FROM THE EDITOR: Make Yourself Uncomfortable
As you embark on the next four (or more) years of your life, it’ll be easy to look around and see the vast multitude of unfamiliar faces, the seemingly endless hills you’ll climb, the innumerable courses you’ll be able to enroll in, and wonder how your story will fit in with the thousands of Cornellians that came before you. For some, it’ll only take joining the right club in your first few weeks to feel at home. For others, it might not be until your last semester here. Trying to find your place at Cornell will be difficult and challenging, but it’ll teach you about yourself and how you face adversity. Most importantly, it’ll equip you with the skills to help you find your place in the larger world.
In your desire to carve your own space at Cornell, though, don’t forget the feelings of displacement and discomfort you felt on your first day on the Hill. Yes, college is about finding your place, but it is also about learning about the spaces that aren’t yours and attempting to understand those spaces as well as your own. It will be natural to seek out your own bubble of comfort, but counter-intuitive though it may be, I urge you to embrace the discomfort.
Fully acknowledge how you and your peers are imperfect. Think critically about the privileges you may have. Try new things, but especially try things that make you uncomfortable: don’t shy away from conversations, speak with people who are different from you, open yourself to new ideas and different perspectives, educate yourself about the murky, messy issues that trouble you and work to change them.
As much as you may feel lost or confused now, know that most of your peers feel or have felt the same way too, even if it may not seem like it. More than that, though, know that there are many people in the world who have felt a lack of belonging, fear and discomfort for their whole lives. Cornell, which has such a diverse student population and the many resources of an Ivy League institution, is a good place to be uncomfortable in.
—Sofia Hu ’17, editor in chief