Author Archive

Dec

21

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Three times the Bridgette for three times the wisdom

This Senior Wisdom is from Bridgette Tolbert, WBAR star and one of the finest photographers on Bwog’s Social Media Team.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Bridgette Tolbert. Columbia College. Economics. Los Angeles, California!

Claim to fame: Starbucks addict and host of “Bridgette” on WBAR!

Where are you going? I’m taking a much needed vacay and then coming back to New York to work on some passion projects.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1. Whatever happens to you happens for you. Learn from the highs and the lows and know that you can handle anything that comes your way.

2. Try out anything and everything and don’t be afraid to step away from something if it doesn’t make you happy.

3. You have a lot more power in this community than you may think. If you think that could be changed or improved, don’t just complain about it. Set up a meeting with the appropriate person and share your ideas! You’ll never know where that could take you.

“Back in my day…” KDR parties were always packed and Cannon’s existed/was the best campus bar.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Before we filmed this segment, Wendy Williams (one of my faves) told me that if she had a daughter she’d want her to be just like me.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? I have so many! Drugs and Behavior with Dr. Carl Hart, Economics of Life with Professor Daniel Hamermesh, Inequalities of U.S. Law and Society with Professor John Salyer, Principles of Econ/Sports Economics with Professor Sunil Gulati, Introduction to African-American Studies with Professor Josef Sorett and the Modern Caribbean with Professor Natasha Lightfoot.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? What would Rihanna do?

One thing to do before graduating: Drink a Smirnoff Ice in PrezBo’s mansion.

Any regrets? The times I stopped fighting for myself, any time I did not shoot my shot, and definitely that time I won a Columbia crewneck from CSSC my freshman year and forgot to pick it up ☹

Also, I didn’t know what a Canada Goose was before I arrived on campus in 2014 which I definitely regret because they used to sell a pink version of the Kensington Parka which I totally would have purchased because pink is my favorite color and it honestly would have changed my life.

Photo via Bridgette Tolbert

Dec

21

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Hannah, on the natural wind machine of the Amsterdam bridge

Hannah Lindsey’s Senior Wisdom has some worthy advice, but the bulk of it is devoted to oral sex v. cheese in one of the most involved analyses we’ve ever seen.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Hannah Lindsey; Columbia College; English; Houston, TX.

Claim to fame: Only spending 2.5 years on Columbia campus, almost all of it in the Writers House lounge. Also, editing sex novels.

Where are you going? Home! For a couple years, anyway.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1. Find a place to take a bath.

2. Study abroad.

3. Write it down.

“Back in my day…” Cannons, Bacchanal, no fried macaroni and cheese at JJ’s.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Someone out there in the world has probably masturbated to a novel I helped shape. You’re welcome.

Hannah’s favorite Columbia class and more…

Dec

20

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Blurry & beautiful

Our Senior Wisdom for today is from Fahmida Hussain, who hasn’t paid for her textbooks, loves Pisticci, and misses a better Midnight Breakfast.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Fahmida Hussain, Barnard College, Economics major, WGSS minor, Paterson, NJ

Claim to fame: I haven’t paid for a single textbook during my time here!

Where are you going? I’m going nowhere fast if I’m being honest. Just kidding–I’m going home at the end of this semester, back to Jersey to see my family!!!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1. One thing I learned at Columbia was how to find and utilize the resources available to me. There’s borrow direct, there’s interlibrary loan, there’s library reserves, and there’s soooo many PDFs available online that you can find a lot of books you need for classes without spending a fortune. There’s laptop chargers you can borrow from Butler if you lose yours. There are tutoring centers, the ERC (which is so amazing), research librarians, and so many other people out there who just want to help, so make sure to reach out!

More advice (what else?) after the jump

Dec

19

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Annie, ft. more snow than ever sticks around on campus

Our next December Senior Wisdom is from Annie Bryan, who has published a lot of writing during her time at Columbia (including a book, a play, and some pieces for Spec).

