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Life at Brooks

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A day in the life of a Brooks School student can be inspiring and invigorating with dynamic classes, coffee at the cafe, conversations in the hallway with your professors and classmates, and an event or a club meeting that enriches your education. 

A Day in the Life

Meet Summer Ford ’25

By: Summer Ford, ’25

Hello! I’m Summer, and I am a freshman from St. Petersburg, Florida. Welcome to one Tuesday in my life in the Brooks School!

9:10 AM — Walk to class

The walk from my North Campus (where all freshmen live) dorm to class is only about 10–15 minutes, but I always leave my dorm early to grab a coffee or chai latte from Martha’s Cafe on the way.

9:40 AM — PUBPOL 2030 Population and Public Policy

My first class of the day is taken by all Public Policy majors and focuses heavily on the components of demography and population changes across time. This class is special to me both because it has helped me get to know the 65 or so other freshmen and because I will be traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark, this summer with 13 other students for a two-week extension of the course! I have a half-hour break after this class, and all my classes this semester are within a 5-minute walk from each other, so I have plenty of time to meet up with classmates in my next class to walk over and hang out before it starts.

11:25 AM — Introduction to Global Health

My second class is a core course for the Global Health major, but it has many students from different majors and colleges. I chose to take it for fun, and I have learned so much about global issues from the lectures!

12:45 PM — Lunch from Martha’s Cafe

After a class in Martha Van Rensselaer Hall (home to the Brooks School!) around lunchtime, I can never resist a build-your-own Mediterranean-style bowl from Martha’s Cafe. Many Brooks School classes are in or around MVR, so my classmates and I hang out in the MVR Commons after classes most days to work on homework together and stop by different office hours. Office hours are time slots held by professors and teaching assistants (TAs) every week where students can come and ask questions about lectures or upcoming assignments and exams. My TAs for PUBPOL 2030 have helped me both with essays for that class and other policy courses they have taken!

3:30 PM — Bowling

All freshmen take two semesters of PE, so this semester I bowl for an hour and a half every Tuesday. Bowling, like every other PE, is graded pass/fail based on attendance, so it is a very chill class and such a great way to unwind from my day. Bowling, unfortunately, conflicts with the only professor office hours for my Population and Public Policy class, but I can always count on my classmates to ask my question for me or the professor to meet with me at a different time.

6:00 PM — Dinner at Morrison Dining Hall

After class, I’ll stop by my dorm and then head to Morrison, a brand-new dining hall that opened this semester on North Campus, to meet friends for dinner. I eat at Morrison most nights because it has a huge selection and is less than a minute’s walk from my dorm. My favorite station is their vegan “plantiful” bowl bar!

7:30 PM — Olin Library

Every student has a go-to study spot, and mine is Olin Library — I love the quiet study spots, reservable group rooms, and convenient café. My second Starbucks drink of the day motivates a few friends and me to make the walk down to Central Campus after dinner to study for upcoming exams and finish up any homework for the next day.

11:00 PM — Bedtime

Once we finish studying, I’ll walk (or take the TCAT bus) back to my dorm to hang out with my roommate and other friends in our building before we all try to go to sleep around midnight.

Your Support Network

The staff of your office of Admissions, Student Services and Career Management will be with you every step of the way through your years at Cornell. From your first day to graduation day, we’re here to provide information, support and programming to help you thrive. Stop by or send an email to find out more about: 

  • Undergraduate academic advising – The advising staff meets with students regularly to answer questions regarding academic policies, credit requirements, degree requirements, course sequencing, petitions, transfer credit, study abroad, minor selection, and career and professional development support.
  • Faculty mentors – All Brooks School students are connected with a faculty mentor who has expertise in public policy. Faculty mentors know their way around Cornell and can give you valuable insight as you select your electives, consider research opportunities, navigate challenging coursework, and think about your academic goals. 
  • Building Success at Brooks course – A one-credit course for undergraduates taken in your first semester.

Meet the staff


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