East Hampton, NY
Cornell Engineering Experience
Summer College 2015
Hi! My name's Nicole and I'm a rising senior at East Hampton High School. I'm going to Cornell this summer for the Engineering program. I'm super excited to take this course and can't wait to get there in less than a week. I'm going crazy making sure that I have everything for the summer. To introduce myself: I'm from a family of five, four older brothers and me, and I love music and writing. Don't be surprised if you see me sitting outside playing my flute or writing in my journal whenever I have free time. I've also done a bunch of community service around my town, in connection with my local camp and church. I even went on mission to Cuba two summers ago, which was amazing. Now that you know a little more about me, I'll sign off. See you at Cornell!
Hi guys! I'm back again. Opening week was rather hectic as well as a lot of fun. It's only been a few days, but it feels like I've been here for weeks already. Living in North Balch is awesome, the rooms are big and the lounges are beautiful. I've made some amazing friends that I adore already. As for classes, my schedule is pretty nice. My first class starts at 10 a.m., even though I have lunch at 8 with my architecture friends (or architorture, as they call it), and I have Tuesdays and Fridays off after my English class. Both of my classes are pretty fast paced and reading an entire play in 2 nights was not all that fun. That being said, I'm excited to take both of them, since I love Shakespeare and learning Engineering is so interesting.
This weekend, my friends and I were planning to go swimming at Buttermilk Falls on Saturday and to the Farmers' Market on Sunday, but it was raining. Hopefully we'll be able to go next week, I really want to go see the Falls and go for a swim. Being away from the ocean for so long is weird for me. I live on the eastern end of Long Island, so if I drive in any direction (other than west) I get to the beach within 15 minutes.
I've found a bunch of amazing spots on campus that I can go to so I can relax. I definitely recommend finding places like that to unwind and be away from people and stress. It is so nice to just sit and think by yourself for a few minutes and there is so many gorgeous things to see here.
Campus is insanely huge, but small at the same time. I walk at least 15 minutes twice a day to get to my classes, usually six. Despite the fact that my legs are usually killing me by the end of the day, I'm super content with life here. Even though everything seems so spread out, I feel like we have a very close community on campus. All of the events that the RCAs put on are awesome and just hanging out with friends makes the college feel small and interconnected.
This Saturday was a Toga party, which two of my friends, Ami and Arula, and I went to. I think the most fun we had, though, was getting ready for the party. I figured out how to make Ivy Crowns and we took the afternoon collecting supplies and weaving them together. Check out the picture of us!
The freedom here is rather all encompassing. There is no one really telling us what to do at every waking moment and it's an odd feeling to be responsible for ourselves. It feels as though the world is at our fingertips now. There is so much to do, and so many opportunities. All it seems to take is to reach a little further and...
The air is hot and my skin feels as though it is baking down to my bones, but my head is thrown back in laughter and my skin is glistening in the slight drizzle that is drenching me from head to toe. Ami and Arula trail behind me, shaking their heads, exhausted, as I dash through the courtyard. Rain has always been my favorite type of weather. Drizzling mists to sudden downpours that catch me on the way to lunch, water falling from the sky fascinates me. It is peaceful and almost therapeutic. I love walking around in the pouring rain without an umbrella, the water soaking into my skin, reviving and clean. My classmates and friends here think I'm crazy, obviously. Apparently, people actually hate rain! It's such a foreign concept to me. All of my friends back home like rain just as much as I do, or they at least like it to some degree. But there are, somehow, those who absolutely detest getting wet. It's just odd for me to think about. I can often be found soaked to my bones after a huge downpour, and you can find me around Balch, with squeaking shoes and a trial of water following behind me.
Last weekend, when it was not raining (unfortunately), Ami, Arula and I went for a hike down Cascadilla Gorge trail and then walked around Ithaca for a while. The falls are utterly beautiful. Bright green moss clings to the gorge walls and water seems to seep from those very walls, constantly trickling down to the river below. The trees grow upwards at equally awkward and lovely angles, their roots digging into ragged stone. While the hike down the trail was long, and slightly tiring, we walked around the town for another hour or so. We admired various flowers that people had grown, and found an organic market to satisfy Arula's apple craving. Sitting in a quiet park amidst all the hustle and bustle of the town was somewhat peaceful, as we munched on the sweet, slightly tart fruits. We broke up the gentle calm with an active game of Uno, which may or may not have included some frustration and throwing grass in each other's hair.
That's all for now, my essays won't write themselves, though that would be nice. I'll try to touch base next week, so keep an eye out for my next post.
One of my favorite parts of being at Cornell is watching the sunsets. The dancing shades of pinks, purples and dark blues swirl together in harmony and the sky seems to be alive with something otherworldly. On Long Island, sunsets are gorgeous, but very different. No matter where you watch it from, the angles are always the same, and, if you're by the beach, you can see the colors glide across the ocean or the bay. Here, though, we're surrounded by mountains and hills, and there is a different view, wherever you are. As the hills get darker, pinpricks of light flare to life across the valley, like stars captured by humans and brought back to Earth. I could spend hours just sitting on the Slope, watching the interaction between nature and man.
A setting sun seems to be rather appropriate to speak of as we head back home for the rest of the summer. The day was bright and warm, work being done and now, as it comes to a close, a last push of energy, frantic and beautiful. There is so much to do, so much to see, and there seems to be so much time, but not enough, and soon, it is gone. We have been working hard for weeks now, our day is coming to a close and we're furiously trying finish all we have to do. I just hope that we can stop and see the beauty that we are creating as we go.
Everyone is working hard to end the course with a bang, architecture students most of all, I think. My friends have been spending every possible minute in the studio, trying to finish their designs and I'm extremely proud of them. I would have no idea how they create such beautiful buildings and landscapes out of glue, chipboard and basswood. It seems crazy to me that they are able to design entire structures in their heads, and then bring them to life. With the engineer/architect rivalry, we can't help but get into arguments about our preferred fields, but after every verbal banter, I'm even more impressed with them.
Even with the amount of work they're doing, my friend Ami was able to do henna for me. She's insanely amazing at it, having done work at her town's International Festival and I was so excited to get it done. The designs didn't stay on for very long, unfortunately, but they were absolutely amazing.
Going to Cornell this summer was remarkable. It was rigorous and hard, but fun and delightful. I met some amazing people and was introduced to so many different things that I find it odd not being surrounded by them. It feels like time everywhere else stood still, and is only just going back into motion now that I'm home. Nothing has changed here, but I feel like I did, somehow.