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Annie Bryan, Columbia College, Creative Writing, Vienna, VA

Claim to Fame: The boring stuff is that I published a book, published a play, and interned in newsrooms a lot. But more interestingly, I got the Spectator in a 3-year-long legal battle with Columbia Administration for a piece I wrote freshman year. The court dismissed it, twice.

Where are you going? I’m starting a job in January writing and editing for The Skimm, whose office is down in the Flatiron district. And I’m moving allllll the wayyyyy to a new apartment… a block away from campus. I chose to live near campus so that I can still live out some semblance of a senior spring while working in the city… so please keep inviting me to stuff?

More wisdom after the jump

Dec

18

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Liz, in a backwards baseball cap that is not, in fact, her Barnard Dad hat

Because we haven’t covered the Band enough in recent weeks: our first Senior Wisdom of the semester is from Liz Pudel, the organization’s former Drum Major and Head Manager (yeah, she did both).

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Liz Pudel, Barnard College, Sociology, Brooklyn, NY

Claim to Fame: Former Drum Major and Head Manager of the CUMB. You can spot me wearing my Barnard Dad hat backwards, and, despite what you might think, it has everything to do with my daddy issues. I also once read the Orgo Night script while wearing my backwards Barnard Dad hat.

Where are you going? I have a job and a codependent relationship in the city, so nowhere, I guess.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1. Engage with ideas that make you uncomfortable, but do it in earnest. If you’re going to fight for something that might upset people, do it because you truly know what you’re saying and you truly believe in it. That might mean confronting some of the things you thought you knew, but it also might result in others confronting the things they thought they knew.

Advice, a strongly worded opinion of Prezbo, and more after the jump

May

12

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Probably thinking about the Bachelor

For our last Senior Wisdom, we have star former Managing Editor Courtney Couillard, who knows her way around the three D’s – data, drama, and the Diana.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Courtney Couillard, Barnard College, Political Science, Dover, NH

Claim to Fame: Helped run this gossip site at Columbia as Managing Editor. Broke Bacchanal headliner news before Spec. Told Columbia it should pay for my period. Ate more Diana white pizzas in the past four years than I’m proud to admit.

Where are you going? Probably to get a Harvest Bowl at Sweetgreen and watch Great British Bakeoff.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1) There is a difference between solitude and loneliness. Both are perfectly ok to experience during your time here. I challenge you to seek out the former. This can be through solo walks in Riverside, going to a museum alone, spending the entire day reading a book. As for loneliness- it seems impossible that you could feel alone in New York. But loneliness has its way of tapping you on the shoulder from time to time, and it’s completely normal. Do know that loneliness is not a sign of weakness, and it’s always ok to ask for help when you can’t handle it on your own any longer.

Advice on breakfast and more after the jump

May

12

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Pondering Bwog’s next poll?

Our next Senior Wisdom comes from Joe Milholland – former CCSC Bureau Chief, wearer of excellent socks, purveyor of delicious snacks, and, let’s be honest, the patron saint of Bwog. We wish you a small apartment in a big city with many books, Joe.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Joseph Milholland; Columbia College; English and Comparative Literature; Atlanta, GA

Claim to fame: If you count this as a Bwog article, I wrote for 9 of the 17 editors in chief of Bwog, an organization that began when I was 10. For three school years, I went to and reported on every CCSC meeting for three school years straight for Bwog. Also covered Usenate, GSSC, and other student council meetings, along with the occasional Suzanne Goldberg interview.

I also sat on the executive board of the Columbia University Science Ficton Society for two years as treasurer and secretary, wrote several articles for the Blue and White and managed their Facebook page this year, am a Phull and Engorged member of the Philolexian Society, lived on Hartley 8 my first year (H8 4evah!), and, as my greatest achievement at this institution, was briefly listed as part of the “Lion Society of Friends,” along with Nicolas Biekert and Robert Hornsby.

Where are you going? Hopefully to a small apartment in a big city.

