Sydney Shakeel

Merrick, New York

Cornell as a community is extremely welcoming and accepting of everyone. Because of this, I felt that I would be able to grow — not only as an artist but also as a person.

Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?

I have always valued diversity and the importance of it. When I first visited campus, I realized the emphasis Cornell — especially AAP — places on it. Cornell as a community is extremely welcoming and accepting of everyone. Because of this, I felt that I would be able to grow — not only as an artist but also as a person.

What inspired you to become an artist?

Growing up I had always found it hard to communicate with others. I would often find myself struggling to express myself due to my severe social anxiety. It became frustrating at times and I needed an outlet. That outlet became art. At the young age of five I would be sprawled out on my kitchen floor scribbling away at a piece of paper. What looked like a kitschy childhood drawing was so much more to me. That piece of paper represented all of the bottled up emotions and ideas that I was incapable of expressing.

What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?

Fine arts, politics, Middle Eastern studies, and choir.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?

I hope to become the artist that I have always strived to be. During my time at AAP, I wish to grow as an artist and refine my style and concepts. I also would like to expand my knowledge beyond the realms of art that I am currently comfortable with.