Now we have one final Senior Wisdom to close out the Class of 2013. We love you all and wish you all best!
Name, Hometown, School: kapwatt. As true as it is that I was born and raised in Queens, I can’t deny that I’m an NJ’er at heart. If browntown were a real word, it would mean my hometown, Edison, NJ. And SEAS BME all the way.
Claim to fame? Co-Coordinator of the Hindu Students Organization (HSO). CEO of the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal (CUSJ). Beatboxer for CU Sur. The guy playing piano at strange hours in the EC 2ndfloor lounge. Dude with the cereal wall.
Where are you going? Straight to question 4.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- You don’t need to have an opinion about everything. Though you are in a place where it often seems like everyone around you feels strongly about everything, that shouldn’t pressure you into adopting a point of view for the sake of having one. The issues that matter to you will jump out at you, whether they do so early or late. You are perfectly justified in being the quiet observant person that likes to be informed about all perspectives in a conversation, the person who listens and evaluates rather than talks. The important thing is, however, to find SOMETHING that matters to you. Whether it’s global in scale or even just a local matter, find that one thing that excites you, that can make you talk endlessly. You have four years to find that needle in this haystack we call Columbia. Go.
- It’s important not only to know how your mind works, but also how to work your mind. You need to know how to motivate yourself. Can you pick yourself up when you are faced with seemingly insurmountable confusion or stress? We live in an extremely dynamic world. What makes you happy may not last for long. The next thing to bring you down may be lurking right around the corner. You need stable sources of comfort that you can always depend on. To start, you have your family and friends. Perhaps serving a tennis ball or innovating in the kitchen makes you feel at ease. For me, classical Indian music has a personal meaning and a healing power that I know will exist indefinitely. I can always go to it, and things will be ok, no matter what.
- Get to know people and don’t hate. We started in different places and are headed in very different directions. But for one brief moment, our paths crossed here. We took a breath together here at Columbia. While you are on this picturesque campus, say hello or strike up a conversation when you pass by someone you know. You have more company here than you think. Friends of different years and schools will open your eyes to the world in different ways. You may occasionally find people who you’re not fond of. Don’t hate those people. Instead find something in them that you admire. Everyone here has something to teach you, whether it’s staying organized, staying in touch with others, handling awkward situations. Making time for fun, asking the right questions, understanding what your calling is. Empathizing, writing meaningfully, speaking eloquently. Or maybe someone has a sense of humor that’s new to you and you think it’s brilliant. Yes, I wrote that list, inspired by one person at a time, and I could tell you exactly who taught me what. I’m thankful that I know those people. They are all role models to me in some way.