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Anna living her best life

Following the three wonderful CC women we featured earlier today is bold Barnard woman Anna Stoneman – who, true to her third point of advice, asked for an extension on this senior wisdom.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Anna Stoneman, Barnard, Urban Studies/stats concentration, Albany, NY (some call it the capital in every way that matters)

Claim to fame: Acted in two somewhat space-themed student theatre plays. Also in non space-themed plays. Speaking Fellow. Unauthorized Trader Joe’s Brand Ambassador (plz hire me).

Where are you going? tbd where I’ll live, but I’m staying on the west side.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. You can do all the things (or a lot of them) if you really want to, but you don’t have to. There are endless options of clubs to join, classes to take and things to do but only 24 hours in the day, so you have to make choices. Try to makes the choices conscious and choose what you enjoy as much as possible.

What else?



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‘bread for bwog.jpg’

This next senior wisdom is from Cindy Liu, known for her work advocating for music performance space at Columbia. She spent a lot of time “sweating it out at the piano” but sadly “can’t code for shit.”

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Cindy Liu, CC ’18, English & Sociology, born in NYC & sadly raised in DC.

Claim to fame: Yelling at the Columbia administration about how musicians don’t have a performance space on campus. Running with Grassroots Columbia for CCSC (and losing :(). Also, compiling the NYC Food Bible, sweating it out at the piano, and screaming (in general).

Where are you going? Staying in NYC to continue stuffing my face as associate manager of violinist Joshua Bell at Park Avenue Artists in Chelsea :) hmu for great music and good vibes!

Read Cindy’s advice after the jump



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Just Do It

You might know Kirsten Dodson from seeing her at CCSC giveaways, but you should read her senior wisdom for her wit and wise advice on staying confident and finding balance.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Kirsten Dodson, Columbia College, Neuroscience & Behavior, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Claim to fame: I probably handed you a free *insert CCSC giveaway* at one of the many events I volunteered at. Or maybe you saw me being THAT girl living her best life “bacchstage” every year at Bacchanal. Or, for you Class of 2022ers, maybe I gave you your info session when you visited campus.

Where are you going? The Upper East Side to live out all my Gossip Girl dreams

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. College is a great place to make lifelong friends and it’s also a great place to become acquainted with your own wants, needs, and thoughts. So, don’t shy away from being alone sometimes, whether that’s in the library, at a dining hall, or off exploring the city.

2. Spending the past four years surrounded by some of the most high-achieving/annoyingly over-achieving people I’ve ever met has done a number on my self-confidence at times but I’m here to tell you that after failing numerous times, standing back up and trying again deserves just as much applause as those who got it right the first time.




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Beautiful blossoms and a beautiful young woman

Today’s first senior wisdom is from Karen Lopez, notable for her work in the Latinx community and her food insta.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Karen Lopez, Columbia College, Economics and Hispanic Studies, Hempstead, New York (Long Island)

Claim to fame: Doing a thing or two for the Latinx community, possibly going to too many alumni related events, and posing for pictures on Low steps.

Where are you going? I am going offline for a bit and returning to NYC to join the corporate ranks.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Try really hard to not compare yourself to others around you. Many of you will get to campus and realize that you are surrounded by extremely gifted individuals. It’s only natural for us to compare ourselves to others but it can be very harmful. It took me a while to realize that while the finish line is the same for all of us, not everyone begins at the same start line. It can be difficult to not fall into a self-deprecating cycle when you’re surrounded by constant stress. Remember that it is more than okay to take a day off to replenish—you should not feel pressured to stay in Butler all day and night because your friends are doing so. You might ask yourself if you should be doing more and the answer is almost always that you should be doing less. Be kind to yourself!

What else does Karen have to say?



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The title for this image is “reuben2”. I’m not mad at it.

