Search Results for: senior wisdom



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Hannah (guttural "H")

Hannah (guttural “H”)

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Hannah (guttural “H”) Vaitsblit, Barnard College, Political Science (soon to be renamed “pseudoscience” for its less-than-stellar predictive capacity), Brookline, MA

Claim to fame: As of last week: co-sponsored a dissident revolt against the proposed Orwellian purge of Overheard @ Barnard, after consistently firing shots against the group’s fascist enforcement of identity politics and censorship. (Screenshot documentation of said censorship upon request). Finally dished enough sarcasm to get myself kicked out––an exile I am embracing as I join the least safe space of all, the real world.

Where are you going? Wherever capitalism and liberty thrive and the male-female ratio works out better in my favor. (In other words, far away from here.)

Groupthink, Judaism, and more after the jump



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img December 20, 201612:06 pmimg 10 Comments

Surely not even Trump can kick someone this gorgeous out of the US?

Surely not even Trump can kick someone this gorgeous out of the US?

What’s cooler than being cool? Being a multi-cultural badass with a thing for parties and politics. Ariella dishes some dope advice and interesting personal tidbits in the process. Read on!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Ariella G. Hohl, GS, Middle Eastern Studies, São Paulo, Brazil

Claim to fame: The girl who left campus one summer as a member of the Jewish Orthodox community and co-chair J Street CU and did a 180 – moved to a refugee camp in Palestine and Jordan for 10 months and then came back a member of SJP. On a less a political note -I also helped reestablish the Brazilian Student Society and threw some mean parties during my spare time.

Where are you going? I am both Arab and Latina – do I even have a chance to stay in the US under Trump at this point? Wish me luck (and a visa)!

What advice does Ariella have?



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Is that tie Pantone 292?

Is that tie Pantone 292?

Next up in our series of Senior Wisdoms is Ankit Shah, who got through high school and college in a combined 6.5 years. At this rate, he’ll be able to retire before he’s 30!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Ankit Shah, SEAS, IEOR, Biloxi, Mississippi.

Claim to fame: The senior who couldn’t get into senior night.

Where are you going? Taking the road less traveled i.e. finance.

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

1. Everyone has a story. Don’t be afraid to talk to the person next to you in class or at the party. I love meeting people and learning about why they are the way they are.

More wisdom after the jump!



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We’re back with another senior wisdom – this time, from everyone’s favorite Spec op-ed writer, Daniella Greenbaum. Find out where she’s been, where she’s going, and what advice she has.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Daniella Greenbaum, AKA “DG”, Barnard, English Lit, hometown, if you can call it that, is Manhattan

Claim to fame: Former Aryeh President. Spec Columnist. Also, at midnight on my 21st birthday, I was in Butler with a smirnoff ice, a slice of cake, and a paper that badly needed to be written. I’m absolutely terrified of dogs.

Where are you going? I’m starting as Commentary Magazine’s assistant editor in February! Subscribe!

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

1. There is a cafe in the Hillel building on 115th. They sell Paninis. These Paninis will change your life. Go there. Daily.

2. True friends will stick with you when campus hates on you because they find something you wrote offensive. Go out of your way to write something that might be perceived as offensive so you can see who your true pals are. I’m kidding. But in all seriousness, the friends you make in college will be with you for the rest of your life. Treasure them.

More about Daniella after the jump!



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We’re continuing our series of fall Senior Wisdoms with Jacqueline Basulto, well-known for her work with Alpha Chi Omega and on the NSOP committee. Her advice ranges from getting involved to making friends outside the Columbia bubble.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Jacqueline Basulto, Columbia College, Political Science, Staten Island, NY

Claim to fame: 2016 Alpha Chi Omega President, 2015 NSOP Coordinator, 2015 Christmas Tree Lighting Soloist

Where are you going? I’m staying in NYC and starting a tech company that is focusing on making cool shit that should exist already. We’re launching GeoPlay, a mobile app, in January. Join the team and become a beta tester.

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

1. Figuring out and then coming to terms with who you are, the kind of people you want to surround yourself with, and what goals really matter to you is the most difficult journey of college, but it is the most worthwhile and rewarding.

More advice after the jump!



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Fan of the game or fan of the year?

Fan of the game or fan of the year?

