Senior Wisdom: Abby Porter
Written by Senior Wisdom
Today’s first Senior Wisdom is from Abby Porter, who has done a lot of policy work and carried a lot of tampons.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Abby Porter, Columbia College, Political Science, Houston, TX
Claim to fame: Got really lucky and made really great friends who got me involved in policy work on campus that I’m proud of. More likely, I’m known as the obnoxious girl who spammed Facebook with elections photos four years in a row, and who spent her senior spring carrying around bags full of tampons.
Where are you going? Back to Texas to hang out with my dog.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?
1) Please tell someone or reach out to anyone if you are struggling with your mental health. There are resources at Columbia (Counseling and Psychological Services, Sexual Violence Response, Nightline, etc.) that are all confidential. It can be scary to do this, and there are a lot of real concerns that people have when talking about mental health. It is definitely true that these resources aren’t sufficient for everyone, but, if you are struggling, please try to reach out to someone.
2) Don’t undervalue the work that students do. There are A LOT of criticisms that can be thrown at student government, activists, and other people generally involved in changing campus, but if you’re not willing to put in the work to change things yourself, you should think twice about criticizing those who are. There are valid reasons to not get involved with campus activism, especially when the work itself can be emotionally draining. There are many more valid reasons to not get involved in student government (it’s super exclusionary, people only do things to put on their resume/run on next year, I could go on). This is not directed at people who want to get involved but aren’t able to because of structural or personal barriers. Just think about the labor that other students are giving to make the school better before you criticize because there’s a lot of cool people doing a lot of cool things on this campus who deserve the benefit of the doubt.
3) Say hi to people you know. Even if it’s someone who you had U.Writing with, and you’re a senior, say hi! As the person who constantly waves and doesn’t get a response, it sucks. If you know someone, please say hi.
“Back in my day…” Freshmen could go to senior night, CCSC didn’t have four hour meetings, Carman was home, and because, this is apparently relevant again, there was still no Fall Bacchanal.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I live 2,300 miles away, and have wanted to go to Columbia since 4th grade.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? If I had to choose, it would be Radical Tradition in America with Eric Foner and any seminar with Judith Russell. If you haven’t taken a class with Professor Russell, please do before you graduate. More than almost any other professors here, she takes an active interest in her students and their success after college.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? It’s painful to say, but I do agree with Sen. Ted Cruz on this one… anyone who has had queso doesn’t need to think twice about this.
One thing to do before graduating: Give all of my friends a big hug and cry. Seriously, I’m going to miss these people.
Any regrets? This is cliche, but I really do regret not taking the time to get to know more people here, and not taking the time to get more lunches/coffees with my friends who I know. I’m going to miss the people at Columbia way more than any classes or extracurriculars. Also, probably should have posted the CCSC minutes.
Photo via Abby Porter
Tags: can we hang out with your dog abby?, queen of ccsc!, senior wisdom, student government doing real things?, the only time we'll ever agree with ted cruze, we should probably READ the ccsc meeting minutes