Want to learn more about yourself and your style? Seth Benjamin has some wise words to share about being your genuine self.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Seth Benjamin, CC ’18, Computer Science w/ Linguistics concentration, West Lafayette, IN

Claim to fame: After-hours denizen of WKCR and foulest-mouthed 1004 TA. Some ADP kid once described my guitar playing as “just random shit, no talent”.

Where are you going? I’m staying in New York to work as a code monkey.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
Embrace change. I came in with a lot of plans about what I’d study and who I’d be. My gut abandoned them all on Day 1, but my brain took a few semesters to catch up. Let yourself become who you need to become.

Respect your own style. I am incapable of following a schedule or going to bed at a reasonable hour. Sometimes I want to stay inside and be very boring. One of the most valuable things I learned in college is that all of these things are fine. The only person your workflow, social life or hobbies need to work for is yourself.

Should I take Mandarin?



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That cookie does look pretty damn good.

In our next senior wisdom , Juan Pablo Gatica, reminds us of the importance of the Oxford comma, getting outside your comfort zone, and getting a bunch of ice cream.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Juan Pablo Gatica, Columbia College, Physics and Math Concentration, Miami, Fl

Claim to fame: I was once in a metal band… teenage me was a very different person.

Where are you going? L.A. to reapply to grad school and figure out how to adult.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

Don’t let work/studying get in the way of friendships and getting to know people. There is no point in spending these four years without any friends to share with what will be some of the best and most fond memories.

Should I pull that all-nighter?



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img May 06, 201810:49 amimg 1 Comments

Everything’s beginning to look up.

For Malaya Sadler, there are other things to life besides Columbia and New York. Learn about your life’s purpose in this senior wisdom. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Malaya Sadler, CC, Anthropology, San Francisco.

Claim to fame: Lerner front desk girl

Where are you going? For a walk.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
Though admissions marketing might have you believe otherwise, Columbia and New York are not the center of the universe. The things we value here, on this campus and in this city, aren’t remotely universal, normal, or sane. The prestige, social status, and resumé brownie points you rack up here might have their pragmatic uses, but these uses are fundamentally limited. Don’t resign yourself to “selling out” just because it feels like there are no other options—don’t build your personality around a unnecessarily specific, intellectually impoverished definition of success. Take a weird, no-name internship just because the people are interesting. Join an archaeology dig in Kazakhstan. Join a political campaign. Date off-campus. Drink off-campus. Change your major if you’re not in love with it. Decide on a class based on flipping through reading lists in the back of Book Culture. Go very far away and see who you are without this place. Contrary to how it feels or what consulting recruiting timelines and your mother might tell you, you have plenty of time.

Don’t sell out, even after the jump



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Ghislaine Pages wants de Blasio to close Rikers Island, and wants all of us to find therapists. Read all about it in her senior wisdom.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Ghislaine-Marie Pages. Barnard. Political Science. SEATTLE (like actual Seattle, not this Issaquah, Bainbridge Island, Sammamish, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue BS… SEATTLE).

Claim to fame: Excessively vulnerable pieces in campus publications.

Where are you going? 16 blocks uptown, working at Columbia Law School.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. To the sweet, sweet men of the class of 2022: there will be a lot of pressure for you to engage with women in a transactional way that discounts both of your humanity. People are tender. You are tender. That’s ok. Working to truly respect yourself and allow yourself a range of emotional experiences will make you have much more satisfying interactions with women, if you’re into that. College is hard; you miss your mom; your finance internship is terrifying and stressful; you’re insecure that you play baseball and not soccer…that’s ok, just don’t treat women around you shittily as a coping mechanism. Find a therapist you like and visit them often.

But wait, there’s more…



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Wing-Sum looking badass

You might have seen Wing-Sum Law (and/or her choreography) in Raw Elementz, and now you get to hear from her in her senior wisdom.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Wing-Sum Law; SEAS; Mechanical Engineering; Shoreline, WA

Claim to fame: Questioning mechanical engineering curriculum choices in front of the entire class

Where are you going? Stanford, for my PhD

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. If you can say it in fewer, shorter words, do so. Excessively high-brow language only makes statements unclear and inaccessible.

