Senior Wisdom: Yanyi Luo
Written by Bwog Staff
Your week just got two times better: we’re doubling up on Senior Wisdoms, since there are just too many wise graduates out there with stories to share. The first senior today: Yanyi Luo, designer extraordinaire (including of Bwog).
Name, Hometown, School: Yanyi Luo — Glen Carbon, IL (most recently) but Zigong, China (to be accurate) — Columbia College, Information Science and Comparative Media Theory.
Claim to fame? I like music (Live at Lerner 2011-2012 coordinator; Columbia Music Festival; occasional DJ), words (poetry; punning around over coffee), code (HackColumbia, web development), and putting them all together (every digital humanities seminar ever offered these past four years). I’m also a designer, the outgoing CCSC Vice President of Campus Life, a member of the Puppy Coalition, and a friend.
Where are you going? Downtown a little bit to work as a software engineer here in the city; into the arms of a huge library that will someday exist in my apartment; into the lives and conversations of genuine, good people whom I have met here, and whom I have yet to meet.
3 things you learned at Columbia:
- A question: “What is a good life?”; that I must ask it and have a reason to ask it again and again for the rest of my life; that I will never be equipped to answer it fully, completely; that its answer will never exist in a vacuum from the world.
- People cherish deep pleasure that has no meaning (laughter), and meaning—truth—which contains in itself pleasure. There is nothing more magnificent than being brave and giving someone both, or making art where someone can find them.
- It’s not what you do, but who you are, that follows you. People know you by your face in the crowd, not your screenname or your resume. Who have you been? Who are you now? How do you relate to humanity; to history; to love? Show that to yourself and to the world, and your dreams will follow after.
Back in my day…MiMoo was just appointed Dean of CC; winters were generous for snowball fights; First Friday had alcohol and more Lady Gaga; we read the Richard Lattimore translation of The Iliad; John Jay did not stock Nutella, but it did have tungsten lights.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Not to get all Hegelian about this, but we won’t know until the end, will we?
Write a CU admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: John Jay 14 (2009–2010): Every time I hang out with all of you, it still feels like some slice of home. What a year we had and what years we’ve had. Thank you for being my first family here. You all deserve the fucking best.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Both arguments would have holes in them.
One thing to do before graduating: You came to Columbia with your head full of dreams and the talent to make some of them happen. A million opportunities will spring up and many of them will be rabbit holes. You will commit to something whose responsibilities you don’t fully understand, and what you thought would take five minutes will take a day; a week; a year. Makes choices. Cut back. It’s not that you can’t have it all; you don’t want it all. Try everything once and make routines for what you love and who you love, whether it’s dinner or films or drinks.
Any regrets? No.