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:
- 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.
- You want anything to impress people? Then spend time on it.
- 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.