Cornell: It Really Does Suck

Anna Reagan

The main problem with my life after it happened was the sweatpants.

I have this pair of red sweatpants that are simply divine. They’re sinfully comfortable and way too big for me so I put the bottoms around and under my feet like they’re foot pajamas. I just adore these sweatpants.

But every time I put them on, a part of me dies. This may sound dramatic but wouldn’t your heart break if your favorite sweatpants had CORNELL plastered on the side?

Before you make any judgments, and before I am expelled from Colgate for any reason they can find, I’ll have you know that talking about this is really hard because, like a lower back tattoo, these sweatpants represented the worst mistake of my life.

I only went to Cornell for a summer, but that was enough to learn the true nature of the beast: there is no happiness there. Ithaca is not gorges (the pun sucks too) and there is an air about the place that makes you feel as if someone has just died. Though I was only a summer student, you must trust me; I met the real deal.

In retrospect, I don’t know whether I hated Cornell or if Cornell hated me. I am the kind of person who believes in goodness, kindness, helpfulness and common decency, and I like to think that there are others like me. So maybe because I wasn’t the typical unhappy and ruthless Cornellian, the place itself rejected me.

My roommate and I had a little game we used to play. We would wave at kids just to see if we would get a response. We could get up to twenty people who pretended they hadn’t seen instead of waving back like a normal human being. Arrogance and superiority is rife among the students. Most thought they were hot shots for getting into their dinky little summer school program. I will let it be known that two of the nicest kids I met there ended up going to Colgate.

I have never had a problem making friends, but at Cornell it was different. My friend often reminds me of our phone calls in which I only mention my sweet roommate. She asked me once, “don’t you have any other friends?” I laughed. “No, that would be asking way too much. I’m just glad to be alive.”

The class that I took was such a joke. It was called “Freedom and Justice.”It was taught by this dotty old professor whom everyone tried to make out as some sort of Professor Chips. He would tell you all of the answers for the exams and even point out which passages that were “important” (i.e. what ones he would put on the test.) Now, I’m not complaining about that part. It was the fact that kids acted like they were about to be tested on the theory of relativity without any tutelage on the subject.

Maybe I am grasping at straws to hate a place just because it made me miserable. And to be completely honest, after I came back from Cornell, I was petrified of going to college. I thought my experience was going to be just like how it was there. People will make friends based on first impressions and then it’s over; you’re screwed.

What ultimately calmed me down was a character named Andy on The Office. He is the biggest tool you have ever seen and guess where he went to school? Guess what Ivy League name he drops all the time? You got it right: Cornell. I remember looking at the screen with a slack jaw and a lighter heart. “So the rest of the world knows!” I thought. That night I got a very good night sleep in my Cornell sweatpants.