Semester’s End

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Spring has sprung in Ithaca!

After an effectively semester-long hiatus, here I am once more. The end of my sophomore year is approaching, and after finishing two final papers, I’m ready to sit back and reflect on how this spring went (and how it went by so fast) as well as look forward to what’s ahead.

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One happy little llama family

Since I last posted, a lot has happened. As far as KD goes, the biggest development was getting a little (ironically). Big/Little week would’ve been infinitely more stressful had I not had someone to do it with me–Ali and I ended up taking the same little and rejoining the two sides of our lineage. Consequently, our little, Susie, got double the crafts, double the food, probably triple the apparel, and double the love! It’s been great getting to hang out with the whole llama gang, and I’ll really miss all of them when I’m away next year.

Whereas I went to three ballroom competitions in the fall, I only attended one in the spring: the MIT Open competition. Although I contracted what was most likely strep right before arriving in Boston and my partner badly rolled his ankle two days before, we pulled through and danced reasonably well given the circumstances (fever and injured foot). After all, it was the last competition for both of us and my parents had come all the way from Texas to watch, so we had little choice in the matter. While I couldn’t do as much exploring or eating as I wanted, it was still a nice trip and a good way to (probably) end my ballroom career. I still need to figure out how I can continue to wear my dress, though. I also served as PR chair for the semester, primarily promoting (and emceeing) the spring showcase but also organizing and attending a few extra performances.

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Taking a bow

My classes all went well. My two English classes (the Oscar Wilde seminar and Theories of Popular Culture) had interesting readings, my narrative class with Karen Joy Fowler was great, and Math and Politics (which I like to call Baby Game Theory) fulfilled a requirement. In March, I handed over my position as Blogs Editor of The Daily Sun (by the way, it’ll soon be The Thrice-Weekly Sun), and since then, I’ve written a few articles for the Arts section. We stopped doing Lit Up, the radio show, because everybody (each of the three of us, at least) was pretty busy, but I started serving as the Events Chair for the Literary Society, which entailed going to more events than coordinating them.

A major stressor during this semester was applying to internships. Though I focused mainly on publishing houses, I also applied to literary agencies, film companies, and miscellaneous media outlets. Writing cover letters was, quite simply, one of the most exhausting tasks I have ever set out to accomplish. Not only was it tiring, but it was also seemingly never-ending; I was attempting to convince companies of my competency for nearly two months, and I would have spent even more time writing letters if I hadn’t been offered a job at the end of March.

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Me and Niki in Chicago over spring break

After a phone interview, an in-person HR interview, and a last-minute Skype-turned-phone interview,  I was offered a job at Macmillan Publishers, one of the “Big Five” American publishing houses. I’ll be working for Thomas Dunne Books (one of St. Martin’s Press’s imprints) as an Editorial Intern, commuting to the Flatiron Building Monday-Friday. I am super excited about this opportunity because a) it’ll give me the chance to learn about multiple aspects of the publishing industry and b) I believe this is what I want to do with my life and would like some affirmation that this is the case. In addition, I’m relieved that my incessant applying finally paid off (at one of the biggest publishing houses out there, at that) because all people tell you about publishing is that it’s a hard field to break into. So you can imagine how grateful I am for this internship. Plus, I get to live with two of my best friends in Williamsburg! Ali says it almost makes up for the fact that I’m leaving her for a year.

Speaking of which, that brings me to Oxford, which is about as far in the future as my mind can see right now. It still doesn’t feel real to me that I’ll be studying abroad in a mere five months, not returning to Cornell until the fall of 2017. I’m going to miss a lot being gone for two semesters, and as people are so fond of telling me, it’ll be weird coming back. And while I know it’ll be weird, I also know that it will be worth it ten times over. Living in another country for eight months is an experience I might never have again in my life, and the tutorial system will challenge me immensely. Best of all, being there for the entire academic year will give me the chance to actually become part of the Lady Margaret Hall community and really get to know the people around me. I don’t doubt that I made the right decision applying for a year-round program, and I simply can’t wait.

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Arielle and me on Slope Day

While I haven’t been a model blogger this year, I think I can blame it on the Sophomore Slump. The spring semester was far less stressful than fall for me; I was much better at prioritizing and had more fun in general. I started this blog to document my freshman year, and I kept my promise to myself. However, there really wasn’t much incentive to write about my sophomore year, perhaps for the very reason that the Sophomore Slump strikes: the novelty of college has worn off and the end isn’t yet in sight. So I dropped the ball on this year. I do truly want to resume blogging this summer to share my internship experience, and I most definitely want to blog from England. I will start writing more or less regularly again–that’s a promise.

~Natalie

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