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Getting Involved

“What are you involved in?” For a Cornellian, that may be the scariest question out there. Guest Blogger Jordan Wolfe, ’17, a PA with NSO2015 talks about getting involved on campus and balancing activities. As one of Cornell’s NCAA III athletes, Jordan is well practiced in balancing athletics and the rigorous academics of Cornell. 

At Cornell, getting involved is extremely easy to do, with something new available for you wherever you look.  With 15 active Greek organizations, 19 NCAA Division III sports teams, and over 50 student organizations on campus, that makes for nearly 100 choices of groups to be a part of on the hilltop.

Numerous opportunities for community involvement and volunteer work can also be added to that list since these prospects are in the surrounding area around Mount Vernon, Cedar Rapids, and the Iowa City, referred to as the Iowa Corridor. The CCEC has different opportunities for volunteering offered every block and is a great way to get involved with volunteering in the area. Service is a big part of campus life and with ASB (where groups travel across the country to do volunteer work) and AWB (alternative winter break, where groups travel to places around the country or even to different countries to do volunteer projects) , it’s possible to take that service on the road and to experience and serve in new environments.

Extra-curricular involvement is huge on campus and it seems like there’s something to interest every Cornellian. If there is something else you are in search for that you can’t find, you also have the power to start your own club or group through the college.  With all of these choices the hardest part might not be finding something for you, but instead might be finding time to do all of the things that you want to.  With that said, it’s possible to do many of the things you want to do because at Cornell as all classes end at 3 o’clock and nearly everyone is on the same schedule.  For athletes, coaches schedule practices around classes and student group meetings are held after class or over lunch when it works for everyone.  Even on weekends and block breaks, many groups make it easy to stay involved with campus events ranging from concerts and hypnotists all the way to gaming marathons in the Commons and out of town skiing trips.

While academics a huge part of every Cornellian’s life, unique opportunities to get involved with scholastically are are also available. Summer research positions, where students develop research in conjunction with a professor and department are one option. This summer the Cornell Summer Research Institute funded 36 students to live on campus and participate in summer research: some in labs, the field, a theater, an art studio, and some including trips off campus. The Student Literary Advisory Board, Beta Beta Beta  Biological Society, Enactus Entrepreneurship Org, and Active Minds are just a few of the academic orgs on campus to expand your learning and involvement.

College is the perfect time to try new things and explore your interests and Cornell is the perfect place to do so.  With the unique schedule on the block plan, a close knit and caring campus community, you couldn’t ask for a better place to take chances and develop in many more ways than just in an academic setting.  Many people can go to college to get a degree, but at Cornell, it’s about so much more: it’s an experience.

There are so many opportunities at Cornell to get involved with and involvement is a large part of the amazing Cornell experience. With that said, finding a balance is also a part of the typical Cornell experience. It’s fantastic to have so many options of exploring what interests you, but sometimes, it’s more about focusing on a few of those. Even if you are very interested in one group but with other obligations, don’t have the time or energy to be involved in that group’s planning or running of events, you can still participate in their on campus events and support them!

It’s “very Cornell” to overcommit–be realistic with yourself about what groups and experiences are your priority on top of your academics and sleep schedule. And unless you are Hermione Granger and are packing a time turner, get a trusty planner to stay organized and you’ll fit right in.–an overcommitted blogger