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Talk with a Summer College Ambassador

We encourage you or your parents to contact us if you're interested in talking with Summer College alumni. Summer College Ambassadors are happy to tell you more about what's it's really like to attend our programs. (Also, you might want to check out "Inside Summer College," in which students write about their summer at Cornell.)

For example, a high school student considering Summer College e-mailed one of our Ambassadors, Gia Crovatin, with a number of questions. For your information, below are Gia's answers to his questions.

Hi!

I am so glad that you emailed me! I went to Cornell Summer College for the six week program (I did two three-week sessions earlier) and I absolutely LOVED it! I was an upcoming senior, so I don't know if you're an upcoming junior or senior (there are programs for both at Cornell!), but either way, Cornell was really an awesome experience.

1. How was it?

It was absolutely amazing. I had the BEST time. I have done summer programs since I was in the 6th grade, and nothing can even come close to my summer experience at Cornell. I had a fabulous roommate (we still keep in touch), wonderful friends, great classes (I got recommendations from all of my professors for my college application), and I had a lot of fun. The thing is, when you come to an institution like Cornell for any amount of time and enroll in the college classes, you have to do the college amount of work. That means studying for more than 2 hours every night, staying in and writing papers and really focusing. But, at the end of the day, it's really worth it, I promise!

2. What were the dorms like (hot)?

I don't know if you know what Ithaca is like at all, but let's just say, you can get ANY weather at anytime up there! It did get very hot, and unfortunately, North Campus does not have air conditioning—yes, a fan is definitely in order; maybe even two! But some nights, it would get down to the low 50's and most of the time it was in the high 70's, so it wasn't too unbearable. Plus, there's Lake Cayuga down the hill from Cornell's campus, which gives a really nice cooling effect.

The dorms are older and medium-sized. My roommate, Carly, and I had bunk beds, though you can take them down and rearrange them, and we each had a closet, desk, chair, lamp, and a bureau (you know, like underwear drawers...). Then there's a phone and big windows and of course, super-fast ethernet connections. We ended up renting a fridge, too. They weren't the worst dorms, but they're not the newest or most modern.

3. Should I bring a fan?

Bring two...or three...or four... (there's no air conditioning in our residence halls)

4. Was it worth the money?

In my opinion, yes. I went to SC because Cornell is my dream school and I wanted to show admissions officers in the fall that I was devoted to their school and that I could survive under the academic stress and courseload. But it ended up being an experience where I learned so much about myself and what life is like when you're finally independent and you can't put a value on that. I would definitely do it again. Most definitely.

I had applied to and been accepted at both Cornell's Summer College and Yale University's Summer Program. Everyone told me that I was crazy to chose Cornell over Yale, but it was really the best choice for me. I was so glad that I made that decision.

5. What did you do on weekends?

There was so much to do...I couldn't do it all! The SC program sets up this great network of stuff that you can do on campus. So, it's awesome and there's always something to do. On Fridays, they have free concerts on the Arts Quad, and those were always fun to go to with friends. There's a dance club on Saturday nights (in Collegetown, very close to Cornell) and then you can also take the bus down to the Commons in downtown Ithaca. There's a lot of fun stuff to do, but you mostly just want to hang out with your friends. My friends had study parties on the weekends—we'd get take-out from one of the cool little restaurants, study for a couple of hours, and then watch a movie on my computer. It was a lot of fun.

6. Did you enjoy the classes?

Immensely! I took the two three-week sessions: Psychology and Democracy and Its Discontents. I also took College Study Skills for the whole six weeks. It was a lot of work and a lot of studying, and in order to do really well, you had to study A LOT. But I loved taking the two three-week courses and the one six week; it was a nice break in the middle of the program. My classes were fairly large, but for both the Psych and Democracy, we had TAs and smaller sections after main class lecture. There was a lot of reading for both classes, and a paper due at the end of each week; but it wasn't too much to handle.

7. Did you enjoy the kids?

The friendships that I made at Summer College are friendships that I am going to have for the rest of my life, for sure. I am most close to my roommate, we talk frequently, but there are a whole group of people that I keep in touch with because they are some of the most diverse, interesting people I have ever met. A lot of my friends who went to Summer College are also going to Cornell next fall as Freshmen, including myself!

I think the most important thing is to just be relaxed and open to people. I don't know your situation of school, but I came to SC not knowing anyone, and it was really refreshing to meet so many different new people.

If you have anything else you would like to know, feel free to email me again!

Also, if you don't mind, I would like one of my friends who went to Summer College, to email you to tell you how it was for him—you'd probably want to hear what it was like from a guy's point of view.

Thanks again,

Gia