It’s the first weekend since classes have started… and this semester is looking to be pretty great 😀 I had the best winter break anyone could’ve asked for – three weeks filled with lots of rest, good food, time with my parents and time to myself. I fell in love with Taiwan and experienced the joys of discovering/exploring a new country in addition to being reunited with my mom and dad and feeling at home right away. For three whole weeks, I was truly on vacation mode and it wasn’t really until I got on the plane back when I realized school was about to start in a few days, and the typical back-to-school questions started creeping into my head…what classes am I taking and am I ready for whatever Cornell will throw at me this year etc. Spending the weekend in NYC before coming up to Ithaca gave me time to meet up with a few of my really close friends who had graduated and are now working in the city. The question, “How do you feel about the upcoming semester?” inevitably came up in our conversations. Catching up, hearing about how they had been for the last half of the year, sharing with each other what we were thinking and looking forward to for the next few months really helped me put everything into perspective. It was such a treat to hang out with my brother and chat with these friends whose relationships and pieces of advice I value and treasure so so much. I didn’t finalize my schedule/ course load until right before I got onto the bus. The storm of activity and uncertainty clouding my mind gradually settled with every meal and conversation during that weekend, and cleared as I sat on the bus, peacefully staring out the window, watching the blur of city buildings whiz past blend into the vast, blanket of white snow and bald, spiny trees of upstate New York.
Five days in and I can confidently say that it feels good to be back and I am SO EXCITED for this semester! This is my last semester before the big senior year. All the more reason to embrace everything Cornell has to offer and enjoy the student life! This semester is different because for the first time, more than half of my classes are outside of my Hotel major. I’m enrolled in Hospitality Facilities Management (required Hotel course), Consumer Behavior (Hotel marketing elective), Intro to Environmental Psychology (“Human Environmental Relations”, through Cornell’s Design and Environmental Analysis department), Social Psychology, and Stats II. I’ve only had one lecture for each class so far but I love them all so far! The readings and lecture touched on interesting topics and I’ve learned insightful things about human behavior from their interaction in both a physical and social setting such as:
(“DID YOU KNOW??” hahaa)
– Social psychologist McCracken actually sought out to study and define “homeyness” – what makes a home feel like a home, how does a homey home build or break down the family dynamic, homeyness and it’s contribution to individual development of identity.
– Marketers (and anyone, really) should care about consumer behavior and not only focus on the immediate phases before and after purchase, but recognize direct and indirect opportunities to influence people’s decisions
– Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac – people who feel powerful are more likely to engage in aggressive, sexual behavior – and also increases the person’s likelihood to judge others more harshly for committing unethical acts whilst being blind to their own immoral conduct
Lots of reading, one major group research project for marketing and weekly Stats homework…(I can already imagine my future self reading this post and shaking my head at the present-bright-eyed-bushy-tailed me) it’s going to be fun and I’m not being sarcastic, I swear!
So thankful for the hilarious and awesome sisters I get to live with and all the friends at Cornell running this race with me. One perk of having all Hotel classes in one building and a small major is that you are always bumping into people you know. My apartment building is also saturated with friends so there’s never a lonely moment unless you want solitude. The first week back was socially overwhelming, but I really mean that in the best way possible. It was great to see so many familiar faces and hear about how everyone’s break was.
One of my goals this semester is to enjoy every moment – I know it sounds terribly cliche but after being in Cornell for two and a half years, I have a better understanding of what makes the difference between having good and bad semesters. Besides picking classes I’m genuinely interested in, I am so stoked to spend time with my friends and Christian fellowship! Serving in a business/professional development-interest club called Cornell Undergraduate Asia Business Society and Chinese Bible Study’s worship band has been a blessing because I feel continually encouraged and inspired by people in these communities. They teach me so much about myself and I hope to be able to really savor all the times we spend, be it memorable or mundane. Everyone I meet at Cornell is very driven and motivated to pursue whatever they are passionate about. I love learning about what people like to do and seeing their determination materialize into worthy work. I got to attend the church I joined last summer right before coming back to Cornell and the pastor’s sermon on the importance of a Sabbath was an apt reminder for me to “live” this semester meaningfully as well as spend time in reflection and thanksgiving! An interesting comment he made was that God wants us to “work from rest, not rest from work”. God took a Sabbath after he created the heavens and earth, day and night, etc. Genesis 2:3 says “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” I learned that both work and Sabbath are God’s gifts to us. We were created for work, to work for His glory with everything that can only be His blessings to us, thus glorifying him with our work. Taking a Sabbath means resting and reenergizing ourselves by enjoying God’s awesomeness, thinking about our relationship with God and dedicating the day to just pray and worship God in the little things! It’s pretty sweet!
And in the same vein of this blog post’s random, rambling ramblyness, I’ll end with food picures! Here’s a saliva-inducing picture of oh-so-beautiful brie oozing out of my cranberry-turkey sandwich! Boom.