From returning home to exploring Ithaca, Cornellians share their plans for the fall break

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As the first round of prelims draws to a close, Cornellians are excited about their plans for the fall break long weekend. Whether they are visiting friends and family back home, traveling or just staying in Ithaca, students look forward to relieving some of the stress they have accumulated during the pre-season.

Morgan Hunt ’25 flies back to Boulder, Colorado, where she’s looking forward to hiking and spending leisurely time in the Colorado outdoors to give her the time and space to unwind physically and mentally.

“I don’t think a lot of my friends will be home because we all have different breaks,” Hunt said. “So I’ll probably hang out with my parents a lot.”

Anushka Shorewala ’26 will also be heading home, returning to Long Island, New York, where she will be spending time with her family.

“I like to watch movies [with my family] when I’m home,” Shorewala said. “I think it will be a relaxed weekend and I’m very happy.”

Like Shorewala, many first graders are excited to be reunited with their families after being separated from them for the first time.

Noah Salzman ’26 travels to his home in New York City to meet his family and enjoy the urban scene that is unseen in Ithaca.

“I like that I’ll be able to see my family,” Salzman said. “I haven’t seen my twin sister for a while because she goes to my place [another school]. I’m also looking forward to playing with my little cousins.”

Aside from reuniting with family members, Salzman hopes to hit up cafes and venture out through his hometown.

Fiona Neibart ’26 plans to travel to New Haven, Connecticut, in time for Yale’s Family Weekend to visit her twin sister at Yale University.

“I’m just happy to see my family again,” said Neibart. “As a newbie, it’s strange to be away from them for so long.”

Meanwhile, other Cornellians see the break as an opportunity to be adventurous; some travel to new places for unforgettable experiences.

Quinn Reinhardt ’25 will be heading to the Adirondacks to camp with his friends. He expressed both excitement and concern at “going with the flow” on his first camping trip.

“We don’t exactly have that [solid] Plans,” said Reinhardt. “We’ll drive around and figure things out along the way.”

Though he’s nervous about unexpected twists and potential bear encounters, Reinhardt said he’s looking forward to relieving academic pressure amid wildlife and forging stronger bonds with his friends.

Similarly, Tianzhen Jia ’24 and his friends arranged an East Coast trip from Saturday to Monday.

“We will pass many state parks,” Jia said. “I’m particularly looking forward to driving the Blue Range Parkway because it’s the best time of year for sightseeing.”

When he arrives at his final destination, Washington DC, Jia hopes to transition from admiring nature’s autumn views to actively exploring the history-filled cityscape.

Some Cornellians refrain from traveling and remain in Ithaca for the duration of their days off. Giovanni Mariotti from Italy will stay on campus during the break, like many international fellow students. He wants to sleep in and get work done.

“I have to stay [in Ithaca] because travel is too expensive,” said Mariotti. “But I will definitely catch up a lot. Also, I’ll be making time for Netflix and workouts, which I haven’t been able to do lately due to academics.”

Despite the many students leaving campus to travel and visit their homes, those staying in Ithaca over the fall break are determined to spend time outdoors.

Cornellians can explore local produce and handcrafted goods at the Farmer’s Market, stroll through Collegetown after eating bagels with friends, or shop at Ithaca Mall. Fall break is an ideal time to experience the charms of Ithaca and immerse yourself in the fall beauty of upstate New York.

As Shorewala put it: “[Fall break] will be a good opportunity to refresh and recharge.”

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