black '19
The culture of the college of arts and sciences is unique in the sense that everybody seems to follow a similar schedule. People tend to spend most of their time working on their classes. Second to that is research or other preparation for their career. Third and lastly, we spend time socializing and relaxing. Balancing this hierarchy is what makes for a happy, successful student in this college. I went to a small poorly funded public high school, so balancing these things were not difficult in high school because I just did as much as was available. However, at Cornell, there are no university limitations on what you can do, and it's easy to feel pressured to do too much. I hope to teach new students how to relieve that pressure and understand their limitations.
Salli Bowman '19
I absolutely love psychology and it's really great to learn so much about it. I think exploring all that Cornell has to offer is what makes a happy and successful student here.
Zachary Brienza '19
I think the most unique aspect of studying in A&S is the language requirement. Taking a language is something that computer science majors in the engineering school really do not understand and miss out on. Meanwhile, being a computer science major in A&S I have had the opportunity to take three semesters of Italian that have shown me a much different type of learning. Being immersed into a language and setting that is completely unfamiliar to you really forces you to develop your communication skills in a way that most people do not get to experience.
From realizing what makes me happy and successful here and what other successful and happy students at Cornell do, I believe balance is what makes people enjoy themselves the most while also learning a lot of difficult and new information. You cannot be happy if you go to the library during all of your free time, attend every office hours session, and have an immense fear of missing lecture. This will eventually deter you from success as well. Conversely, you cannot be successful if you miss class consistently, do not do work outside of class, and do not make time in your day to study. This will eventually affect your happiness. A balance between having fun, relaxing, working, and dedicating yourself is necessary for any Cornell student to be both successful and happy.
Caroline Buthe '19
Studying in the College of Arts & Sciences is unique for me because I have been able to study a variety of academic interests, that generally do not have much overlap. Being a student in Arts & Sciences has allowed me to combine several of my passions, including history, law and business. Furthermore, this combination will surely contribute to my ultimate career goal, becoming an international business lawyer. To be a happy, successful student in Arts & Sciences one must allow themselves to explore their academic interests. Students can be overwhelmed by all the requirements, but these in fact allow students to indulge in their interests. If students choose not to do so, they will not be happy as they are not allowing themselves to pursue all their passions. They also will be less likely to be successful, as they are ignoring other classes and passions that could lead to possible majors/minors.
Bryn Carickhoff '20
I chose the College of Arts and Sciences originally because I wanted to pursue a career in business, but also receive a liberal arts education. Something unique to my major that I did not find in other schools is that it was a balance of both quantitative and qualitative applications, instead of focusing on merely practical applications for business. At the same time that I am preparing myself to enter the business world, I am able to take courses that have stimulated my intellectual curiosity and have challenged me, such as courses in the Spanish and Asian Studies departments. Genuine intellectual curiosity and a dedication to liberal arts education are two key components of a successful Arts student.
Marie Ceske '20
When it came time to write my application to Cornell, applying to Arts and Sciences was a no-brainer. Well before beginning my college search, I knew that I wanted to receive a liberal arts education. Arts and Sciences is unique in that it combines the essence of the liberal arts within the nexus of a large research institution. In addition to its extensive list of courses and amazing professors, Arts also has wonderful study-abroad programs, extra-curricular opportunities, student and career services, and various programs including lecture series and speaker events to engage students outside of the classroom. Cornell really is a place for “any person, any study,” and this motto reigns true within Arts and Sciences. I have been able to not only pursue my current interests, but also explore other disciplines in an academically diverse environment.
A successful student in Arts and Sciences is one who is open-minded and willing to explore a wide range of disciplines. While students can definitely have specific interests, I think the most successful students in Arts are those who are intellectually curious and motivated to pursue many different course offerings. Since students do not have to declare a major until their sophomore year, members of this college are really given the license to explore, an opportunity a successful Arts student capitalizes upon.
Kalen Chang '20
I was amazed at the diverse range of departments in the college, and the variety of courses they offer. There are countless courses—more that I will ever be able to take in my four years at Cornell—that I am interested in, and any student who has a strong sense of curiosity and desire to learn would agree. Professors are always interested in sharing their knowledge, whether in lecture or during office hours, and even students enjoy engaging in academic or intellectual discussions outside of class. The academic diversity present makes studying in the College a truly unique experience.
I believe that curiosity and the desire to learn are essential for gaining the full experience this college offers. Students that are discovering their passions and taking courses in which they are genuinely interested will feel that heavy workloads and busy schedules are not a chore, but an opportunity for learning and self improvement. Despite having many graduation requirements, the College offers many classes in all departments to fulfill them, which encourages students to find classes they are genuinely interested in that they might not normally take. Thus, I feel that traits such as the desire to learn and willingness to explore new subjects makes a student happy and successful.
Tracy Cheung '20
The reason why I applied to Arts and Sciences was because I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to study and I wanted to be able to try different classes to see which I liked best. What is great about Arts and Sciences is that you can take a random class and not have your credits for the semester be “wasted” since we have distribution requirements to fulfill. I think a happy, successful student is one who is open to new experiences and is willing to try different things to see where he/she fits in best.
Laura Cvetkovski '20
I think that what makes it unique for me is how many options students have to explore academically. Coming into Cornell I wasn't sure of what I wanted to study, but because I was in Arts and Sciences I didn't have to know right away. Students can take classes that interest them and explore their options before deciding what they ultimately wanted to study, and this was something that made the liberal arts degree very appealing to me.
Els Dai '19
The most unique thing to study in the College of Arts and Sciences is that I am able to encounter individuals with different backgrounds that broaden my horizon. Since there is a wide variety of majors offer in the College of Arts and Sciences, we have the opportunity to take various classes that can be theoretical or practical. More importantly, from the classes, specifically group projects, we can meet peers from different majors. During the group projects, we can learn new things from each other, such as the culture in their country, their thoughts on current events, their approaches on solving problems, or even the reason that made them choose Cornell University over other schools. In my opinion, a college student is happy and successful when he or she is able to meet a lot of new people that have different backgrounds and learn from them throughout four years of college. I believe the College of Arts and Sciences offers students a unique opportunity to become a happy and successful college students where we all embrace diversity and learn from each other.
