Name, Hometown, School, Major: Lena Rogow, San Francisco, CA, CC, Hispanic Studies
Claim to fame: I’ve been involved in a number of shows for KCST, the Columbia Shakespeare troupe, and Latenite Anthology, in which I debuted in a show—I kid you not—called “Porn, the Musical.”
Where are you going? My current plan is to find a grown-up job in NYC or San Francisco
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2018?
1. Steele Sternberg (CC ’13) used to always offer me these words of wisdom concerning extracurriculars: do one thing, and do it well. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only do one activity a semester. However, devote yourself to one activity, and only take on a significant leadership role in that one. When you spread yourself too thin, you make the lives of your team members more difficult, and you won’t get as much out of any of your activities.
2. Don’t underestimate the services at the Career Center. I used to always complain that CCE only catered to finance and consulting, but I hadn’t yet done research into all the programs they offered. The summer after my sophomore year, I found an unpaid internship at an art magazine in Mexico City, and I wouldn’t have been able to pursue it without funding through CCE. Since then, I’ve used CCE for many other opportunities and general questions. Just because there isn’t a listing for the exact job or internship you want doesn’t mean that the Career Center can’t help you part of the way to getting it. Do some research on the programs and funding opportunities available through CCE, and actually go in and talk to the career counselors.
3. Give compliments frequently and sincerely. We go to a school that constantly challenges our self-esteem, and it helps to know we’re good at something. So, if you think someone is doing something right—whether they’re wearing an amazing hat or always making killer comments in your seminar—let them know. Genuine comments like that actually go a long way.
“Back in my day…” If you needed to use the restroom while you were eating in John Jay, you had to schlep all the way to Wallach, we used mysterious things called Ethernet cables for internet in Carman, and Mel’s was brand new to the neighborhood.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: You’ll never lose me. Not because I’m loyal. Just because my hair is big and I’m loud.
Write your most memorable note from the field: My friend and I once shot a Nerf gun full of marshmallows through the McBain shaft window of my would-be boyfriend while he was hooking up with another girl.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I would eat a log of goat cheese over a log of anything else any day.
One thing to do before graduating: Meet someone new. It’s easy to form a friend group your freshman year and not branch out further. However, there are so many people at this school that can offer you new perspectives and ways to see the world. Some of my closest friends are people I’ve either met or have gotten to know better just this semester. Even at Columbia in New York City, where we don’t make eye contact or communicate with strangers, you’re never too old or too busy to make a new friend.
Any regrets? Of course! I wish I had discovered Floridita sooner (incredible Cuban restaurant on 12th Avenue and 125th). I wish I had participated in theater in the fall of my freshman year. I think I would’ve felt less lost during that semester. But I did discover Floridita, and I did eventually find myself. So the moral of the story is that everything works out in the end!