Senior Wisdom: William Cybriwsky

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NHSM: William Cybriwsky, Manhasset, NY, SEAS, Earth and Environmental Engineering

Claim to Fame: What I wish my claim to fame were:

I’m wearing headphones all the time—if not on my ears, then around my neck? Also my gait. I’m told it’s very distinctive. Involvement in many groups whom I’ve all loved very much—Alfred, CUMB, Postcrypt, Greenborough, ESC, and Peer Health Exchange, to name a few.

What my claim to fame is:

I performed a cover of Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl” at an NSOP open mic with hundreds of attendees. Descriptions of the performance ranged from “pained” to “inscrutable” but generally “hilarious”, and as late as November, people I don’t know still walk up to me and talk about it. What a terribly paradoxical set of adjectives to live up to.

Where are you going? Nowhere. I’m staying in New York City after college, doing… uh…. well the wordplay might hit a little too close to home right now, but I’m still waiting back on a few interviews! Don’t worry about it. At least I’m an engineering major!

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. How lucky I am. I don’t mean how lucky I am to be at Columbia, but just to enjoy the privileges of being a heterosexual Catholic white male without any significant challenges to his physical, mental, emotional, or financial well-being. That I could walk to high school without getting jumped. Basic shit which I took for granted before meeting everyone I met here, or learning about shit like the MSA surveillance.
  2. You want anything to impress people? Then spend time on it.
  3. Because time is so short in college, people really appreciate brevity.

“Back in my day…” the Mudd roof AND the Butler 8th floor windows were left open all the time, no tools required. If you wanted natural light in a library, you went to Avery. 5-hour energy only came in the berry flavor.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I teach NYC teens about Mental Health every Friday through PHE, and train other college students to do the same. Plus, I serenade people who poop in Butler during finals.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The War on Fun is not over, nor is it winnable by either side. One big shift I think the hyperinformation age has brought us, though, is that the enemy is less Columbia and more the world at large: “How will this look to med schools?” “Is this gonna make it to google?” “I’m doomed for internships next year”, et cetera. I can’t think of a single person who is more terrified about talking to the Dean than about the nebulous knock-on effects for employment.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Oral sex. I try and avoid meat because of its environmental impact; that just will not work without cheese.

Advice for the Class of 2016:

  • Stop reading BWOG. You don’t even go here yet. Come here when you’re older for news, for free food, for housing guides—but for now, enjoy high school and the sensation of being the smartest in your class.
  • Make friends with upperclassmen—they’ll teach you much more than any blog post. LLC kids: you got this on lockdown. The rest of you: get ready to hit the ground running in September.
  • Quit the boring stuff.

Any regrets? For a while here at Columbia, I didn’t have good notion of what I wanted to do with myself, which is normal for college. But I think I de-prioritized that for a year or two while piling on more and more commitments, and as a result ended up less happy AND less accomplished (double fail!). Well, I’m better now, I think.

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  1. fellow countrymen  


    - Great Neck North High School Alumnus

    • *Also....  

      "I try and avoid meet because of its environmental impact; that just will not work without cheese."

      Err... seriously?!

      • Anonymous  

        meet instead of meat....seriously?

      • It happens. People make typos.  

        But can we talk about how he's standing on some moral high ground of eating cheese as a green alternative to me(a)t. Chicken is lower impact across the board: water, energy, waste production (including greenhouse gases), land use.
        Maybe by meat he meant red meat? In that case, sure, cheese is probably a bit better for the Earth, but it goes back to the same large-mammal agriculture.
        You need to get some better blow jobs, son, if you think those marginal gains on your personal green-o-meter are worth giving them up.

  2. anon  

    this is the truest senior wisdom post so far

  3. Meet?  

    Typo or a joke I'm not getting?

  4. Prezbo  

    Señor Cybriswsky is a gentleman and a scholar. Now GTFO.

  5. bwog...  

    Are you doing professors "closing words" feature this semester??

  6. Tabes  

    The amount of time we spent in PXG's class freshman year...I never realized you were the Katy Perry cover artist. Wowz.

  7. cc 12  

    um, did anyone pick up on how he said he's lucky to be a white, catholic, straight male?

  8. Butler Pooper

    I was sang to a few years ago ... a very chilling experience. Finals studiers of this semester beware, if you poop in Butler, you may be bombarded by a dozen or so singers serenading you about pooping in Butler during finals.

  9. Anonymous  

    nothing wrong with recognizing privilege.

    • cc 12  

      recognizing being brought up with good parents in a good neighborhood's all good. saying you feel privileged because you're a white catholic male is not

      • You can't ignore your privilege forever  

        The widespread idea that white people aren't privileged and catholics aren't privileged (or worse—that Christians are persecuted in this country) is just disgusting. If you want to hide your privilege, then fine, but you can't escape the fact that white people get a ridiculous amount of undeserved advantages that they owe to their skin color. Here, educate yourself:

  10. "At least  

    "At least I'm an engineering major?"

    What's that supposed to mean?

  11. Narayan  

    Will's got an absolutely amazing personality. His passion for whatever he does has always shows through. What an awesome senior wisdom!

  12. he's so aware  

    of his privilege. that's hot

  13. Anonymous  

    "...or learning about shit like the MSA surveillance."

    you're a champ for mentioning that. fuck Bollinger for absolutely ZERO follow-up. muskrat-headed twat.

  14. n  

    awesome senior wisdom, will. you're such a good guy, im really gonna miss you.

  15. this guy

    is fucking great. absolutely brilliant.

  16. Anonymous  


  17. Anonymous  


  18. Anonymous  

    I have learned to love you! You are so freaking cool, annoying at times, but definitely one of the coolest kids ever! :)

  19. Anonymous  

    Will is one of the most interesting kind-hearted people on this campus- Love ya baby Will!!

  20. Please relax...  

    Appreciate the wisdom and ignore the parts you don't like. He's obviously got guts, I thought the Katy Perry cover was absolutely hilarious. He made a good percentage of our class laugh before classes even started- WIN.
    Some of us did worry about getting jumped while walking to high school, but we are all here now. Some of us realized how much we really didn't have when we got here, he realized how much he did. I congratulate him for being one of the few to wake up and meet that realization.

  21. Anonymous  

    Will, this was hilarious! Love the advice-- so relevant. Gonna miss you to pieces. PHE Mental Health love xoxoxoxo so sad I never got serenaded in Butler :( Too lazy to tell you who this is so figure it out.



  23. Anonymous  

    Will is an absolutely amazing person, and it has been just a total pleasure getting to know him. I've seen him grow so far from his time as an awkward freshman in Hartley! #LLCLove

  24. Ben Weiner

    I approve this message

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