Isabelle De Brabanter '19
Studying in the College of Arts & Sciences is an incredibly unique experience that I wouldn’t trade in for the world. I am able to take classes over such a wide range of interdisciplinary studies while exploring my own personal likes and dislikes. I came into college with an undeclared major because I was torn between choosing classes that I loved or choosing classes that would be pragmatic for a career. Because of the requirements the College of A&S implements, I have been able to create a balanced schedule that interests me, is fun, but will also provide me with skills for the work force. A happy, successful student in our college is one who takes full advantage of all the interesting and plentiful opportunities that are offered. Every time I explain my major choices (French and Information Science), people are shocked that I am able to study two radically different topics in the same undergraduate experience.
Jennifer Della Santina '21
The College of Arts and Sciences’ emphasis on integration of studies across disciplines melds perfectly with my educational aspirations. I plan to major in chemistry with a focus on chemical biology, and the flexibility afforded by the Chemistry major program to choose electives from a wide variety of related but separate disciplines is particularly appealing to me. In addition to studying Chemistry, I intend to double major or minor in French, and the ability to balance my heavy science curriculum with humanities courses is the best part of studying in A&S as opposed to another college.
To be a happy and successful student in the college, I think all that is necessary is to take classes that are genuinely interesting. The freshman writing seminar course (FWS) was definitely one of my most enjoyable experiences because I had the opportunity to write about something that I normally wouldn’t as a chemistry major. As a peer advisor, I would recommend that students take classes that look fascinating to them since freshman year is the perfect time to explore new interests.
Angela Demaral '21
For me, my decision to apply to the College of Arts & Sciences was strongly based on the fact that it really allows you to explore such a wide variety of topics. I love how many fields of study are offered in this one college, and it makes me feel like I have the freedom to add a minor or change my major on a whim (which I LOVE). I think that when a lot of people picture a happy, successful student, they think of someone who really knows what they're doing and is constantly working hard to get there, but when I picture a successful student, I imagine someone that really loves what they're doing and never wastes a moment trying to mold their mind into something that it isn't.
Emma DiGiovanni '21
The aspect of the College which most excites me, the focus of my go-to spiel for prospective students, is the flexible and explorational nature of the education provided by the College. The wide academic offerings and unique collection of courses strikes me every time I log onto the Class Roster. As cheesy as it may sound, the College holds up to Cornell's mission to offer instruction in any study. I still find it unbelievable that I was able to take an entire course focusing on chimpanzee behavior last semester. This encouragement of exploration is such a privilege, as it allows students to create an unique and enjoyable education that caters to their own ambitions and passions. This is one aspect of the College which allows students to be happy and successful, to enjoy and feel proud about their education. Exploring all possible interests you may have in an academic setting not only allows you to enjoy what you're learning but also pushes you to consider the possibilities for your future which at one point may have felt unrealistic. When you find your education exciting, you feel motivated to excel and to raise the expectations you have for yourself. The College certainly encourages this experience.
Aarooran Durairaj '19
The wide variety and freedom in the College of Arts and Sciences makes it unique for me. I think that a ranging exploration of all that the college has to offer is what makes a happy, successful student in Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences is geared towards making students come out of college as holistic, cultured, and variegated. As such, it offers a plethora of experiences from across all different fields of study. Only by taking a chance, being open-minded, and willing to try new things can a student truly be happy in Arts and Sciences. The students will be better off for having tried so many different things as they can find their calling in life with more specificity and selectivity. In this manner, a happy Arts and Sciences career is a great precursor for a happy lifelong career.
Josh Eibelman '20
Waking up every day knowing that I am among people (students, professors, etc) who are excited about learning about the world is incredibly exciting. In particular, CAS spans many disciplines (from the sciences to the humanities) and the fact that there is so much interdisciplinary collaboration and communication has been really a great experience for me. A successful, happy students is one who feels challenged and interested in his/her classes without feeling overwhelmed. He/she also feels that there is a good balance between time for work/extracurricular activities and time to relax.
Izzie Fan '21
I believe that the College of Arts & Sciences is an extremely unique school to be in because you get to receive a liberal arts education while still attending a large research institution. As a biological sciences major, I get to enjoy taking all of the rigorous science courses this school has to offer, while also being able to take a wide range of courses in topics such as foreign language and history. The College Arts & Sciences also has an extremely strong support system for all of its students, so that help is always available, whether it's for classes or general advice.
I think that happy and successful students in Arts & Sciences take classes that they are interested in, and are willing to take risks to pursue what they are passionate about. They also take initiative in their classes— from participating in discussions to attending office hours to ask questions. In order to fully dive into your passions and explore the opportunities this school has to offer, you have to be able to step out of your comfort zone.
Alexander Frolov '21
For me, the breadth of what I can do with my academics is the most unique part of my college. I can do a lot of technical applied work while learning interesting liberal arts stuff simultaneously, which I think is really cool. As far as producing happy, successful students, I think the most important thing is making sure students don't feel lost, have a good community and have a sense of purpose. I think helping to develop a sense of purpose is a big part of making students feel happier and more successful, even if they don't know their end goals yet.
Rachel Gallagher '20
Studying in the College of Arts & Sciences has given me the opportunity to explore a wide variety of interests through challenging and interesting courses. Additionally, because of the way the College of Arts & Sciences is set up, these courses fit into my requirements and do not need to be sequestered to the miscellaneous "electives" box.
