Senior Wisdom: The Three Musketeers

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Name, Hometown, School, Major:

In life: The Three Musketeers.

On our diplomas:

  • Andrew Altamirano; Orlando, Florida; SEAS; Civil Engineering
  • David Coplon; Mt. Desert, Maine; SEAS; Civil Engineering
  • Jane Zellar; Helena, Montana; SEAS; Civil Engineering

Claim to Fame? Steel Bridge, Ski Team, Sailing Team, KDR, Tequila Tuesday™, Bottle Wednesday, Columbia Hostel, Sky Lounge on KDR 3.5, Sunrise Shenanigans, 5-pg bucket lists (single-spaced), perfect Senior Night attendance (since September!), winter 2010 igloo outside Hartley (which IS a valid pizza delivery address, coincidentally…)

Where are you going?


⅔ – Epic Roadtrip (Destination: Montana – 4000 miles, 6 national parks, 29 days) [DC & JZ]

⅓ – Key West (chillin’) [AA]

After that:

⅔ – Hanging out with Alma for round 2 [AA & DC]

⅓ – ?? [JZ]

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Your professors are actually pretty awesome people once you meet outside the context of class. Invite faculty to happy hour – they will come. It really does improve your relationship with them.
  2. “Single” is a loosely defined term when it comes to housing. Maximum occupancy of a 145 sq ft “single” is 43 people. (Assembly of a full loft is recommended). Too bad housing doesn’t believe it.
  3. It is possible to drink six nights a week and still make the Dean’s List. #seniorspring

“Back in my day…”

  • Koronets slice: $2.75
  • Metrocard swipe: $2.00
  • St. John the Divine was not finished.
  • Benjammin’ was still old.
  • Amy the HamDel lady said hello every Tuesday morning at 3:00am

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: All for one, one for all!

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? We’re engineers. The past four years have been a war on fun. Fun, sleep, academic success – pick 1.378. (0.378 sleeps is approximately 3 hours. Alternatively, substitute with a cold shower; 80*F should do the trick.)

That said, we spent a month playing frisbee every day on the lawns this semester instead of studying for the FE. We clearly won that war.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Only one of these is on the food pyramid. Even the new version.

Advice for the class of 2016:

  • SEAS students: choose your project groups wisely. VERY wisely. Your college experience depends on it.
  • DO NOT DRINK SIX NIGHTS A WEEK. (But see “Things You Learned” #3, if you decide not to listen…)
  • Club sports will save your life.
  • Make a bucket list. Check things off. Get off campus. Get out of New York City. You go to the best school in the greatest city in the world – why on earth are you still sitting here reading Bwog after finals week??
  • Visit the roofs – yes, they are still open.
  • Take full advantage of NSOP (and pre-NSOP, whattup COOP!). It’s not just a week about figuring out how to use SSOL (hint: you’ll never understand the DAR, don’t even try). It’s the first time you’ll really be able to experience Columbia and to make long-lasting relationships. Some of our best friendships today come from NSOP.
  • That said, you never know when or where you’ll meet awesome people. Even though the three of us are pretty inseparable at this point, we were not close at all until the end of last semester, when the entire department spent a sleepless week together in the computer lab for Finite Element. Make friendships both inside and outside of each classroom, because that person sitting next to you in LitHum or waiting in the endless lines the first weeks of the package center is more than likely a pretty cool person.
  • Despite frustrations you’ll more than likely encounter when dealing with the Columbia bureaucracy, there are fabulous people in the campus resources available to students who are always willing to help you out. Take advantage of every opportunity available, and make friends with the administration. (Shout out to Neeeeeeeev in CCE for being one of the nicest people on campus.)

Practical Tips:

  • University Hardware/Houseware have a 10% Columbia discount. This is advertised nowhere. You have to ask.
  • Subsconscious has a loyalty punchcard. And unlike HamDel it is open on Sunday nights.
  • Target at 225th St. is 1 block from the subway stop – waaaay more convenient than E 116th St. (but everything you could ever want is on 116th and FDR)
  • Taxi from Fairway to EC: $6-7. Buying one family pack of chicken breasts more than covers this.
  • Flare – 208th. Load up a Zipcar for significantly cheaper beer.
  • Anticipate damage you might cause in your suite and put it on the move-in room condition report so you won’t be charged at the end of the year.
  • Hartley Hospitality Desk will refund your money when laundry machines don’t work.

Any regrets? Somehow we managed to share the same major, adviser, and classes for three years without knowing each other. Yikes.


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  1. Yes!

    Tequila Tuesday!!!! Love it! #1-1-1-1plan

  2. Anonymous

    YES this is what I call a Senior wisdom! Love you all so much. And it is also thanks to you if I ended up on the 1-1-1-1 program. You rock!

  3. seas 12  

    this is the best senior wisdom of all time no more need to be written after this one you are the best you have won the genre great job

    - seas '12

    recaptcha change onwron i think....

  4. Anonymous

    you sirs, are all winners. finally some real senior wisdom with practical trips.

  5. SEAS 2013

    Love love loveeee you 3. You are seriously the best, most fun, and smartest

  6. Anonymous

    YES! This just made my life

  7. A fan  

    Andrew Altamirano is one the kindest, most loyal, most thoughtful, and most AWESOME people I've meet here. Keep it real Andrew, you're the best!

  8. Anonymous  

    Love you all. So glad you guys became friends this past year, and that you let me join in the fun :)

  9. Another fan

    David Coplon is hands down one of the most wonderful people at this school. So much love.

  10. Cassie

    I've been waiting for this for days!! Jane, I LOVE YOU and thanks for letting me tag along on adventures and use your kitchen so many times! You (and the other Musketeers) are the coolest :)

  11. Anonymous  

    this is rock solid.

  12. Anonymous

    St. John Divine still aint finished.

  13. good wisdom  

    ...but you spelled Flair wrong.

  14. #imnotbaldinglikebenny

    Ben is as old as a witch's tit. A really old witch's tit.

  15. Ben the Slovak  

    WOOOOOT!! Love you guys, let TT live on. Wish you Love, Happiness, and Health in all that you do!!

  16. Anonymous

    You three are the best around, hands down. Thank you for dealing with my pain-in-the-ass-ness on a daily basis. I'm gonna miss y'all more than you can know. But before that, we are getting bottle service in Rochester and having the night of our lives.

  17. Tori

    JIZZLE- SO MUCH WISDOM. SO MUCH. EC1612 Forever and always.
    DC-Sad I didn't meet you until Tequila Tuesday. You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar, and possibly a high functioning alcoholic, but it works for you.
    Freshmen/women: Keep Tequila Tuesday alive, it truly is the best way to get through your week. Plus, it makes Tuesday, the worst day of the week, palatable.
    Side note: It IS possible to drink 6 days a week and make it on the Dean's List, it's just not recommended.

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