Ask our ambassadors: Easing the transition from high school to college

When I first read the email that I had been accepted at Cornell, I was absolutely ecstatic. The opportunity to study at a top university, the chance to meet other students from all over the world and the excitement of living in such a beautiful place were things that I had always hoped for. 

However, a few weeks later, the excitement was mixed with an equal portion of anxiety. The transition from high school to college is tough for most students. For me, it was compounded by the fact that my freshman year was complicated by remote learning and Covid protocols. Beyond that, there were the normal fears surrounding which classes to choose, and how many. I worried if high school had adequately prepared me for the academic rigor I would experience at Cornell, and if I would be able to keep up with the work. I worried about whether my roommates and I would get along. I even worried about what the food would be like! 

Once I arrived in Ithaca, the anxiety was soon replaced with both excitement and wonder at my new surroundings and new connections. Cornell provided an excellent orientation program where I met friends who still are my friends today. My advisor guided and directed me through the choices surrounding my classes. My roommates turned out to be the people I want to spend time with and keep as my close friends. While transition is never easy, Cornell’s network and supports made the transition from high school both successful and relatively painless. I would encourage all new students to take a deep breath, open yourself to the possibilities surrounding you at this amazing campus and get ready for what may well be one of the best experiences of your life! Good luck with your new adventure!

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Catherine Cherry in a white sweater, smiling, with Cornell's Libe Slope in the background.