Senior Wisdom: Romane Thomas

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What a studious student.

As time runs down on another year at Columbia, Bwog is here to present some wise words to the incoming class. Today, Romane Thomas adds her two cents. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Romane (and no it’s not pronounced like the salad, do you really think my parents would have named in after a salad? It’s actually French. It’s pronounced like this: Row Mahn.). General Studies (Dual BA between SciencesPo and Columbia), Human Rights, St Etienne (France).

Claim to fame: I am GSSC’s favorite live commenter. Also, I was in Paris one time, ran into Dean Awn and he recognized me. It was maybe the most fulfilling day of my life.

Where are you going? This summer? To California, from New York, by train, for four days. And next year? To London! More precisely to the London School of Economics. So while I am supposed to study there, I am secretely planning to escape to Scotland, be taken back in time to the 18th century and meet a ruggedly handsome Scotsman. This is a reference to Outlander by the way. If you don’t know what it is, I just gave you your summer reading assignment. You’re welcome.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2020?

1) How to be a productive essay writer in three steps. 1. Make yourself a killer study playlist made out of soundtracks or classical music. 2. Find your spot (I suggest Teachers College or the Science and Engineering Library, just not Butler because that is where souls go to die). 3. Give yourself 30 minute deadlines per paragraph and walk around the library for 2 minutes in between. This may sound like a crazy routine but seriously, it got me through every time.

2) How to integrate into a new community. For many GSers, coming to Columbia is a daunting experience. We all have very different backgrounds and experiences. For SciencesPo students especially the switch from a small campus, a tight knit community and croissants to a large campus, a dispersed community and dining halls can be difficult (especially the croissant part). My advice is to find a friend, stick with them, make each other dinner and try out for clubs together!

3) Talk to your professors! Something I have noticed is that Professors at Columbia are not just great sources of knowledge, they also have very cool lives! Go to their office hours and instead of just asking them about the assignments, ask them how they are, how they got to Columbia, what they think of their department. They make the education here worthwhile so really try to get to know them!

“Back in my day…” The freshmen class remembered 9/11, the metro card bonus was 14 cents higher, Barnard actually had a beautiful tree instead of an ugly tunnel.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: A woman whose identity oscillates between French and American whenever it suits her best. Right now I’m French… that is, until Le Pen gets elected (fingers crossed she won’t).

What was your favorite class at Columbia? So many favorite classes: Anthropology of Sexuality with Carole Vance, Philosophy and Feminism with Christa Mercer, Austen Brontë Gaskell with Monica Cohen and every Arabic class I’ve ever taken.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’ll give up oral sex in France if I can have Roquefort. But I’ll give up cheese in the US, because it’s completely overpriced.

One thing to do before graduating: Climb Alma Mater, actually see the inside of John Jay.

Any regrets? Not taking more advantage of some of the resources Columbia has to offer. You and everyone else is paying for those services to be there in the first place. I wish had used them more!

Image via Romane Thomas 

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