Student Life at Cornell University

College life is not only about academia. It is a space where lifelong bonds are forged and students mature into critical thinkers and changemakers. In these institutions of higher learning, education is not restricted to the confines of the classroom and laboratories. It provides opportunities for students to participate in their favorite activities, explore interests, and, in the process, discover a new side of their personality that they didn’t know existed. 

As a student, if you are embarking on your academic journey at any of the Ivy League colleges, it is imperative to look at the academic prowess of the colleges, your aspirations, and the desired cultural experience. The uniqueness of students’ experiences at each college sets them apart from their counterparts. 

Cornell’s website says, “Life at Cornell; Something for Everyone,” which cannot be truer as it has more than one thousand student organizations and innumerable opportunities to serve the Ithaca community. As a new student, you immediately join a diverse group of scholars who are engaged in identifying problems, testing them, and finding solutions. 

1. Athletics and Recreation:

The athletic rivalries of the Ivy colleges are legendary since sports are an integral part of these elite institutions. At Cornell, you can participate in sporting activities either as an NCAA Division 1 athlete or in fun, safe, and competitive intramural sporting events. There are 17 sporting activities for men, including Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Ice hockey, Lacrosse, Polo, Rowing, Soccer, Sprint Football, Squash, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, and lastly, Wrestling. For women’s sports, in addition to the men’s sports, Gymnastics and Volleyball are additional sports, while Baseball is not mentioned in the list. Cornell University Athletics: Official Athletics Website ( There are 20 activities in intramural sports where it does not matter what the level of your skill is; the idea is that you can try something new. You can find out more about it here: Activity Offerings | Recreational Services | Cornell University.

With a commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Cornell’s Recreation Services (Big Red Rec) provides programs, facilities, and educational opportunities to the Cornell community. Some of the activities are offered free of charge, while for others there is a membership fee. Recreation Opportunities for Students | Recreational Services | Cornell UniversityThe recreational center also offers jobs to students who are willing to learn and have a friendly and outgoing disposition. The employment period runs during the school year, i.e., from August to May. 

2. Arts and Culture:

If you want to explore your realm of creativity, Cornell helps you dive deep into the territories of art and culture, acting as a catalyst by providing a voice to your journey of self-discovery and exploration. You can participate in art exhibits or even start your own dance troupe; the possibilities are endless.  

The Johnson Museum of Art boasts collections from Africa and Asia, right up to Australia and New Zealand, and contributes to the intellectual life of the community and the college. Drop-in Workshop: Teen Studio, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art ( This event allows students from ages 13–18 to drop in for an artistic experience to explore various materials in a stress-free atmosphere. The museum offers tailored tours for students of clubs, and residential halls. Museum internships for students allow them to work with curators and educators. 

The Zalaznik Reading Series has become an integral part of students’s education due to the generous grants of Barbara and David Zalanzik. Each semester, several national and international writers are invited to the Creative Writing Program. These readings are open to the public and are free. 

Cornell University Library prides itself on possessing a vast collection of ebooks, with their collections growing rapidly. The Swartz Center for Performing Arts produces entertaining performances created by the students, faculty, and staff. Cornell Chimes holds concerts and is also available to play at weddings and special events.

 3. Clubs and Student Organizations:

 1000 registered student organizations offer students the opportunity to explore and be part of the vibrant Cornell community.  The dedicated campus activities office supports all students to connect them to their choice of club and organization. As a part of the organization, you can hold events and meetings, and participate in various leadership training workshops. You can get involved in organizing events. You can become a part of 50 recognized Sororities and fraternities. These values-based social organizations help in the personal growth of members through service projects and leadership development.

4. Housing and Residential Life: 

Cornell has five community centers. Willard Straight Hall Student Union is a place that is a thriving social melting pot where students engage, explore, study, and work out. Big Red Barn is Cornell’s on-campus social center only for professional students and graduates, or undergraduate and transfer students. The Tatkon Center for New Students is a support and resource center focused on new students, and transfer students, providing mentorship and guidance. Want to dive into campus activities, hang out with friends, or grab a coffee? You can do it here. At Robert Purcell Community Center and Appel Commons on the north campus and Noyes Community Recreation Center on the west campus, you’ll find: Cornell dining eateries and cafesfitness centers; and Student Service Centers, where you can ask for information, and pick up your mail. Hasbrouck Community Center is a gathering spot with informational resources for our graduate and professional student residents.

Research the activities that resonate with you. This will help you make an informed decision and showcase to the admission officers what you would like to do outside of the classroom.

You can also read :


Student Life at Yale University | Ivy Central

Student Life at Columbia University | Ivy Central

Student Life at Brown University | Ivy Central

Student Life at Princeton University | Ivy Central

Student Life at Cornell University | Ivy Central

Student Life at Dartmouth College | Ivy Central

We can help you with your college application process. Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high school years. Start today!


Share This:


Enroll Today for 2024-25 Sessions

Enroll Today for the 2024-25 Sessions and embark on a transformative educational journey with us.