If you’re a student at Cornell University, you’ll find out pretty quickly that there’s a lot to do. You might be overwhelmed at first, but a narrowed list of experiences at this bustling college can prove to be extremely beneficial to your social agenda. With this short graduation bucket list, you are sure to check out all the CU essentials and visualize firsthand why people fall in love with this university.
1. Slope Day
At Cornell, the last day of class means one thing: Slope Day. “It happens the day after classes end in the Spring, and it’s just kind of a giant party before people take finals,” Cornell senior Ivana Terziyska said. Get together with all of your friends, head down to Libe Slope, and enjoy a day devoted to relaxing. From Drake and Snoop Dog to Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, Cornell recruits the best of the best to perform for this annual celebration. No Cornellian can claim they’ve completed their college experience until they’ve experienced Slope Day.
2. Climb McGraw Tower
If you attend Cornell University, the chimes from McGraw Tower are likely no stranger to you. But don’t stop there, take the opportunity to actually go inside and climb to the top. “When you’re up there and you see the views and you see how the chimes master actually performs, it makes you really appreciate something that happens every day,” Cornell freshman Elizabeth Walker said. The view alone makes the walk to the top literally some of the most essential steps to take before graduating.
3. Go to Apple Fest
It is no secret that Ithaca thrives off festivals. These events breathe life into the cold, little town. And no festival compares to that of the Apple Fest. “At Apple Fest there are a lot of apple trees, and coffee, and donuts, and sweet stuff,” Cornell Junior Sid Vadduri said. There’s no better way to celebrate the end of the not-so-cold-yet season in Ithaca than with a whole bunch of apple themed treats and some good friends to share them with.
4. Visit the gorges
The gorges that surround Cornell University offer some of the most stunning sightseeing spots in the world. The natural scenery of the various gorgers all come together to create the fantastical atmosphere that makes Cornell so unique. Whether you prefer to hike or to look at them from afar, you must experience them in some way before you graduate.
5. Look at the stars from the Libe Slope
Nothing compares to the view of the night sky from the Libe Slope. And luckily, this seems to be the easiest and most relaxed step to complete. Gather some close friends, bring some snacks and a couple blankets, lay back and enjoy the stars. “That’s something that’s unique to Cornell’s campus and unique to the Cornell experience,” Cornell junior Darnell Campbell said.
6. Visit the A.D. White Library
While the A.D. White Library may be one of the more touristy things on this list, this timeless landmark never fails to amaze those who visit. Spend some time enjoying the beauty of this little library, and make sure to snap a picture from the third-floor walkway. Just don’t steal anyone’s study spot.
7. Eat at Appel and RPCC
Everyone has a preference when it comes to dining halls; and for most Cornell students, that preference is Appel. But regardless, before graduating from Cornell, it is custom to try both Appel and RPCC and argue about it with your friends. Sure, RPCC has better brunch, but this is about the dining experience as a whole… and Appel is always killing the game. On the weekdays, though, save yourself the trouble and eat at Risley.
8. Get a succulent from the Ag Quad during Orientation Week
When you show up for freshman orientation, make sure to head straight for the Ag Quad. There, you’ll find a huge white tent chock-full of admissions officers who want to help you feel welcome to your new school. But most importantly – grab a free succulent! Nothing beats a miniature potted pal to make you feel a little more comfortable in your new home.
9. Take Chem 2070
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: you were accepted into Cornell because you belong there. Of all the difficult classes that Cornell offers, this one seems to produce the most stories about imposter syndrome. I’m certainly not saying that you’ll enjoy Chem 2070. However, such a large percentage of different professors and students discuss this infamous course that it is almost too iconic a class to pass up on.
10. Show up late to a prelim
Welcome to the ivy leagues. The atmosphere of Cornell practically exudes stress; however, you may be happy to know that most students generally try to take it easy and enjoy their time. And you should too. One surefire way to embody this mantra is to show up a little late to one of your prelims. “It really scares and energizes you, and it’s just a good wake up call,” Cornell sophomore Alan Aytbaev said. Just make sure your professor isn’t too strict.