Wisdom (and wisdom, and wisdom, and wisdom) after the jump

May

12

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Maddie mourning Maggie :'(

Today’s next Senior Wisdom is from Maddie Stearn, who transferred into Barnard and into our hearts. This one is short and sweet.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Maddie Stearn; Barnard College; East Asian Studies; Vienna, Virginia

Claim to fame: Bwog’s former Managing Editor

Where are you going? Back to Virginia to sleep on my parents’ couch. My dog is a jerk and won’t give up my bed.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1) Keep your senior wisdom short.

2) Paste in plain text.

3) Transferring schools is hard and feels like a huge deal, but it will probably be worth it in the end.

“Back in my day…” I don’t know, I didn’t go here. I’ve heard Bacchanal was good?

Cheese and regrets after the jump

May

12

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Who is he?

For our Senior Wisdoms, who else could be wiser but our very own bona fide Tech Man and WordPress extraordinaire, Kevin Chen? As someone who reports to eat prereqs for breakfast, Kevin dishes out advice on 6000-level seminars and bootlegging.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Kevin Chen; SEAS; Computer Science; Pleasanton, California

Claim to fame: Once, I calculated that there’s a 1 in 3 chance you’re running my code on your phone right now. If that’s not enough, my photo of pizza rolls is now the first picture Yelp shows for John’s of Times Square. If you ever go there, get the spinach and mozzarella. Those pizza rolls are the best thing ever.

Where are you going? Over the summer, I’ll be working on software to help people take better photos. After that, I’m coming back to Columbia to finish up a master’s in CS. Although I’m not sure how my parents talked me into another year of school, I have recently come to accept it as a fact of my life.
More on Kevin after the jump

May

11

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This pose should inspire all of the Class of 2021.

We’re back again and better than ever: this evening we share with you some words of wisdom from Vida Biggins! 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Vida Biggins, GS, Philosophy Major, Atlanta, Georgia

Claim to fame: First Multicultural Affairs Representative for GSSC and VP of Students of Color Alliance. I’m also known for smiling too hard, giving inappropriately long hugs, and being obsessed with Beyonce.

Where are you going? Austin, Texas. I’ll be working in management consulting and bringing a gang of magical black girls to the top with me!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?:

1) The moment you find yourself bragging/joking about how much sleep you didn’t get or how overwhelming your sense of existential dread has become, check yourself. Take a moment for self-care. Nothing -not even your GPA- is worth your personal health. Oh, and be nice to people. Columbia can be a huge, lonely place for many people. The more we smile at each other, the more we take care of one another, the more we show compassion to our classmates, the better this place is for all of us.

2) This next one is best summed up by a quote from the movie Poetic Justice that my grandmother likes to remind me of when I need to loosen up: “The world’s just a big place for us to go and fuck up in it.” College is the most appropriate place to make mistakes and when you stop obsessing over perfectionism and allow yourself room to mess up a little bit, you create the space you need to discover new things about yourself and learn valuable lessons. When I look at my transcript, it’s the biggest dips in my GPA that tell the most interesting, pivotal stories of my journey through Columbia.

3) You’re in Harlem (no matter what they tell you), bro! Get out of the Columbia bubble and take advantage of the rich culture around you. Do Harlem stuff! Eat you some real Caribbean/soul food, listen to you some good ol’ jazz, and support you some black theatre.

More on Vida after the jump

May

11

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Jennie Olson Smiling and looking down at a cup of milk(?) which she is about to drink.

Can you make that drink if you’re in CBA?

One of our most request Senior Wisdom recipients, Jennie Olson managed the Columbia Bartending Agency and has rocked the Earth Science world. Read on for her words of wisdom.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Jennie Olson. CC. Earth Science Major, Sustainable Development Concentration. Berkeley, CA.

Claim to fame: Manager of the Columbia Bartending Agency for two years. Overenthusiastic COÖP leader. Fell backwards off a bench while giving a campus tour. Also known for always being asleep.

Where are you going? Moving to DC to do environmental policy work with Environment America. Before that, road-tripping and hiking all summer.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1) Don’t be too hard on yourselves. Keep in mind that school is just one small part of the college experience, and not by any measure the most important. Carefully reflect on the things you think you want to take away from Columbia when you walk out in that cap and gown— Sure, you probably want to walk away with a decent GPA, a solid resume, future prospects, etc. I did, too (and still do). But please don’t, in that pursuit, forget to walk away with as many memories, friends, and experiences as possible.