I think a happy, successful student in the College of Arts & Sciences is a well rounded and curious student who is willing to engage with challenging topics. The College of Arts & Sciences has allowed me to do this thus far and I would encourage first-year students to do the same. Life in the College of Arts & Sciences and Cornell as a whole can be overwhelming, but taking classes which engage with a student's passions makes it less so.
Rohan Gharekhan '21
Studying in the College of Arts and Sciences, as opposed to any other college here at Cornell, offers me the ability to pursue my wide range of interests, from foreign languages, to economics, while also focusing on my major, which as of right now is government. Thus, a benefit of being a student in the CAS is that I will never feel pigeonholed, or like I’m being forced to study something I’m not interested in....Arts and Sciences focuses more on cultivating a genuine interest in the subject matter...in my classes there is much more of an emphasis on collaboration, rather than competition among students...
Consequently, for a student to thrive in our college, in this setting, he or she has to be someone with a true interest in learning - not just the one possessing desire to obtain an internship and a job down the road (and nothing else)... it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to study in right off the bat, as the school prides itself on giving students the ability to discover their interests. However, even if a student has an intended major coming in, to be successful here, it is essential to be open to every subject, as one’s initial choice of major can be vastly different from their final one. Lastly, as a peer advisor, I would not forget to mention wellness. To be a happy student at this university, it is imperative to stay organized and maximize efficiency while doing work. Doing this allows students to go out and enjoy themselves even in the face of prelims and massive problem sets.
Mohini Gharpure '20
Hoping to later pursue a career in medicine, I expected my first two years to be characterized solely by pre-med classes and their associated stressful environments; thankfully, however, Arts and Sciences has allowed me to not only place significant emphasis on my pre-med courses, but also enroll in diverse courses that contribute to my minor and general interests. The diversity in courses that I enroll in each semester and the opportunities offered by these courses makes Arts and Sciences unique....
A happy, successful student in the College of Arts and Sciences is one who is able to explore everything the college has to offer, succeed in the courses they enroll in, and maintain a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular activities, all while not succumbing to the stressful Cornell environment. As mentioned before, the various departments within the college allow students to take classes that spark their interests even if they do not contribute to their intended major; these classes usually reduce the overall stress felt by the required major courses. The professors in all classes are willing to set aside time to meet with students, whether they are struggling or not, to either clarify any unclear concepts or create a connection centered on similar interests. The professors’ willingness and openness to meet really contributes to a student’s success....
Lauren Goldman '19
I chose the College of Arts and Sciences because of the plethora of opportunities that it has to offer. As an initially undecided major, I was able to begin to pursue a double major and then settle down into a major and minor that are offered in multiple colleges. The distribution requirements in Arts and Sciences have allowed me to expand my horizons and have made me a more well rounded academic as my major is highly computational. I think that a happy, successful student in the College of Arts and Sciences is one who is supported by advisors and allowed to pursue any interest that they please. The wide array of majors and courses allow for nearly infinite possibilities for course combinations and a happy student should be able to pick whichever interest them, while ensuring they are completing all requirements for graduation.
Jackie Han '21
I enjoy studying in the College of Arts & Sciences mostly due to the breadth of the classes I can take, and the freedom I feel moving from subject to subject. For both semesters of my freshman year, I have been taking a 3000-level Japanese class, continuing my language studies from previous years. Although many look at the breadth requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences as a nuisance, I enjoy that there is a structure in place to remind me that I should not only focus on core classes for my major; I should feel free to explore and discover what I enjoy, and I'm glad that I do have the freedom to do that. Next semester, I plan to take Microeconomics and a Fashion Design class, and I'm very happy that I have the opportunity to do so.
I believe that my adjustment to college through my first-year has been quite successful due to my ability to know when to take time for myself and not overload myself with work. In high school, I was essentially a workaholic, for lack of better words. I didn't take good care of myself, and as a result, my mental health suffered. In college, I vowed to change the way I looked at life, call my parents and close friends more, but yet maintain my academics and get involved in extracurriculars. I was rejected to many organizations I was dying to join both semesters, but I will try again next semester. Although I have taken a decent number of credits both semesters, I still make sure to make time for extracurriculars and creativity in my life.
Raiven Harris '19
The liberal arts education that students get in the college of Arts and Sciences. As a Performing and Media Arts major, biology minor, pre-med student who is doing research in nutrition, I have been able to explore all of my interests, while taking courses that fulfill requirements in Arts and Sciences that I never thought I would have been interested in. There are so many courses that I wouldn't have taken or tried, if I were a part of another college. I think that not being limited to a single subject or field is essential to a student's happiness. I wouldn't have been as happy had I not had the opportunity to take a variety of classes, during my years here. This also allows students to be successful, because they aren't overwhelmed by taking too many STEM courses or by stretching their creativity far in all of their classes. The language requirements in Arts makes its students more successful, because language skills hold a lot of value in professional fields.
Rori Henderson '19
No one makes decisions for you in A&S. You have to pick your schedule based on your needs and interests. No one will say specifically what classes you have to take to cover the degree requirements. A student in A&S is really an individual and must make a lot of their decisions for themselves. By contrast, what makes a student happy in this college is one who is willing to reach out and ask for help. Whether it's through traditional advisors or close friends, students in A&S who have someone who can at least guide them through making decisions, especially in the beginning, is crucial.
Eliza Hering '20
Coming into Cornell I had no clue what I wanted to do. I knew what I liked and what I didn't like, but I had yet to find what I loved, and the College of Arts & Sciences's curriculum helped me to do that. I think the ability to explore, the acceptance that we don't know what we want to study as seventeen and eighteen year-olds and the acknowledgement that every major and every field of study has value is what makes our college unique. To be a happy Arts & Sciences student just takes openness and passion. As a student of this college, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone, to take a language, to take a math, to take a history and I think this willingness, this readiness to push your boundaries and explore is what makes a happy and successful Arts & Sciences student.