2. You should see a therapist when you feel overwhelmed. They are literally professionals in unpacking emotions and determining healthy coping mechanisms. I’ve heard people say that they aren’t anxious/depressed/whatever enough to see a therapist, but there isn’t some magical threshold at which it’s time to see one. Besides, it’s much better to see one for preventative strategies before you’re in crisis mode. So take the leap and make an appointment!

Thoughts on Pupin and more after the jump



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Nice scarf, Sam!

This next senior wisdom is from Sam Falcone, leader in the Columbia Socialists, who describes himself as “the least quantitatively-inclined aspiring economist since Karl Marx.”

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Sam Falcone-Coffin; History and Economics; Hinesburg, Vermont.

Claim to fame: Being that lefty kid your history class who always wanted to continue the conversation afterwards and was always in Butler 209.

Also, being the least quantitatively-inclined aspiring economist since Karl Marx.

Where are you going? In the short term, to the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building, to pursue a career as a civil servant for the City of New York in the office of the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Also, to continue writing and researching. I hope to complete the next chapter of my thesis and continue my nascent career as an amateur journalist.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Like the world, Columbia is filled with all sorts of brilliant people doing incredibly interesting things. This can be profoundly inspiring, but also deeply intimidating. You are brilliant too, in your own way. If you can, try not to forget that even when this school and world tries to tell you otherwise. You’ll face trying times as a student here. But you’re always doing better than you think. Just keep humbly chugging along.

2. I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people at Columbia. If you are lucky enough to have this experience, treat your people well. Never forget tell the people in your life you’re grateful for them. Much more importantly, never forget to show them.

What else does Sam have to say?



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We’re not sure if this expression means he’s having a good time or being held hostage just out of frame

Today’s first senior wisdom is from Matt Neky, who reminds us to stay hydrated, stay compassionate, and go to Hamdel.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Matt Neky, Columbia College, Biochemistry, Pittsburgh

Claim to fame: Posting a video of myself wall twerking in the class of 2018 group, having a messy snap story that has been described by multiple friends as “disturbing” at times, drinking two glasses of milk with every meal, yelling “SAVE THE BEES” at strangers, serving as Columbia’s foremost “Ted Cruz Is the Zodiac Killer” conspiracy theorist, the muse of the “Reasons We Are PROUD of Matt Neky” Facebook page, sleeping naked every night even though I’ve lived in a double every single year of college, peeing on JJ’s, tagging Deantini in memes, and (most importantly) my obsession with cheese.

Where are you going? In the long-term, probably Hell if we are being honest with ourselves here. In the short-term, New York City.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Hamdel is not a restaurant; it is a mental wellness center. The kind employees of Hamilton Deli have witnessed pretty much the entire range of emotions I am capable of displaying over the course of my four years: they have seen me happy and enjoying my night with friends, they have seen me on the verge of tears after someone broke my heart, they have seen me completely exhausted after pulling an all-nighter studying for an exam, they have seen me exhibit ~altered states of consciousness~ (insert MLA citation of the “Science of Psych” textbook here), they have seen me looking triumphant and proud of what I have accomplished that day, and they have seen me looking frustrated and embarrassed because I thought I was screwing up my life. But every time I walk in, I know that I’m going to be met with a smile and a friendly greeting and sometimes it is the small acts of kindness from strangers that will change your perspective and get you through the day.

Beatles references and more after the jump



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What a professional photo.

In the last of today’s Senior Wisdoms, meet John Hao: a Buzzfeed celebrity.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: John Hao, Columbia College, Environmental Biology, Lincoln, Nebraska

Claim to fame: For one thing, I’m one of the few Nebraskans here. But for real, when I was president of the Columbia Vegan Society, I convinced Dining to install the vegan food station at John Jay. I’ve been called Columbia’s best botanist, origami artist, and Halloween costumer. I also created a catalogue of every single plant on Columbia/Barnard campus.

