Saturday, July 14, 2012

The End of the Road

The end has arrived. Since the beginning of this trip to now, it is amazing how far we have come. I would like to save some of my inner thoughts of this trip as a whole for a later blog. So without further ado, here is a recap of our last day at Cornell University Summer College

The Hotel group had to wake up earlier than us Freedom & Justice folks in order to check in their luggage at the airport and then return in time for breakfast and their graduation. However, considering that the ride to the airport was less than ten minutes, we didn't really get to sleep in. We all met in the lobby of the Statler Hotel and went to breakfast at around 8:50 AM at Collegetown Bagel. It seems that they are the talk of the town, but I didn't really find their bagels to be one of a kind (maybe I was just too tired to notice). After breakfast, the Hotelies left for their graduation while the rest of us went back to the Statler to get ready to check in our luggage at the airport. The check in process was short and smooth since there were no passengers at the airport at that hour. Once we were done, we headed back to Cornell to attend our (Freedom & Justice) graduation.

Our graduation was combined with Design, Mind Body & Health, and Veterinary Medicine. Surprisingly, many of the students in our class had already left so about half (maybe less) of us were there. The graduation process went by a lot quicker then I thought which, in some way, saddened me. This was the last time we would probably ever see our friends we have made at Cornell in person. Of course there will be social media to connect, but this meant that all our fun times had come to an end. Our last conversations with our friends were filled with joy, laughter, and memories. I ended up taking pictures with all of our friends that the camera eventually ran out of batteries.

After graduation, we met up with the rest of the Cornell cohort to depart for the airport. On the way, we picked up our lunch at Collegetown Bagels once again. The process was delayed due to a messed up order. Cornell seemed to be holding us back, wanting us to stay for just a little bit longer. Once we got our lunch, we headed towards the airport. I couldn't help but to be saddened by the thought of leaving Cornell. It was my home for three weeks and it had become so familiar.

At the Ithaca airport, we took a regional plane to Philadelphia where we had a two hour layover. To make things worse, the fire alarm went off at Philadelphia International Airport and went on for a good half hour. The time eventually came: we boarded the plane that would take us away from the east coast. However, once again, it seemed that the east coast wanted us to stay just a little bit longer as the plane was delayed on the runway. We finally took off, leaving the east coast with some amazing memories.

Cornell Summer College has been a remarkable experience. I am sad that it went by so fast. I would like to thank all those that are a part of the ILC and Cornell University. We have reached the end of the road and now it splits into different routes. What we choose to do with this experience is now up to us.

Conclusion, And So It Ends

The end of my time at Cornell and our journey home began around 8:30, when I woke up for breakfast. The dorm rooms cannot compare to the luxury and comfort of the Statler. A night there was a fantastic way to end the trip. Breakfast was at Collegetown Bagels where I had a salt bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Then the Freedom and Justice Group went with Mr. Chan-Law to the airport to check in our luggage. Then it was time for the graduation ceremony.

Graduation for Cornell Summer College was a much more meaningful event than I had anticipated. The director and all the professors made brief speeches describing the programs and praising the students. Class by class we walked to the front to shake hands (or hug) our professor and TAs then received a certificate making us official Summer College alumni. After there was time to take photos with students and staff. Unfortunately my TA left before I got the chance to get to him and ask for a photo.

After the ceremony, we picked up our sandwich lunches from Collegetown Bagels and drove to the airport. Saying our final (at least until college) goodbyes to Cornell. After a brief wait we boarded the tiny plane which would take us to Philadelphia. We spent 2 hours in Philadelphia mainly charging our accessories and eating. All the guys ordered the exact same thing, ginger ale and Phily Cheesesteaks, talk about a good group! Soon enough it was time for the main event, our flight home.

The flight, for some reason, felt very long. It ended up being a collection of short naps, blogging,  reading, and listening to music. The rest of the night went very fast. We got our luggage, I said my farewells, and headed home. At home I had pizza and cake with my parents, then my best friend came over to hang out.

I am really going to miss everything about this trip, not only Cornell, but the people I met, the experience of living individually, and probably most of all the Cornell Cohort. We were such a compatible group, and always seemed to get along. We did not have a single issue or argument. On top of the good group dynamic, Mr. Chan-Law was a great chaperone. He kept everything very organized, and never got stressed out or impatient, which I think made the whole group feel better. I could not ask for a better group to have accompanied me on this journey of growth and discovery.