Be Open to Joy

You know when Taylor Swift killed the old Taylor Swift and became the newer broodier Taylor Swift? Basically, that happened to me over the course of four years. (I’d like to think I’m still the happy go lucky freshman that came in with all the ambition in the world, but maybe I’m a little more cynical now too). I came in as a biology major. I am not. I came in with 2 minors. I have none. I came being deadest on going to medical school. I am applying to graduate programs and some gap year jobs. But I am okay with where I am. In fact, I have never been happier.

Almost every plan I had coming into school has changed thus far, but it has only happened because I was open to new experiences and sought out joy. I switched into the chemistry major because I disliked the cutthroat culture I experienced in the biology major. Although the classes were plenty interesting and the professors were passionate, I found myself in an environment that rather than nurtured me, subjected me to toxicity. I dropped my minors because I did not enjoy the classes I took and the regiment associated with them. I officially stopped being pre-med 4 weeks ago because I knew med school wouldn’t bring me joy. So it goes.

In my time here at Cornell, I joined clubs, e-boards, mini-cults, worked campus jobs, participated in social activism, and research labs. Some of these things I only did because my friends asked that I branch out, but I frequently became more passionate about them than ever imagined! Not only was I a student, but a person, who now reflecting on my time spent here, has lived a very fulfilling and joyful Cornell career. In fact, a student would be the last thing I would classify myself as. So, I encourage anyone reading this to do the unorthodox, branch out, explore, take the scenic route because your life will change, and you will find more joy than ever imagined.

Antonio Saporito, ’21

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