Binli Huang '19
Studying in the College of Arts and Sciences is made unique by the sheer amount of diversity. Each individual in Arts and Sciences can be differentiated by a unique characteristic of their life. Yet, even with all of this diversity, we are unified by our collective curiosity for a multitude of subjects and by our urge to explore new and exciting experiences.
A happy, successful student in our college embodies the characteristics that make the College of Arts and Sciences special. That individual has an unending passion to learn and explore. That individual has integrated themselves into the Cornell community becoming a part of the system that helps to support one another.
Kurt Huebner '21
The distribution requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences has been one of the most important and unique aspects of my Cornell education so far. These requirements have lead to me learning about totally foreign cultures and concepts in the Asian Studies department, speaking to and learning from students in Colombia in my Spanish class, and engaging with mathematics from a new and challenging perspective in my Linear Algebra class. It is critical for students in our college to expose themselves to new concepts and cultures through the wide variety of classes available to them.
Madeline Johnson '20
My favorite part about the College of Arts & Sciences is that as a student in this college you are not limited to what classes you can take or what subjects you can study. Instead you are encouraged to explore the diversity within Cornell’s academics and possibly fall in love with a subject that you didn’t even know existed. The College of Arts & Sciences provides an education unlike any of the other colleges at Cornell because it gives students a widespread knowledge of the varying aspects of the world. Already as an A&S student I have gained awesome analytical and critical thinking skills on top of taking classes in subjects that would never be offered in a high school classroom.
I think a happy A&S student is one that is taking a balance of different types of classes that are the perfect combination of challenging and entertaining. The most successful A&S student is one that feels most passionate and interested in the subjects that they are studying and the work that they are doing. If you aren’t captivated by your academics it is definitely harder to be happy and successful!
Richard Kang '19
The College of Arts and Sciences is unique and different because the four-year plan for every student can be totally different, and the pathway is independently chosen by the individual...Our college is different in that those seemingly complex requirement actually provides are very profound chance to independently shape the future. Personally, this was a great merit for me. Going through an extremely competitive high-school environment, I wanted to deviate away from a list of courses in my journey to a Bachelor’s degree. Opportunities present in my college allowed the long-awaited freedom - a new lens that would offer a wider spectrum of knowledge.
In fact, happy, and successful students in the College of Arts and Sciences are the ones who use such flexibility to the maximum extent and become independent and active in the planning of four years. These successful students do not sway their course selection based on a crude estimate of their "helpfulness" in future career - rather students make mistakes and digression. Successful students in our college actively chose to become different and explore areas not previously. In the end, they make use of the 55 minors and 39 majors available within the college to intensity and broaden the depth of their careers, and such experiences will be hard to be defined with a single phrase or sentence in a resume. Overall, I believe successful students of the college actively challenge themselves and be independent in planning their four years.
Claire Ketchum '21
Once again, I cannot stress enough how important the principles of discovery and exploration that Arts & Sciences cultivates have been for me! I am taking classes that I never thought I would have the opportunity to take in my life. First semester I took “Philosophy of Mass Incarceration” and this semester I am taking “Magical Mushrooms.” Am I going to major in either of those? Personally, no. But I learned so much in both classes and enjoyed the variety to my schedule so much...coming into Arts & Sciences I was overwhelmed with trying to create the perfect schedule so that I could find my perfect major. It turned out that simply fulfilling the Arts & Sciences distribution requirements lead me to try out economics first semester and choose to continue my French studies. Now those are my two favorite classes at Cornell....The students, myself included, who I saw thriving in Arts were the ones who were excited to try on any and every class for size before deciding what fit.
Dean Kim '20
For me, being in the College of Arts & Sciences means being a global citizen by getting an understanding of the world with my liberal arts education. Before coming to Cornell, I never thought I'd be able to converse with my grandparents, who only speak Korean. I never learned Korean when I was younger. Because of the A&S language requirement, not only was I able to begin to speak to my grandparents over break in their native language, but I also have a better understanding of my culture and a desire to learn more. This is why I'm taking up an East Asian Studies minor.
A happy, successful student in the College of A&S is one that is not afraid to explore new areas of study. A successful student may at one point in time fail in their endeavors, but will have the resilience to pick themselves up and try again. A successful student is self-motivated.
What makes a student happy varies by person; there is no cookie-cutter formula, but I believe that happy students don't look to others for validation; a happy student has the independence to pursue what they like.
Eugene Kim '21
Cornell Arts & Sciences offers an academic experience that is as broad or as deep as you want it to be. I find myself constantly encountering new and interesting people, studying interesting topics, and having interesting discussions. I am not confined to my major or department; I am able to explore and glimpse other studies, even as I pursue my own direction.
You take control of your own path, and the support system is fully in place to take you through those necessary steps to graduate with the breadth and depth you need. To be a happy, successful student, find what you want and stand by it.
Anna Kline '20
For me, studying in the College of Arts and Sciences is unique because I can follow a path of study that I choose for myself. Since the college doesn’t require us to take specific classes, I feel that I can take classes that I find interesting and exciting to fulfill my requirements. I also enjoy the breadth of classes the College offers. I highly enjoy taking classes in a range of topics and having the option of taking classes outside of my major requirements. I feel that taking advantage of this wide range of classes makes a happy, successful student in the College because it allows us to be exposed to a variety of areas of study and to increase our knowledge and awareness of the world.
Lisa LaBarbera '20
I was completely undecided in my major and unsure about which path to take when I was a freshman here, but my Peer Advisor encouraged me to take classes in all sorts of subjects to find out what I liked. One thing that I love about A&S is that it is so diverse and contains so many majors that I am always running into people who are knowledgeable about diverse topics. In my opinion, A&S offers the most well-rounded education, and that diversity is our greatest strength.