Where are you going? I’m interning at the New York Botanical Garden and plan to explore other research opportunities before I pursue a PhD.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Fit in time between classwork to pursue your own interests. Sometimes, homework takes a backseat to a hobby and that’s okay. These times let you find your passions, work out your stress, and be productive in something that fulfills you.

2. Don’t miss out on classes that can offer you amazing experiences and you might find a strong interest in something you never considered before. I almost dropped a class that required weekly Friday morning field trips because it sounded like too much work. Had I done that, I would’ve missed out on incredible hikes in different forests in the Northeast, which ended up shaping my future plans.

3. When you come from a small town to Columbia, you learn quickly how important finding a community is. It can be intimidating to connect with new people when they all seem to know each other already. When you get past that fear, you’ll find how welcoming people are and how much easier it becomes when you get out of your comfort zone to try new things, new clubs, or new ventures.

More on John after the jump



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Rollerblading to work is a move.

Arizona native Kate Welty somehow managed to get more hate than Wiz Khalifa did in his and Kanye’s respective Twitter beef (TBT). She’s coming for throats and McKinsey internships. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Kate Welty, SEAS, Environmental Engineering, Phoenix, Arizona

Claim to fame: A disgruntled CCSC candidate filed a 17-page complaint against me to the University Senate comparing me to Erdogan. I called a Spec reporter a dick mid-interview.

Where are you going? I’m lying and telling everyone I’m “staying in the city” but I’m actually doing Environmental Auditing in Newark, NJ. Eventually I’ll be back in Phoenix because the American Southwest is life / I’m done with all these coastal elites.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Columbia has a messed up way of how we view success. You don’t have to want to start your own company or be elected class council president to have ambition, nor do you need notoriety to be making positive and necessary impact. News flash: not everyone can be the top of their field. There’s a lot of good being done and love being spread by people in the middle.

2. Be a tour guide, an orientation leader, or have some other job that gets you excited to be a Columbian. Give yourself a reminder that there’s a lot of awesome people on this campus and that we’re lucky be here. That being said, stay critical. We have a lot of power to make changes for the better.

We have a wise one here



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We wish we were smiling like Omar right now.

Omar Khan starts off our Friday Senior Wisdoms, reminding us all to stop and smell the flowers (or eat Cheez-its and observe).

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Omar Khan; Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies; New York City

Claim to fame: I talked a lot about South Asian politics and mental health to anyone who would listen and some administrators who wouldn’t.

Where are you going? To live out of New York City for the first time in 22 years!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Clean up after yourself. First of all, you’re an adult. Second of all, Columbia’s staff does so much for us already–don’t make their lives even harder.

2. Take classes in disciplines you’ve never explored before– it’ll at the very least give you a world class education in something you didn’t know anything about, and at the most may radically change your major like it did mine.

3. Talk about mental health! I have talked about mental health almost every chance I’ve gotten, but I think real, impactful conversation about mental health (and not just uncomfortable depression memes) can have a really powerful interpersonal impact and help change campus culture for the better. Older classmates opening up about their experiences with mental health issues helped me feel comfortable being vulnerable and realize that I wasn’t the only one struggling– and that struggling isn’t something to be ashamed of.

Find out how Omar feels about justifying his existence after the jump.



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Is this the TC pillow pit?

Zoey Chopra brings home our last senior wisdom of the day, with advice on living your best life at Columbia.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Zoey Chopra; Columbia College; Econ-Math, Biochem, Classics; Oakland, CA

Claim to fame: Turn 21 on Class Day; Member of every Columbia and Barnard FB class page; the better half of Zohab

Where are you going? Off to Michigan for 10-ish years to do an MD/PhD in Economics

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

  1. Laugh
  2. Cry
  3. Free and amazing food most weekends in Warren Hall for MBA students – there are usually leftovers.

More verbosity after the jump

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