Christine Nguyen, Davenport, Iowa

Christine Nguyen

My Roots/About Me
Both of my parents were originally from Vietnam. My brother was born in Hong Kong, and I was born in the United States. I have grown up in Iowa all my life, and I absolutely love the Midwest—I could not imagine living anywhere else.

Areas of Study
Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Psychology

Cornell Activities
Cornell Student Alumni Association (CASA), Cheerleading, Student-Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC), Eyes of the World, Connect Floor, Hall Council, Health Professions Society, Lunch Buddies, National Residence Hall Honorary, PALS, Relay for Life, United Sports Day, Admissions Tour Guide

Long Term Goal
After Cornell, I plan to attend graduate school to get my Ph.D. and ultimately become a professor at a small liberal arts college, like Cornell. I haven’t quite decided what field I would like to go into yet, but I think I’ve still got a little bit of time left to decide. It’s funny–when I was in high school, I always told myself that I could never imagine being a teacher. But after having been here at Cornell for a couple of years and having had the opportunity to build all the great relationships that I have with my professors, I can’t wait to hopefully become a professor someday and provide students like myself with the same wonderful experience.

Did you have any concerns about fitting in at Cornell?
I think my biggest concern was whether or not I would be able to handle the block plan. I remember being worried about learning 16+ weeks worth of material in 3.5, and not knowing if I was going to be able to do it or if it was going to be too overwhelming. After having been at Cornell for a couple years, though, I couldn’t imagine taking classes any other way! I always tell prospective students on tours that, if they’re worried, don’t be! The block plan is definitely manageable and not as impossible as it sounds. It also teaches you how to be really time efficient and how to prioritize your responsibilities.

What were some of your initial impressions of the campus community?
One of the first things I noticed about Cornell was the diversity. I lived on Connect Floor my freshman year, and everyone on my floor was just so different from one another–not just in terms of race and ethnicity, but also religious affiliations, geographical locations, majors, interests, etc. I met four of my closest friends on Connect Floor, and every one of us are so different from the other. The other thing that I really love about Cornell is the campus—our entire campus is essentially on top of a hill, which I feel creates a really strong sense of community. I always feel safe walking around campus (even if it is walking back from the library at 2:00 in the morning) and I think that the people here are really friendly. Because the population on campus is not very large, you also have the opportunity to build great relationships with a lot of different people.

How have you grown at Cornell?
 I feel that I’ve grown tremendously during my time at Cornell, not only as a student, but also as a leader, a mentor, and a friend. Cornell has afforded me with great opportunities both inside and outside the classroom that have allowed to me to develop professional and interpersonal skills. Perhaps one of the things I value most about being a Cornell College student is the opportunity to get to know my professors and my peers daily—not only on a surface level, but to really build meaningful relationships with them. When I first came to Cornell, I thought that I wanted to go on to dental school after I graduated. After having been at Cornell for three years, however, I am convinced that I would like to one day become a faculty member at a small liberal arts college—even better if I could come back and teach at Cornell!

What advice would you give to students considering Cornell?
Keep an open mind. There are so many great opportunities on campus to get involved and to get to know people, and I always encourage prospective students to take advantage of that. Even if you do not think that you would get along with someone because they have different interests or because they are not someone who you would normally befriend, you might be pleasantly surprised if you take the initiative to say hello. I have met some of my best friends at Cornell by stepping out of my comfort zone.

Fun Fact
I had my first slice of pie when I was 20.