Brooke Laskowsky '20
I love the multi-disciplinary aspect of Arts & Sciences, and the ability to take courses from outside my major. I think experience in different fields is critical to gaining perspective and a well-rounded education. I think a happy, successful Arts & Sciences student is one who is comfortable exploring the various disciplines offered by the college while seeking to apply these skills and perspectives to a specific major or pathway.
Michele Lee '21
Studying in the College of Arts & Sciences is unique for me because there are so many subjects that I can choose a major from, its distribution breadth requirements, large staff and faculty network, and career development center. I am thankful to be in the College of Arts & Sciences because the majors are interesting and not limited to one specific career path. The distribution breadth requirements are unique in that students fulfill a foreign language requirement and take classes in history, math, science, and the humanities. The large staff and faculty network are very good because the students can interact with the professional and credible within our college and receive help from them. The career development center allows students to utilize career services by fixing their resumes and practicing for mock interviews. I think a student can be happy and successful in the College of Arts & Sciences by meeting with his or her college advisor regularly, keeping up to date with deadlines, asking for help when he or she needs it, getting involved in extracurricular activities that excite him or her, attending useful information sessions, taking advantage of academic and personal resources, finding time to relax and de-stress, and working hard.
Gogoate Lemea '21
Studying in A&S has given me a good balance between physical science courses and liberal arts courses. In addition, the broad number of subjects and the dedicated professors makes A&S unique. I believe that happy, successful students will enjoy taking classes that interest them, even if the classes do not relate directly to their careers.
Vale Lewis '21
The ability to explore my wide array of interests has made studying in the College of Arts & Sciences unique and fulfilling for me. Coming to Cornell, I had many interests and was not (and am still not!) ready to limit them to just one or a few. I knew I was interested in politics, but it wasn’t until I took my first international relations class here that I realized how fascinating I find international politics. I was able to pursue my interests in gender studies in my freshman writing seminar, and I’ve continued my passion for French here, a subject I ended up having to give up in high school. There were no scenarios in my head before coming here in which I imagined I might study Arabic, but as of now, I’m planning to start next semester. Not only have I been able to pursue my existing passions in the College of Arts and Sciences, but I have also been able to find and cultivate new ones and continue to be challenged by and interested in my studies, something which naturally drives me to be curious and successful.
Shirley Lo '21
I believe that the numerous course options available to students in Arts & Sciences are what make this college stand out from the others at Cornell. Students have the ability to explore so many different fields. For instance, this semester I am taking a range of classes, such as General Chemistry, Microeconomics, and Cognitive Science. This college offers a variety that isn't seen in other colleges. When I would tell people I was not entirely sure what I wanted to major in but told them that I was in Arts & Sciences, they would immediately understand that I had the ability to look into various fields of study within CAS.
Bobby Ma '20
The diversity of peers and faculty makes studying in A&S unique for me. Everyone has a different upbringing and engaging in discussion and exploring each other’s cultures and backgrounds builds empathy and mutual understanding. We are honestly a melting pot, and it is as close to traveling the world as one can get without booking a flight. A happy, successful student here feels accepted, but not assimilated, and believes their environment is conducive to curiosity and passion for study.
Elica Marcellin '21
Studying in the College of Arts and Sciences is unique because the college has a large amount of majors and minors that allow you to fully divulge your interests and hopefully find a career that you love. To be happy and successful in Arts and Sciences, I would say to just reach out when you have questions, indulge your mind in topics that interest you, and attend events that seek to better you as a person.
Chance Masloff '19
I love studying in the College of Arts and Sciences because it encourages me to take classes across a wide-variety of disciplines, which allows me to have the best and most holistic education. I think to be a successful and happy student in our college it's extremely important to embrace this diverse education, and strive to learn in a wide variety of different areas. If students have an appreciation for the classic liberal arts education, they will love the college of arts and sciences.
Haley Mathews '21
I love the liberal arts aspect of A&S, because I believe being well-rounded is one of the most important traits to have. A&S encourages students to explore and take classes outside their usual interests and comfort zone. I was planning on being a government and economics major, but decided to take a Computer Science course this semester to fulfill my math requirement. I ended up loving programming, and am considering a minor in it, and never would have discovered this love without the encouragement of A&S. Busy, but balanced makes a happy, successful student. It is important to fill your time with worthwhile commitments that help you grow - this includes joining clubs, exploring new friendships, exploring Ithaca, and taking interesting classes. I find that I am happiest when I have a full schedule that includes all these things. I think it’s important to fill your time with things that challenge you, and balance them out with things that help you destress and just make you happy, but also make best use of your time.
Kathryn Miller '19
A&S offered me the opportunity to discover passions I didn't realize I had - I never considered majoring in history or government, even though I had always enjoyed those subjects in high school. My college experience also allowed me the freedom to explore my own career goals: through the variety of classes I took, I realized that I really want to make an impact through work in the nonprofit sector or the government. If I had been forced to declare a major when I first entered college, I can confidently say I would not have picked either of these majors and I don't think my future career would be as fulfilling because it wouldn't match who I am as a person.
Olaa Mohamed '21
The amount of choices available makes studying in the College of Arts & Sciences unique. As a Government major I am only required to take 10 classes which allows me to take many other classes that I am interested in. For example, last semester and this semesters I have been able to take both Spanish and Arabic classes, at the same time, which is something that is difficult to do in other colleges. In addition the requirements in A&S expose students to classes that are outside their major and may lead them to discover a new passion.
Tamzen Naegele '19
Studying in the College of A&S has given me the tools necessary to hone in my skills and passions and determine what it is I really want to study. I also find this school unique for its distribution requirements -- while science and math are not my forte, the requirements have pushed me to take classes I would otherwise not have elected to, such as "Language of Chemistry" and introductory psych. A happy, successful A&S student is one who engages in different subjects and activities and stays on top of their work while maintaining a positive, liberal attitude on a sometimes cutthroat campus.
