Senior Wisdom: Christine Liu

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Christine Liu

Hear from Christine Liu, co-president of Engineers Without Borders.

Name, Hometown, School: Christine Liu, Nutley, NJ, SEAS (Chemical Engineering)

Claim to fame? Being the first to die in the 2010 CU Assassins games, Co-President of a silly group of passionate engineers. I’ve been told I make funny faces.

Where are you going? Some streets down and a few avenues over, working at one of those consulting firms until I figure out what to do with the rest of my life. But before that, Guatemala to work at an NGO and play with small children!

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. It’s ok to fail. I got the lowest midterm grade in my freshman year Adv Gen Chem course and almost failed a course Junior year and am still somehow graduating employed. I probably learned the most from my own failures during my time here and how to bounce back from a seemingly hopeless situation.
  2. Smile and say hi to people you’ve met when you pass them. It’s polite and beats pretending to read a non-existent text. My peers are what made my experience at Columbia, more than my actual classes and professors.
  3. Don’t be afraid to quit things. College is a time to explore and figure out what makes you, you. If something isn’t making you happy (an activity, a friend group, a major), don’t be afraid to drop it and focus on something else. Yes, even in SEAS it’s possible to change your major/minors up to a certain point. Find what you love and stick with that.

Back in my day… People paid full price for a Deluxe burger, Broadway between 119th and 120th was a constant construction zone, JJ’s chicken fingers and fries weren’t bottomless and each bite was savored

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Engineers Without Borders. (Sigma Omega Beta), Meh, Moo

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: @The CU Security Guards. Thank you for always brightening my day, especially when I’m trekking home at 4am either drunk or caffeinated. No judgement (that I know of) was passed by you. Also a shoutout to the Mudd custodial staff that never kicked me out of any classroom at night despite my person being very in their way of doing their jobs.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? My favorite story to tell at parties is about the time I accidentally mixed Brie Cheese and chocolate together and how my life quality has increased since then.

One thing to do before graduating: Have an international experience. Columbia gives you so many opportunities to do so, be it through study abroad, international internships, or student group initiatives. I spent last summer in Jordan through the CEO Amman program and had the absolute BEST experience and met some cool people; we even made it onto the CCE FB page!

Any regrets? Lots, almost all of which are about the things I DIDN’T do rather than what I did.

One thing that sticks out though is not going abroad. However, I’ve definitely more than made up for that by yelling at every underclassmen engineer to go abroad, despite what all their SEAS/CSA advisors might tell them otherwise. It’s possible! YOU can do it too!

Besides that, make a list of everything you want to do at Columbia and check it off as you go. Don’t try to cram everything into one semester like this poor senior here. You don’t want to miss out on anything this great school and your amazing peers have to offer you.

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  1. Anonymous

    One the subject of international experiences, can someone (or multiple people) give me one or a list of organizations here that offer travel opportunities during winter or spring break?

    • Anonymous

      I second this.

    • Anonymous

      And since I'm using this space to correct a spelling mistake that is probably too obvious for anyone to care about, I'll also use it to say that I agree with the seniors who have been saying that it is ok to quit things that truly don't feel right, no matter how much you have invested in them. Something that took me a long time to learn and which I will hopefully always remember.

      • 1/2 allistine

        EWB can give you the chance to travel during breaks but what's made it special for me is the conversations throughout the whole year and the EWB community. Even if EWB doesn't turn out to be your cup of tea, consider finding an opportunity that you can contribute to for a longer period time than just the trip :)

        a few other groups are globemed, global brigades, AMSA global health

        and christine i know you're reading this I LOVE YOU HAPPY BIRTHDAY! good senior wisdom :)

  2. ivan  

    christine, the world should have more people like u. good job in life.

  3. CC'13  

    Hi, um, how come no one knows who these people are on senior wisdom? No offense to Christine or anyone else specifically, but these kids are mostly boring do-gooders involved in school government and lame "Columbia activities." And what is this advice? Don't be afraid to fail, say hi to people, don't be afraid to quit? Are we reading chicken soup for the teenage soul? I'm not a terrible person (I don't think) and I personally wouldn't want to be profiled, but sue me for wanting to read something a bit less square.

    • Anonymous  

      Besides Brian and Christine, most of the other senior wisdoms are from completely irrelevant people. No clue why BWOG bothered to inverview them. But Christine is pretty well-known on campus and is a great person with a kind soul. I approve of BWOG's decision to post Christine's profile... the other ones so far, not so much.

    • SEAS '13  

      Just because you don't know them, or that they are, hm, how did you put it? "boring do-gooders", doesn't mean they aren't relevant, or aren't really awesome people, even if they don't meet your standards of cool (from the sound of your post, I think I'll stick with the people you think are boring).

      You can nominate all those triangular people you know for senior wisdom using bwog's form, since you crave "something a bit less square".

      tl;dr - Stop being an asshat.
      And yeah, I think you're a terrible person.

  4. senior girl  

    Where are all the international students? Would love to read their senior wisdoms!

  5. Joanna  

    christine you are the most fun and down to earth person i have met my entire time at columbia!!! This campus will feel much emptier without you.

  6. anonymous

    Not only is Christine one of the nicest people on campus, her SW is probably the best so far. Why don't the security guards get shoutouts more often?! Also, I wish I'd made my list of must-do's early enough to have some hope of finishing it... so pay attention, CC'14!

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