Tip 2: Break out of your comfort zone.

May

11

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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.

More on Row Mahn after the jump :)

May

11

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Smoulder, Mike, smoulder.

Accepted your fate for that final in an hour? Take some time to read our next Senior Wisdom, featuring Michael Glendinning!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Michael Glendinning – Columbia College 2017, Neuroscience major.
I’m from New Providence, NJ.

Claim to fame: I was a lead activist for the CU Dems and was an organizer for Columbia Divest for Climate Justice! #divestnow. I also am a world champion dreamer.

Where are you going? I plan on living in NYC and working in a clinical research lab in my gap-years before med school. My friends and I are actually looking for somewhere to move in to after graduation. An affordable 4br apartment somewhere in Northern Manhattan would be convenient and awesome for us. Please let me know if you have any leads!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

1) If you are having any legal issues, related to the school or not, go to the Ombuds office!! It is the most underappreciated resource on campus when you’re in a jam, of any kind. They saved my rear end one time and I’ll be forever grateful. And they are super duper nice.

2) I’ve learned that people here in particular have this weird thing hating on New Jersey all the time! As a proud New Jersey native, I am pissed about it and want the facts cleared up on the Internet! Sure the NJ turnpike kind of sucks, and our state politics are sometimes embarrassing. But, only from a truly incredible cultural epicenter could American heroes like Ice-T, Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Bon Jovi have been born. We have, hands down, the greatest beach towns in the entire country, and the best diners too. Where would modern life be without the light bulb, the transistor, and the laser, all of which were invented in NJ! People from New Jersey are also the best looking people in the nation! Class of 2021’ers, if you know what is good for you, you will make a friend or two from The Garden State! You won’t regret it!

3) I’d like to share the H17 with no peppers on ciabatta (+ arugula sometimes) with the Class of 2021. It’s the best sandwich nearby.

More on Mike after the jump

May

10

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Lookin’ good (and slightly sideways)

Tatini Mal-Sarkar, former ill-informed Bwog advice columnist, charmed her way through Columbia one fried cheese product at a time – and now, she’s here to share some wisdom with you.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Tatini Mal-Sarkar, Columbia College, Sociology and Psychology (after, like, thirteen other departments), proud Midwesterner by way of Cleveland, Ohio.

Claim to fame: I once sent myself a CU Admirers post. It went something along the lines of, “U cute.” Even when hitting on myself, it seems I am not the most creative.  I also wrote a truly terrible advice column. It’s unclear why anyone let me publish it, nor why I’m linking you to the most blatantly fabricated article I ever penned.

Where are you going? Dinner! Just kidding. Actually, after four years of non-stop complaining that people expect me to read and write things, I’ll be continuing to read, write, and complain uptown, studying public mental health at Mailman, Columbia’s public health school.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?

Okay, here’s where I’ll get on my soapbox (I’ve lowkey been drafting this since I first joined Bwog freshman year. Actually, scratch that, I don’t believe in lowkey. I’ve highkey been drafting this for forever.)

Find out what Tatini has to say from her soapbox after the jump

May

10

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The bright smile of someone with bright ambitions

Earlier today, we posted the Senior Wisdom of a campus politician. Now, we’re posting the Senior Wisdom of an off-campus politician: Isabel Rothberg, who dropped out of school for a semester to work on the Clinton campaign.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Isabel Rothberg, CC, *concentration* in political science (ask me about how I had to change my major January of senior year…), Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

Claim to fame: Dropped out of school to work for the first woman to win the popular vote in an American presidential election. Dedicated three wonderful, crazy years of my life to CU Dems. Gave many, many campus tours. Was an annoyingly confident freshman who knew way too much about Columbia (just kidding, I will never apologize for being confident.)

Where are you going? Nothing set in stone yet, but hopefully spending some time outside the east coast liberal bubble.

Advice on friendship, choosing classes, and more after the jump

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