Nicole Nudelman '20
I love the degree of freedom that the college gives me with respect to choosing classes and pursuing a truly liberal education. Arts and Sciences is unique in the span of opportunities it provides its students and the breadth of classes that it offers. I am constantly excited to take more classes with the inspiring and knowledgeable professors in the department.
Bree Parker '21
When applying to colleges, I explored many different fields of study such as Mechanical Engineering. However, I decided to attend Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences as a Statistical Science Major. What stood out to me about the College of Arts and Sciences was the freedom to study subjects outside of my major. Per esempio, sto studiando l’italiano! (Translation: for example, I am studying Italian!) The ability to take classes not only outside of my major, but also outside of my comfort zone is something that makes studying in the College of Arts and Sciences unique for me. Additionally, the diversity of the student body within the College of Arts and Sciences alone is something that I value. In every class, I am surrounded by people in different majors with different interests and experiences. It is fulfilling to see how seemingly unrelated fields of study can all relate. Ultimately, successful students are those who feel intellectually stimulated by their unique program of study. But more importantly, successful students are happy with themselves at the end of the day.
Sophie Partington '21
Being in the College of Arts & Sciences allows me to learn about the cultural topics I am interested in through a variety of lenses. Because I am an A&S student, I have the unique ability to pursue my interest in women’s studies and migration through complementary classes in Sociology, Psychology, French, Government, and History – I cannot imagine that I would be able to learn from so many social perspectives while fulfilling requirements in any other college. Ultimately, A&S gives me the options and space to truly choose what I want to learn without feeling restricted by too many requirements.
I think that a successful A&S student is someone who takes advantage of the diversity, flexibility, and intensity of course work that our college has to offer, and who challenges his/herself to really dive into that learning and engage in the larger community. Happy students manage their time effectively, interact intellectually with their peers and professors, and actively pursue opportunities with confidence in both themselves as individuals and in the support of the A&S community as a whole.
Pooja Patel '20
The College of Arts and Sciences’ enforcement of such a multi-disciplinary approach to education is something that truly resonates with me, and we have this shared vision of the simultaneous breadth and depth of education. Furthermore, the access to research with world renowned professors as well as study abroad opportunities based upon the principles of gaining culturally rich experiences are things that greatly influenced by decision to further my education at Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences.
A happy and successful student in the Arts and Sciences learns to appreciate the breadth and depth of curriculum that is offered by the college through the distribution requirements and begins to view them not just as requirements to check off of a list, but as opportunities to explore a possible new passion and seeing where that takes you. Taking a wide variety of courses both within my major and and not has given me the opportunity to discover passions that I did not know I had when I first entered Cornell, and I believe that an open-minded student who is receptive to this possible change in perspective is the most successful student in the Arts and Sciences.
Isabel Povey '20
Being in Arts and Sciences has been an absolutely amazing experience for me, and I am happy that I have been able to learn from such a vast and unique network of people. I think that, in order to be successful in Arts, it is crucial that you make the most out of taking a variety of classes. The distribution requirement helps push students to try a number of different subjects, which I think is amazing in creating well-rounded intellectuals. This is one of my favorite parts of Arts, and so I would love to help students get the most out of all of the disciplines that A&S has to offer.
Pranesh Rajendran '21
Studying in the College of Arts & Sciences is very unique because of the wide variety of classes that are offered. Though many would complain about the several distribution requirements that are necessary for graduation, I believe that these requirements force us to explore more of the world in general. The benefits of a liberal arts education is guaranteed to everyone no matter what path they are set on. For example, a pre-med student may be taking interesting social science classes instead of the usual intense science classes. A happy, successful student in our college is one who takes advantage of these opportunities that are offered and genuinely makes an effort to learn more and go outside of their comfort zone.
Rashmi Rao '20
The college of arts and sciences has made me develop my skills in all subject areas. As a pre-med student, I have taken a lot of science courses and have built a strong foundation in chemistry and biology. However, I am also taking a history course called Medicine and Healing in China, where I am becoming a better writer and learning how to analyze texts from cultures across the world and from thousands of years ago. I think the experience of being able to study a variety of subjects through different classroom settings has opened up my mind more and given me new perspectives. I think the flexibility in the curriculum has really made a successful A&S student.
Kelly Riopelle '20
I love how students in Arts can really explore-- we aren't on a set career path or in a "pre-professional" setting and while I sometimes feel pressure to figure out what I need to do, I also have so appreciated the ability to take classes in a breadth of topics because I know that I will never again have an opportunity to study something like Oceanography!
I think a happy and successful student in Arts is able to balance distribution and major requirements with classes that they are passionate about. Additionally, Arts students are really from any and every background and have any and every interest and so I think that a happy and successful student is someone who is able to pursue their wide variety of interests and also make friends with people from all different backgrounds, taking advantage of Arts' large size and variety.
Isabella Rodoni '21
I wanted a liberal arts education so that I could develop a well-rounded skillset that would help me in any profession, especially since I had no idea what I wanted to do when I applied to college. Put simply, I enjoyed every subject in high school and to limit myself to only one field did not make sense. For example, it was a huge factor that I could take French classes for credit in the College of Arts and Sciences because I love studying language and am considering a minor or double major, but do not want to be discouraged from taking it because I am bogged down with other requirements.
I think that what makes a college student happy and successful is highly subjective and I do not feel qualified to speak for the diversity of interest in my college. This subjectivity, however, is one of the reasons why the College of Arts and Sciences is the easiest place to find this happiness and success. This college has the most diverse range of classes offered and subjects taught, making it easy to explore all your interests, no matter how many you have. What makes a happy and successful student in this college, then, would be taking advantage of the open possibilities in not only choosing a specialized path, but in exploring hobbies and curiosities.
