Jenna Marinstein: 'Give yourself the permission to ease into the college environment.'

Sun, 04/09/2017

Jenna Marinstein

Government  Sociology

Pittsburgh, PA

Why did you choose Cornell?

When I researched Cornell, I was obsessed with the professors in the government department. Visiting the school sealed the deal for me: I had one of the best tours of any of the schools I visited, and I immediately fell in love with the campus. What other students can say they walk past waterfalls and gorges on their way to class everyday? Cornell is academically brilliant and scenically beautiful.

What is your main extracurricular activity? Why is it important to you?

Visitor Relations (aka tour guides). I can't say enough good things about this group of people and the amazing work they do for the university. From leading tour groups of 40 people to answering questions like "I have rabies, what should I do now?" this job has given me some of the most interesting and enjoyable experiences during my time at Cornell. I'm really going to miss professing my love for this university to prospective students, attempting to walk backwards without colliding into humans/concrete poles, and interacting with my coworkers, who have become some of my closest friends.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

My education taught me to critically engage with text, pushed me (somehow) to write a 35-page paper, allowed me to take classes about climate change/prison reform/women in China and let me explore my diverse interests intensively.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

I took myself way too seriously and put way too much pressure on myself freshman year. Give yourself the permission to ease into the college environment. Finding a balance between work and social life is super hard, so be willing to accept lower grades for a healthier social/extracurricular experience during your first year at Cornell.