Alvey ’22: ‘Professors were there for me’

Every year Cornell celebrates its graduating seniors at Commencement with their closest friends and families. We also like to highlight a number of seniors online as they transition from college student to college grad and join Cornell’s growing community of alumni.

Senior Will Alvey
William Alvey

William Alvey

B.A. in English, B.A. in Spanish, and minor in Classical Studies

Hometown: Savage, Minnesota

“Even when I experienced ruts in finding motivation and happiness, I always knew that these professors were there for me, and will be there for me after my experience at Cornell.”

What do you think you’ve learned since being at Cornell that you did not know before you arrived?

At Cornell, I have learned that I have the capability of doing a lot more than I believed was possible before coming to college in a very short amount of time. With the block plan, I have gained so many organizational skills, and have learned the importance of staying on top of things. I have also learned about my adaptability to new settings. Even though Cornell is far more rural than where I come from, I have found ways to stay happy and connected to others so that I can thrive.

Who helped you along your college journey?

Although I have had pleasant experiences with virtually all faculty and professors that I have had the opportunity to work with or to meet, academic advisors in all of my majors are the people that I look up to the most and admire, both as humans and as scholars. Alyssa Selmer (Spanish Department), Katy Stavreva (English Department), and John Gruber-Miller (Classical Studies Department) especially have all encouraged me to push myself to be the best I can be and to shoot for the stars. Even when I do not actively have a class with them, I know that I can reach out to them comfortably, and ask for help or guidance through whatever academic or even personal struggles that I am going through. Even when I experienced ruts in finding motivation and happiness, I always knew that these professors were there for me, and will be there for me after my experience at Cornell.

Describe the block plan.

Syllabus, read, read, read, study, read, read, read, exam, read, write a paper, exam, read, the end! The block plan is the infrastructure of all academic and extracurricular happenings at Cornell. Being super fast-paced, most professors assign a lot of homework every day. Because of this, as a student, you may feel stressed out at times, but it is fantastic to be able to take the time to fully immerse yourself within a specific area of study. Additionally, the block plan allows for a lot of flexibility in terms of what professors include on the syllabus. With such flexibility, I have simultaneously been able to do the usual things for a class, and also be invited to extra workshops/events in surrounding cities, do a practicum in class, or do an off-campus experience for the class. What I like about the block plan most is that if you are enrolled in a class that you are not very into, there won’t be much time during which you have to deal with it!

What is your advice to the classes behind you?

Although Cornell has a culture of business, I urge every new Cornell student to try joining at least one club, adjunct course, cultural organization, etc. Keeping a group alive and thriving through the years can be as easy as just jumping in and attending a meeting or event!