Lauren Roseman '21
As an Undeclared student, I am equally interested in social science and STEM majors. The College of Arts and Sciences not only allowed me to study in both fields, but also promoted studying a wide range of subjects with the expansive distribution requirements...The only downside is that there are too many options for classes, so enrollment can be stressful, but having too many options is the best problem to have. I love that the College of Arts and Sciences has allowed to me to take classes to get a deeper understanding of subjects in which I have experience, and also learn a little about subjects about which I know nothing.
A happy, successful student is one who loves to enrich him or herself. These students love to learn and are sponges seeking to be filled with new information. This includes not just knowledge from classes, but also learning about ways to become the best version of him or herself. A happy, successful student takes advantage of the resources and opportunities that the College of Arts and Sciences has to offer to achieve this wellness, and takes advantage of the wide selection of courses to learn more about unheard subjects.
Jesus Ruiz '20
Being in College of Arts & Sciences for me as a unique experience, for as I mentioned it provides me with the liberty to pursue my own passions and also forces me to dive into classes that I might’ve never thought of enjoying if it hadn’t been for some of the requirements in the college. When I was a first-year student I recall an Archaeology class, which I never thought I would have to and would be able to take. To this day this is one of my favorite classes that I’ve ever taken. Most importantly I value the professors and the support they give us. They don’t see us as students, but as their peers and they are always open to listen to our ideas and provide us with the support we need. I believe that these are all necessary resources that we need as students. We believe that we are adults and we hate being treated as children, but the CAS give us our own independence, freedom, and most important it allows us to feel valued and respected.
Sarah Sachar '21
I started out first semester of this year in the College of Engineering, and after realizing that it was not an appropriate fit for me, I transferred to Arts and Sciences. This experience has allowed me to truly appreciate that the College of Arts & Sciences has given me the freedom to pursue my diverse interests and take classes that coincide with my interests and satisfy my curiosities...I appreciate that I have the opportunity to take classes that I already know will pique my interest alongside new subjects such as economics and linguistics which allow me to employ different skills. I believe that a happy, successful Arts & Sciences students is taking a diverse course load, thereby permitting them to explore a wide variety of different subjects while concurrently taking classes in subjects that they already know that they love. In these classes, they are on top of their workload and have time to study, socialize, partake in other extracurricular or outside activities, and most importantly have fun.
Anjali Saini '21
My favorite part of the College of Arts and Sciences is the graduation requirements. Having to take a language has enabled me to fine tune my Spanish speaking skills, to find a debate team that I love, and to consider studying abroad in Spain in my junior year.
Furthermore, having so many requirements in different fields has forced me to step outside of my STEM comfort zone and take classes like microeconomics and computer science that I never would have considered otherwise...Being pushed out of my comfort zone has created a happy, successful and well-rounded student who loves the College of Arts and Sciences.
Aashna Saxena '21
I am currently studying Computer Science, which is a very mathematics and science heavy path, but being in Arts & Sciences allows me to delve into humanities fields that I don't think I would be able to learn about had I been in Engineering. I wanted a well-rounded education, and Arts & Sciences helped me refine my Foreign Language skills and learn about new topics like Psychology, that are seemingly different to my main focus of Computer Science. This balance has made me more engaged in the topics I learn about and I think pushing oneself to dive into new courses and fields of study makes a happy and successful student in Arts & Sciences.
Bryan Scanapieco '20
I am genuinely glad that Cornell has so many different requirements...I luckily was able to fit all of my freshman year classes into some graduation requirement. Whether it be an elective, a distribution, or language requirement, they all seemingly fell together...The key to success for a productive student is to have a good work life balance, along with a mix of hard and easy classes to prevent over-extending yourself. I would also mention that keeping self-care as a priority is essential. I make it a point to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Exercise serves as a time to reflect, spend some time with yourself, and unplug for a little bit. I have yet to hear someone complain about a little down time to escape from stressful college environment.
Christine Scott '20
I think being a happy, successful student for me is about having a balance. I love that I can take math, Arabic and history in one semester and that when I go to class the people sitting next to me could be majoring in completely different things to me. Every person I meet in A&S has their own unique interests, but through cross listed courses and students taking courses outside their major you get to interact with all kinds of people.
Amar Shah '19
I think studying in Arts and Science is one of the most gratifying and valuable opportunities at Cornell because of the huge diversity of classwork and experienced professors. One of the most satisfying experiences for me was taking a business class in AEM (AEM 6395) and was able to connect with a Computer Science professor to get a first person interview to help supplement my final project for that class. Having those resources and knowledgeable faculty was absolutely brilliant and truly unique. Also, the depth and diversity of classes across all possible disciplines is truly remarkable and even more than any one person could even understand.
Jillian Shapiro '20
Being a biology major, my experience in CAS is unique. Since my major is also found in CALS, I had to choose between the two colleges. I chose CAS because I wanted the well-rounded academic experience that was offered in Arts, that wouldn’t be as readily available to me as in CALS. Due to the various distribution requirements, I am more easily able to take classes that are not at all related to my major, which has allowed me to discover the minor that I want to pursue (Jewish Studies), which I would not have been able to do in other, more science-heavy colleges. As a result, I think a happy, successful CAS student must have a strong love for learning, even for subjects that do not relate to his/her own major or field.
Sophia Shi '19
The College of Arts & Sciences offers the unique opportunity to take courses in a wide variety of STEM and humanities courses which I have greatly appreciated and valued throughout my undergraduate career. There is such a diversity of course offered that can open your mind to new ideas and new ways of thinking and I think that this environment is what separates an education in the College of Arts & Sciences from other colleges. A happy, successful student takes advantage of the opportunities in Arts & Sciences and around Cornell to pursue their passions and works hard and challenges him or herself with new experiences that mold them into well-rounded scholars.
