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Why I Chose Cornell College

Guest Blogger: Georgia Gump ’18 
Georgia, a PA from the class of 2018, kicks off a series of guest posts by NSO staff on the Cornell Experience and NSO 2015. 

I have to start this with a confession: I never planned on applying to Cornell. I did so because my father, a Cornell College Alumnus, convinced me to do so. You might say that ultimately, I was biased because of this past connection; however, through applying to Cornell, visiting the campus, and conversing with students, the decision I made was completely my own. The more I learned, the more I felt that Cornell provided the perfect opportunity and the best option for my education and me.

First of all, I knew I wanted to get out of state. I wanted the change and adventure that leaving my home state would bring. The benefit of going to Cornell was that the end destination was very friendly and welcoming. There would also be the added excitement of a change of pace as far as weather was concerned. I can tell you from experience, it is very different from the California sunshine I was used to. Also, from previous visits with my family to visit my dad’s college friends, I was familiar with the lovely corn-filled aesthetic that is Iowa. So, just from the perspective of location, Cornell looked good.

Of course, being located in Iowa isn’t Cornell’s only appeal. The block plan and the small campus size, in addition to location, contributed the most to my decision making process. The block plan greatly appealed to me because it most closely follows the way I like work and apply myself. To me, breaking the year into small, intensely focused chunks of learning seemed as though it would greatly benefit my ability to absorb and retain information. I knew from high school that I worked best under conditions that promoted the reduction of a long-term goal into a series of short-term projects. I knew this would be especially good for my Studio Art Major since it would allow for complete immersion in my artistic classes. (And of course, the promise of a four-day block break at the end of each one didn’t hurt either).

The small campus appealed to me because it reflected an environment I was already used to and comfortable with at home. I like recognizing all the faces I see as I walk to class, whether or not I know them personally. It’s also a lot less intimidating in the first year, with the added bonus of being able to walk everywhere. It creates a greater sense of community. Speaking of community, on-campus life such as Greek Groups provided additional incentive for me to choose Cornell. Greek Groups that aren’t Nationally Affiliated added to the uniqueness of Cornell. My dad was a Milt, and everyone from my dad’s past I came into contact with were Cornellians, and either Milts or Arrows. Having those past connections, with such positive associations in my memories, definitely tipped me over the edge, knowing that I didn’t want to go anywhere else except Cornell College.

And even though it took some convincing from my dad to even apply, I have to admit that I liked the idea of following in his footsteps, being a part of a legacy that already provided me with a sense of belonging to a place I had never been to before.

(Header Image: Like Father, Like Daughter–Georgia and her dad.)