We begin our first round of wisdom from the old ones with Adam Chelminski, who was Head Manager of CUMB last year and member of the CUMB “Bored” for three years (a man of power!). Here’s his advice on comfort zones, relaxing, and cheese. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Adam Chelminski, SEAS, Computer Science, Smithfield, RI

Claim to fame: Head Manager of the CUMB for a year, member of CUMB’s “Bored” for three years, ignored by administrators, and possibly your TA if you took DAPME Lab this semester.

Where are you going? Going to travel around Europe and Southeast Asia for most of January, but I’ll be back in the spring helping a Columbia professor launch a new interdisciplinary entrepreneurship program. After that I’ll be starting a full-time job in NYC in August.

Read more for Adam’s advice



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Surprise! This is actually our last senior wisdom (and post) of the semester. Prez Ben is a busy guy, but he eventually found the time to write his senior wisdom (a few weeks after the deadline). Read on for wise words from Ben Makansi.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Benjamin Karim Storch Makansi, CC, Astrophysics, Steelville, Pennsylvania

Claim to fame: NSOP OL in 2013 and 2015

Where are you going? Shit, that’s deep.

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

1) When students are divided over something, they’re often divided more on tactics than they are on ideology. Few students will disagree that the university should do more to support survivors of sexual violence, but there will be a lot of disagreement on whether the right way to push for that is to project “Columbia Protects Rapists” onto Low Library during Days on Campus or to scrawl the names of alleged rapists on bathroom stalls. Seventy-four percent of CC students voted to divest from fossil fuels, but I’m guessing that fewer students were in support of occupying a campus building or chasing Suzanne Goldberg into a cab. Both CUMB and the people who posted on the Orgo Night event page hate discrimination and want to hold the university accountable, but they disagree on whether relentless satire is an appropriate tactic for doing so. I say this not as a prescriptive claim about how activists should advocate for issues, but as a descriptive observation that many campus conflicts aren’t actually about the issues. We often agree on goals but divide ourselves on how to get there. This is frustrating but it should also be encouraging. It’s frustrating that a disagreement on tactics is often equated with opposition to an entire movement, and it’s frustrating that, as I genuinely believe, there are people who care deeply about certain social justice issues but become discouraged from working on them at this school as a result. But I also find solace reminding myself that students are often advocating for the same causes.

More advice from Ben after the jump.



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a classy picture of meIt’s our last Senior Wisdom of the year, and we couldn’t think of a better way we’d want to go out than with our former Editor-in-Chief. She talks about St. Augustine, Hungarian Pastry Shop, and Infinite Jest – we’re not surprised. But she also has some wonderful words of advice to leave you all with.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Britt Fossum, the College, Chemistry, Omaha

Claim to fame: Former Bwog Editrix, Hungarian Pastry Goth, and the saddest boy in all of Columbia

Where are you going? Taking the summer off to surf every couch from Duluth to Tokyo before finally going into….plastics (starting a PhD program in Chemistry).

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

1) Learn to be comfortable on your own. There will be a lot of things you’ll want to do at Columbia and in the city and sometimes your friends are gonna be lame and bail on you last minute. Or maybe you’ll develop incredibly niche interests that no one else will be interested in. So: do ’em on your own! And in the meantime, make conversation with people when you’re out alone. I have had more wild and weird discussions with people I know I’ll never meet again than with acquaintances at 1020 I know I’m going to see again outside Butler the next day.

Addendum to #1: You’ll just exhaust yourself seeking validation from others. You do you, ’cause no one else will.

2) Eliminate any habit of hero-worship. Just because someone is older, more educated, “cooler” (whatever that means to you): it doesn’t mean they give good advice and certainly doesn’t mean the “good” advice they give will be good for you and your individual situation. Think critically about the things people tell you you should do. Start with this senior “wisdom” (do you really think a 22 year old going into grad school instead of the real world knows what she’s talking about??).

Addendum to #2: You will eventually realize that you’ve been unconsciously imitating the people you admire. Don’t feel bad about doing so, but realize when you’re doing it and make sure none of the habits you’ve picked up are embarrassing or life-threatening.

