With campuses closed to visits from prospective students, the Indian SCENE is bringing its own college tours to you. This week, The Indian SCENE spoke with Jayan Joshi of Dallas, a mechanical engineering major in Cornell University’s class of 2023. Cornell, a private university in Ithaca, New York is a member of the Ivy League, and boasts notable alumni Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Ratan Tata. Undergraduate enrollment is around 15,000, and estimated cost of attendance before financial aid is around $76,000 a year.
The Indian SCENE: Tell us about your high school experience.
Jayan Joshi: I was heavily involved in UNICEF club both within my high school and in the Dallas Community. I also raced in triathlons nationally and ran cross country for my high school.
IS: When did you begin your college search? What aspects of a college were important to you?
JJ: I began my college search before my sophomore year of high school. Some aspects I looked for in a college were a strong social life, strong school spirit, and a good engineering program.
IS: Did you visit campuses? If so, when did you start? What were your takeaways from these visits?
JJ: I visited a lot of campuses, and started in the summer before my sophomore year. My main takeaway from the schools I visited was that I enjoyed non-urban campuses.
IS: Tell us about the application process. Did you apply early decision or early action anywhere? How many schools did you apply to?
JJ: I applied early decision to Cornell and early action to four other schools. I applied to around 12 total colleges including regular decision, since I was deferred from Cornell’s early decision pool.
IS: Tell us about campus life (e.g. ease of joining clubs/greek life, diverse population, ease of meeting with professors, workload, getting registered for classes, anything else you’d like to include).
JJ: Registering for classes freshman year was fairly easy, as Cornell gave a lot of guidance as to which core classes are required and when you should take them. Early in the semester there is a club fest, where it is very easy to find the clubs you are interested in and join whichever ones you like. Greek life is fairly prominent at Cornell, as around 30% of all students partake, and I rushed a fraternity this past spring. Regarding classes, although some classes are pretty difficult, almost every professor is very approachable, and holds office hours to help students.
IS: Give us an overview on housing as a freshman and how you found your roommate.
JJ:Freshman housing is very hit or miss, as some dorms are extremely nice and new and others are fairly old and worn down. I chose to go with a random roommate, and ended up in a triple with two people who I really got along with. The triple was a part of a seven person suite, and I am close friends with everyone in my suite.
IS: What’s some advice you wish you got when you were going through the college application process?
JJ: I wish I had worked on my essays ahead of time, as I was scrambling to finish my essays right before they were due.
IS: Tell us about your major/planned field of study and what you hope to do with it.
JJ: I am majoring in mechanical engineering with hopefully a minor in business, and I plan on either working as a mechanical engineer or possibly going to business school after graduation. I hope to have more clear plans for my future as I progress through college.
IS: What advice would you give parents of high school students when it comes to the college process?
JJ: Parents of high school students need to let the students drive their own college process, and not be as involved as they would like. Ultimately, students should end up where they’re most comfortable and where they fit in the best, not where their parents urge them to go.
IS: Anything else you feel is important (diversity on campus, traditions, etc.)?
JJ: Cornell has an extremely diverse campus, and traditions such as Slope day, a giant concert held every spring, and the Harvard hockey game are amazing traditions that everyone can take part in.
…favorite thing to do with your family? Watching movies every Sunday
…favorite type of food? Chicken tenders from Cane’s
…favorite artist (actor, singer, author, painter, etc.)? Kanye West
…favorite vacation spot? Cancún