'I realized home is where intellectual culture is'

Ariane Bowers

New York, N.Y. and Saint Barthélemy

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

I was an excellent student in high school, but I had a difficult time during my second year at Cornell and had to take a leave of absence, during which I completed internships in New York and Paris. The moment I returned, Cornell intensely encouraged me to never give up. I learned to push myself without doubts and study anything; I love that I find engineering students in my philosophy classes, and vice versa. And even though I grew up in a Caribbean island, I learned to adapt to (and really fell in love with, to be honest) Cornell's snowy intellectual environment. I hope students from all over the world feel the same.

What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?

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I've been playing classical piano since I was six years old, and it will always be with me. All of my emotions are held in the music I choose to play. I am a fairly restrained person in general, but playing piano is when I have zero limits. I lose all concept of time. I do also like to code for my own projects. 

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

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Coming back to Cornell from Europe and genuinely feeling in my intellectual home. Hearing the clocktower playing Rachmaninov's prelude, seeing the determined students plowing through the immense blanket of snow, meeting my advising dean again sitting on his yoga ball. I was so happy to be back where my mind grew the most. I really realized home is where intellectual culture is. 

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Ask every question that comes to your mind. There will always be someone who can give you a rational answer that often feels like a new perspective. Focus, but explore and look for the opportunities here because Cornell has a massive amount to give you. Student life is important, but the professors are fantastic; they're really incredible from a personal and academic point of view. 


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