The inner drive to challenge yourself

Wesley Adcock '19, History MajorWesley Adcock ʼ19, a history major earning his secondary education certification, took a different journey than most on life’s road toward personal growth. Wesley came to Cornell from the transportation and logistics industry, where he drove a truck for 15 years. He decided his interests would be better aligned with a new role in that industry—as an operations manager.

Wesley chose Cornell College knowing the block plan would offer a challenge to the traditional education model and he looked forward to it and the distinct experiences of learning One Course At A Time. By attending a liberal arts college, he could also pursue his interests beyond the scope of learning the practical skills of his goal of a managerial role.

“I have a passion for American history,” he said “I firmly believe that in order to understand the present, you must develop knowledge of the past. I found Cornell’s history department was everything I was looking for and so much more.”

Most non-traditional students, a term often used to refer to students who don’t come directly to college after high school, find themselves confronting challenges that their younger peers don’t necessarily encounter. Knowing this, Wesley came to Cornell anyway and soon faced a challenge that no one could have predicted.

“My wife had a medical emergency that resulted in an emergency surgery,” he said. “It impacted us mentally and financially. I could have given up but I dug down deep and challenged myself to be an even better husband and student.”

Wesley took up a second job, took on all the household chores, and studied hard for the next two blocks, earning back-to-back As while his wife recovered from the surgery.

Wesley experienced a dream he didn’t think would be available to him as a non-traditional student. He studied the Holocaust in Europe through an off-campus study course.

“As a married student who lives off campus, I did not have the finances to travel to Europe to study a moment in history that I am passionate about. The history department awarded me a scholarship that paid for my entire stay in Europe,” he said.

Now the world-traveling Wesley will return to the workforce with a degree in hand, with more experiences, and the knowledge he can take on any challenge that comes his way because he already has successfully traveled so far already.

Wesley’s Hilltop Favorites

Campus spot:

“The library—I have spent more time on the second floor of the library than any other place on campus. It is my favorite place on campus because it offers several helpful resources to help maximize your learning experience.”


“The Trustee meeting in the Thomas Commons had the most impact on my academic life at Cornell. I was able to meet several alumni who shared their wisdom with me.”


“I love the coffee at Zamora’s. It seemed to be my one constant companion while I studied for exams.”