3) Shut up and listen! That and more past the jump



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not even graduation bleachers can stop that smile

Joseph Powers – known to many as Bwog’s former Internal Editor (or, Bwog Dad), and to many others as the guy who wrote that weird deer overseen a couple of years ago – discusses posts that probably shouldn’t have been published and experiences with math TAs that should. (If some of this advice sounds like it’s coming from a charming Southern grandpa without an unfriendly bone in his body, that’s because it kind of is.)

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Joseph Powers, CC, Applied Mathematics, Alexandria, VA

Claim to fame: As Daily Editor, Arts Editor, and finally Internal Editor of Bwog, I respectively: wrote a post about a deer inspiring the historic campus dialogue “I don’t want to drag this lyrical post down, but in this part of the country deer in Riverside Park mean Lyme Disease in Morningside Heights…”; reviewed the Varsity Show, my thoughts themselves favorably reviewed as “This is the weirdest review. It’s like a CC class post.”; and helped oversee a site universally acclaimed as “better when I was a first-year.”

Also: a truly cringeworthy photo in the Spectator included in an article (incorrectly) implying I starred in a one-man show.

Where are you going? As of now, no idea! It was finance for a while, and then in a moment of liberation and short-lived catharsis I realized it was not. I suppose I will split my time trying to enjoy the city and worrying about my future, so living the Columbia lifestyle in an apartment basically.

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

1) It’s amazing how much we can affect the lives of people around us. Even in a moment we might never think about again, we can turn someone’s whole day around. On one hand, this means we can cause a lot of hurt if we’re careless, and we have to be aware of that. On the other hand, though, kindness really does matter, and a friendly word or an extra bit of understanding go so much further than it seems like they could. If I could stress only one thing, that’s what it would be.

Since I get three things, on a less serious note:

2) I have never had a TA who collected my problem sets on time, most have waited until the next afternoon, and the doors of the math building are incapable of locking. Do what you will with that information.

3) The green dumpling cart across the street from Barnard gates will sell you something like 20 dumplings for $5, and they are pretty decent.

Nostalgia, regrets, and oral sex after the jump



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Eric CohnAs we enter our final day of Senior Wisdoms, we give you some graduating Bwoggers and their life advice. First up is “ex-various” Eric Cohn, who covered some of the most real and least real news in Bwog’s history. Today, he brings you advice on listening, self-care, and getting over your cheese addiction. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Eric Cohn, Columbia College, Mathematics and a Psychology concentration. Philly suburbs

Claim to fame: Ex-various at Bwog, where I wrote a letter; recently un-anonymized peer listener at Nightline; that guy who you thought would never say hi to you (it was probably Ian).

Where are you going? Vietnam and Japan for a month, then returning back to NYC full-time starting in July.

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

1) Listening is a virtue.

Listening is such an underrated but powerful act, but it takes dedication. Learning to listen to the world and people around you can teach you so much, and it has the added benefit of telling those that you are listening to that you value them. In this world and this place we are urged to speak, to have a voice, and to proceed vertically. These are definitely good things. But there’s a lot to be gained in the horizontal—in standing to the side to let others speak and to listen to them with open ears and minds. Internalize that people believe what they say and are legitimate in what they feel: their experiences are worth hearing. Listen when it’s difficult and uncomfortable. When your friend is complaining but you disapprove; when people on this campus honestly express pain or offense when you see none. We all have much to learn, and listening is an important—if not the most important—step along the way.

2) Act or accept.

This one might not resonate with everyone, but it certainly did for me. There were times in my life—particularly here—where I felt low on hope. One of the most empowering phrases I discovered was “act or accept,” which essentially means that you either accept a circumstance or act to change it. There’s no in between. You definitely don’t have to apply this to every aspect of your life (in a lot of cases you can’t). But if there’s something about your life that makes you unhappy, that you want to change, it can be helpful to frame it in this way: “If I don’t act, I am accepting.” If it’s something that you really want to change, then clearly accepting is not an option, leaving only action.

3) You are valuable.

Complementing #1, which is basically saying that everyone besides you has value, know that you also have value. Work constantly to internalize it. For a lot of us, this will be a lifelong and often difficult process. One thing that can help is not comparing yourself to others’ standards of value, or what you perceive to be their standards of value. It’s okay not to be the most vocal in class, not to be the most socially visible on campus, not to get a 4.0. Those do not have to give you value. You can choose what defines you, and it can be anything. Just make it matter to you.

