For the last Senior Wisdom of the day we have Claire Duvallet, who made your life a lot better, even if you didn’t realize it.
Name, Hometown, School: Claire Duvallet; Austin, TX (mostly); SEAS BME
Where are you going? Phnom Penh, Cambodia to work for Engineering World Health as a Luce Scholar next year. Then MIT for my Ph.D. in biological engineering. Hurray for not having to make any life decisions till next decade!
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- Quality >> quantity. This goes for words, friends, and time spent studying.
- Happiness deserves a spot on your to-do list, and your well-being should be scheduled into your life as much as your millions of problem sets or essays. The amount of work you’ll get done past a certain time at night is less than the amount you’ll gain from your increased productivity the next day because you’re happy that you slept or went out with friends or whatever.
- If you want something, ask for it (nicely)! Also and related, every choice you make is two choices: the choice and its consequences. Bitching without acting means that you essentially choose and accept that whatever you’re complaining about is gonna keeping being what it is. Approach individuals in good faith and you’ll be astounded by the response. Administrators at Columbia DO care, it just gets lost somewhere in the trickle-down. When Carolyn and I spoke to the groundskeeper about the lawns, he said he’d never heard these concerns from students before–actually it’s probably just that no one had ever approached him without having already decided he was the enemy (he’s not! He’s such a grandpa!!). Be willing to listen and understand the other side of the story and you’ll see that yours gets through so much easier.
Back in my day…John Jay had waffles err’day, green flags were a myth, and SEAS study abroad seemed impossible.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I believe stories are the currency of life and strive to live accordingly. Also Goldfarb has a picture of me on his phone and free pens exist because of me.