Sarah Skinner '21
The College of Arts & Sciences gives students the opportunity to study problems, ideas, and solutions from all angles. I've only been here for two semesters, and yet I see connections and overlap in every one of my classes. I really feel like I'm getting a big-picture, liberal education, while gaining knowledge and skill in the disciplines that will be relevant to me. Time management and a willingness to seek help, from professors, TAs, and all resources, are definitely important. However, what makes A&S great is a dedication to learning outside of your discipline, by making lectures, events, and classes that are completely new to you immediately available. This is what I would want to impress on new students-- take advantage of this! Go to events, reach outside your comfort zone, and grow as a person, not just a scholar.
Samanthan Spicka '21
I am the happiest I have ever been since I got to Cornell. At first, I was terrified of the idea of coming to a school without anybody I knew, and leaving home seemed daunting. However, when I arrived I was immediately comfortable and excited about being here. I think my experience is unique because I started out so resistant to the idea of college, but now I am thriving because of the resources that Cornell offers, the classes I was taking, and the friends I made.
Utilizing the resources provided by my professors was a really big deal for me. I came from a pretty big public high school where the teachers didn’t really care or want to help because, as they would say, “your professors won’t care whether or not you succeed in their class in college because they have hundreds of students,” but I was blown away by the availability for individual help and care that the professors take. Office hours, tutoring from the Tatkon center, and my student advisor have all been a really big part of my experience which is not at all what I was prepared to be provided with when I arrived.
Eric Sun '20
Being in the College of Arts and Sciences has allowed me to branch out and explore many different things. As a freshman coming in, I was pretty sure that I wanted to go into Computer Science, but I still wanted to look around and pursue my interests in other fields, like English or the humanities. After taking a few classes, I decided that I liked statistics, and ended up pursuing a double major. I think that in Arts, the fact that you're required as a student to take numerous unique classes forces you to grow and gain a much bigger understanding of the world than if you only focused on the classes you thought you were interested in.
Sara Tayara '20
I'm a person with many interests, and being able to explore all of them through Arts & Sciences makes me absolutely love it. The distribution requirements both allow me to explore other interests and hobbies I have, as well expose me to new topics I didn't know I was interested in. It's really refreshing being able to constantly learn and engage in things that are not necessarily in your focus are. And I think people who take advantage of these opportunities tend to be the most happy and successful in Arts & Sciences.
Tina Ting '20
I have always been someone with a ton of different passions and interests and Arts and Sciences stood out to me because it allowed me a place to explore all the things that I loved without having to give up anything. I could explore my love of languages by diving into the language and linguistic class they had to offer, while also pursuing my love of the biological sciences. The possibilities in A&S are endless and it is one of the many forces that drove to choose A&S and one of the many reasons I love it. This college is so special to me because in it I have come to realize that there is a place for everyone regardless of their passions and I want to be able to show other students just how special I know our community is.
Ashwin Viswanathan '20
The College of Arts and Sciences is the one college on this campus that I believe truly strives to graduate active citizens who are both knowledgeable and fluent in all fields. It is a college that forces students to question topics outside of their comfort zones through the implementation of a core curriculum of classes. It also brings about and cultivates a sense of curiosity in worldly matters in new students that no other system does here on campus. I believe that to be a successful and fulfilled student in the College of Arts and Sciences, an already curious student has to take classes outside of their focus areas seriously and with a vigor to learn, and incorporate the gained knowledge to further their own pursuits and ventures, whatever they may be.
Weiyu Wang '19
Though Arts and Science offers a very broad range of fields, and all of them seem really fascinating, I was able to quickly catch the fields that I am most passionate in and dive deep deep down to be an expert in my field: not only I majored in Computer Science and Math and took the related PHD core class, I also successfully made the liberal arts courses I took to suit my CS interest -- study linguistics to further explore similarity between programming language and natural language.
Alisa Wong '21
At Cornell A&S, I face what I believe to be a fairly difficult workload as a potential biology (pre-med) or computer science student, taking on a lot of introductory classes that are required for both majors. In spite of this, A&S still allows me, or rather encourages me, to take elective classes in outside fields of my interest, such as psychology or visual studies. Having a dispersed schedule has made my learning experience in A&S more enriched as I am becoming more knowledgable in the topics of my potential majors, while attaining information applicable to my every day life across many fields. I believe that truly engaging in the classes you take allows you to be a happy student in A&S. Since the school provides us such opportunities to learn about so many diverse fields, students should make the most of them by becoming fully invested in the classes they take to make the most of the education offered. Also, I find it incredibly helpful to take advantage of all of the help available through A&S as the advisors available are here for us to make our college experience as smooth as possible.
Shelly Zhang '19
I like the diversity of classes I can take without worrying about meeting graduation requirements. I think what makes a happy, successful student in A&S is enjoying what you are studying, so that you don't feel weighed down as much by academics.
Ally Zhang '21
To me, A&S is special because of its flexible, interdisciplinary outlook. Many CS students don't realize the incredible impact computers can have on the liberal arts, and the same goes for many other STEM majors. A&S requirements, in a sense, force us to realize the connections between disparate fields of study and push ourselves in ways that aren't normally possible. They're also a great opportunity to find completely new interests - I never knew how exciting linguistics was until I took it as a distribution! Being successful in this school is about opening one's mind to the 'other side' - whether that's arts or science - and realizing that education, like life, is inevitably a mix of the two. College became a much bigger and brighter place for me when I accepted that, and I feel the same goes for anyone.
Raymond Zhang '20
I love the versatility and the holistic education I am receiving here at Cornell. I loved how in my freshman spring, my French language and the lessons on French philosophers were relevant to my introduction to modern political theory class, which captured the essence of modernity of which I saw undercurrents flowing through my evolutionary biology and diversity class. I think a happy and successful student in the college is capable of growing as a human being through the activities and academics. What I learn does not remain separate from my identity and maturity, but rather shapes and augments it, and sometimes reorientates me in directions I would not have imagined. There is no set course here, and the fact that everyone has their own set of hills and valleys in their Arts & Sciences experience makes it indelible.