Nightline, Letters, and the Heights after the jump



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Alexander Pines (1)You might know Alexander Pines from Under1Roof or some distant Twitter feud with a fraternity. He’s heading out of New York come this summer, so listen to him wax poetic just once more. It’ll probably be more interesting than Under1Roof.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Alexander Pines // CC // writing (nonfiction) and American Studies // Kalamazoo, MI

Claim to fame: I might have been your Under1Roof facilitator. I wrote a few things, and, um, this happened. Beta threatened me with libel. I made a weird Twitter once.

Where are you going? Headed home to Michigan for a couple of weeks, back in the city this summer to work with high schoolers on campus, and in the fall I’ll be (sorta) pulling a Hannah Horvath to write essays and teach at Iowa.

Read more here



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Claire Friedman (1)Another former editor emeritus of Bwog comes home to roost. Besides a solid response to the famous Oral Sex Question, she gives solid advice on just being an adult and getting out of the Columbia bubble.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Claire Friedman, CC, English and History, Salt Lake City, UT

Claim to fame: I used to be managing editor of this mess.

Where are you going? Home for a bit to hang out with my dog and stare into space, then back to NYC to work at a literary agency.

Read more from Claire after the jump.



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Sarah Faith Thompson (1)Sarah Faith Thompson, former EIC of Bwog and avid squirrel photographer, shares some nuggets of senior wisdom. Also some stuff about doors, spicy specials, and a cheese poem. Wonder where that poem fits in the Cheese v. Oral Sex statistical analysis. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Sarah Faith Thompson, CC, political science, rural NC

Claim to fame: Former editor of Bwog who started the revolving door of EICs, resident haunt of Butler’s third floor, person you can always faintly hear singing songs from Disney Channel movies, and, as WikiCU says, I’m “(in)famous” for my adroit campus squirrel photography.

Where are you going? A brief detour to Latin America to de-stress, back to New York to work in Midtown and dress up my future cat, and then hopefully on to grad school.

Click to read more from SFT!



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Anna HotterFire Safety maven and green card seeker Anna Hotter is all about posing outside of Philosophy, living out 30 Rock, and not going to class. Let her astound you with her infinite wisdom re: lessons learned and regrets.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Anna Hotter, CC, Economics-Political Science and Philosophy, Graz, Austria

Claim to fame: I co-founded Columbia’s first video-based sketch comedy group, and helped make our new Fire Safety video.

Where are you going? Nowhere! I’m staying in the city and fulfilling my Liz Lemon dream/nightmare of working in television. Until I get deported.*

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

1) Treat people according to iceberg principle. Unless you are dealing with a close friend, you probably only get to see about 10% of what is going on in a person’s life. Try to be generous with your grumpy floormates, rushed TAs, and taciturn Morton Williams cashiers. You never know what their day was like.

2) Explore New York as much as possible in your first year. You will become lazy and poor. Go to Smorgasburg before the Sophomore slump hits (and the L train stops running).

3) Call your family more than once a week. I will forever be jealous of my American friends who can talk to their parents as if time zones and roaming fees don’t exist. So call your mom and tell her about that razzleberry pop tart you had for breakfast, the insane cost of privatised medical care, or whatever it is you people talk about.

Anna on whatever it is she has to share, after the jump



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Daniel Stone (1)Frequent tipster Daniel Stone (probably the only one who could get a foosball table installed in Hartley) is here to deliver his senior wisdom. It’s full of exactly what you’d expect: hyperlinks, meticulous research, and solid advice.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Daniel Stone, Columbia College, History with a concentration in Economics, Morningside Heights

Claim to fame: One time Public Safety head James McShane sent an email to everyone at Columbia.
I replied, “Thanks for the update.” Then he replied-all to everyone at Columbia.
Beyond that, I was at The Blue and White and at the Columbia Lion (in 2014). I may have also been your RA.

Where are you going? Probably Washington, D.C.

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

  1. Any Columbia “institution” is only as good as the people who belong to it.
  2. Every year there is a lottery for lockers in Butler Library. Enter it.
  3. You can save a lot of time and worry if you just pick up a phone.

Comprehensive answers after the jump

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