Cornellians Graduating Without Taking Swim Test Report Feeling Unprepared to Enter the Workforce

NEW YORK CITY–Last Monday, Shelby Lawrence ‘21 began her first day at her entry-level job as a Coffee Gofer at Morgan Stanley and was met with an unwelcome surprise: without having completed Cornell’s mandatory swim test due to COVID-19 cancellations, she was completely in over her head! 

“At first I thought it was the two years of virtual Econ that was making me nervous about my upcoming position at Morgan Stanley, but now I know it’s that I never got to put my freestyle to the test.” Lawrence explained. “How can I know if I’ll sink or swim in the real world without surviving three laps in Teagle?” 

On that fateful first day, Lawrence accidentally brought back a mocha latte instead of a cappuccino. Later that afternoon, she felt flooded by the inundation of orientation materials, and stood gasping for air while trying to manage the Xerox machine. Lawrence even cried herself to sleep that night, remembering her pathetic attempt to doggy-paddle down Wall Street in the pouring rain. 

“I guess I should have expected the steep learning curve I would experience at work due to my lack of swim experience. Whenever I talk to alumni, they always cite the swim test as a seminal part of their post-grad confidence and success,” Lawrence said. “Sure, the degree’s alright, but we all know that the real Cornell advantage comes from the assessment of our buoyancy.”

The Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, having been notified of the widespread concern, floated the idea of a make-up swim test that would occur some time in 2023.

Seniors To All Be Pushed Into Cayuga Lake for Final Swim Test

CAYUGA LAKE — Founded on the desire of Ezra Cornell for all Cornellians to be able to swim, the university has made preparations to push all of the graduating seniors into Cayuga Lake as a final swim test on May 29th.

“We understand that Cornell requires all students to take a swim test in an indoor pool when they first enter as freshmen, but there’s no better way to test somebody’s swimming ability then by forcibly shoving them along with the other 3,300 seniors into the sub-50 degree waters of Cayuga Lake,” proclaimed Cornell swimming coach Wes Newman, while also promising to not go as easy on students as the school has done in the past.

“The test will require students to tread water for 20 minutes before swimming to one end of the lake and back, the long way. Ezra Cornell wanted all students to be able to swim in case of an emergency, and I can’t even think of an emergency that would require you to do all of this, so you’ll definitely be prepared.”

In addition to the new swim test requirements, Cornell recently announced that all seniors would need to sprint back from Cayuga Lake to the graduation ceremony at Schoellkopf Field in a set amount of time or else they would need to do the whole thing over again.