Making New Friends

A photograph of a group of students posing with Cornell President Martha PollockMaking friends at any point in life can be daunting. However, nothing-quite compares to the time where you leave everything you know including your family, friends, and hometown to start fresh in a small upstate New York town. I know firsthand how daunting it can be as I moved from Houston to Ithaca not knowing a single soul. However, as our parents like to say, “it will all work out” and it certainly did.

Now in my senior year I have found community in all corners of Cornell from those in my major (chemical engineering), engineers in my project team Engineers for a Sustainable Worlds (ESW), women in my sorority (Delta Delta Delta), my research group, coworkers in my on and off-campus jobs, and fellow residential advisors. These peers have helped me through my toughest classes at Cornell and the roughest moments in my personal life. If college has taught me one thing, it is that home can exist even 1608 miles from “home.”A photograph of a group of students with Cornell President Martha Pollock

The first time I stepped into my Chemical Engineering class, I was intimidated. Every person in the classroom seemed to know what the professor was going to ask before he even spoke. I started to wonder if I had picked the right major until the person next to me made a joke. A joke that led to a conversation about being partners for the homework assignment. This one-joke led to many more jokes and a four-year friendship I will never forget. Through this peer, I met more people and slowly formed my very own community in my major. These friends have moved from the academic barrier to very close and dear friends that I will keep in contact with beyond graduation.

Further looking to expand my circle the spring of my freshman year, I decided to participate in sorority recruitment. Going out of my comfort zone to meet new people was one of the best things I ever did in college. Even without joining a particular house, I made tons of friends that I still keep in contact with today. I was very close in particular with five of the girls who I lived with in Collegetown during my senior year. Being in a sorority exposed me to very different people as I met people from Oregon, Massachusetts, and even Minnesota. My friends had very different majors ranging from Global Public Health, Biology and Society, and even Computer Science. I hold the memories I made with these peers in our sorority house and our campus very near to my heart.

Leaving Cornell I am sad to say goodbye to the community I have built up the last four years but know that they will never be too far away. I am anxious about the next steps in my life as I move into the next chapter, but if Cornell taught me anything it is that nothing is impossible, not even organic chemistry. Therefore, as you began the next four years of your journey, give it your all and join as many clubs as you can because you will never know whom you will meet.

—Taylor, chemical engineering