#senior wisdom
Senior Wisdom: Savannah Fletcher


Sooo we messed up—in going through emails, Bwog found a Senior Wisdom we’d forgotten to post along with the rest.  Huge apologies to Savannah for the delay on this, but trust us, this is a gem of a Senior Wisdom and well worth the wait.

Name, Hometown, School: Savannah Fletcher; I hail from an island north of Seattle, in the small town of Freeland, on Mutiny Bay; Columbia College

Claim to fame? I’m not claiming fame, but I’ve played on Columbia’s Volleyball team all four years, was Editor-in-Chief of Now!Here: Columbia’s Journal of Travel, and if you’ve seen a tall girl slowly crutching around campus this fallprobably was me.

Where are you going? To the balmy coast of Antarctica, but only for a few weeks, then returning to my beloved Pacific Northwest.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. That anything can be spun into a positive. Too often we surround ourselves with negativity and complaints—it’s exhausting and sadly becomes a knee-jerk response. People may feel the need to vent and express their frustrations, which is a healthy release, but why is it the social norm to bond over “disgusting” dining hall food or mutual hatred for a class? Let’s create a culture in which it’s not only acceptable, but encouraged to be uber enthusiastic about that amazing Romantic Poetry lecture (Erik Gray is wonderful) or the fact that you slept for over 8 hours last night. Now that’s something I want to hear about.
  2. Stress is not a necessary part of your college education. It does nothing to better your performance or your happiness. When life seems to be bombarding you with responsibilities and tight deadlines, relax, accept the fact that life is overwhelming at the moment, then get down to business and do the amazing things we’re all capable of. Also, make sleep and exercise a priority. Your stress level and overall quality of life will drastically improve.
  3. It takes great strength to be vulnerable. Sadly it’s taken tearing 5 ligaments in my knee to embrace this fact, but secretly carrying our burdens while keeping a strong face merely adds to our struggles. It breaks my heart when I ask someone how they’re doing and they respond with “terrible” and laugh. There’s no need to smother our true feelings in sarcasm and flippancy. It’s ok to be sad, to be struggling, and to ask for help. Whether it’s getting me Chipotle when I couldn’t walk, helping move across campus, or simply coming over to watch some Archer and keep me company, friends have always come through in the tough times. But I have yet to find a telepathic friend. You have to ask.
  4. Let your freak flag fly. Be sincerely, unapologetically you.


Senior Wisdom: Liora Hostyk
damn son

Liora says: that’s me at the K-T Boundary, which is basically how we know how dinosaurs went extinct. BAM HASHTAG SCIENCE

Name, Hometown, School: Liora Hostyk (Lee or Munchkin also work). Hollywood, FL. Barnard College, Environmental Policy

Claim to fame? I hosted this dance party. I am the Queen of Free Things, be it tickets to TV show tapings or Broadway shows or champagne/ cheese from Barnard Bartending gigs. I was inadvertently involved with the Robert/Kristine 1020 saga. My first snowman ever got featured on Bwog and it’s been downhill ever since in terms of flirty snow art creations.

Where are you going? Right now I’m heading to South America to backpack/ unwind for a while with this lovely person. And then maybe someone will hire me to do something intellectually and creatively stimulating that also pays well so I can keep doing intellectually and creatively stimulating things forever.

Three things you learned at Columbia: By things do we mean categories of things? Yes? Ok good:

1. School-wise:
a. There’s definitely people here who are smarter and more capable than me/ you. But we’re not too bad ourselves!

b. Miracles do happen here. Like the time friend and I got a whole bunch of free sandwiches from Butler caf. Or the time I got to spend ten days in Italy and get SCHOOL CREDIT FOR IT. Or when something involving Columbia bureaucracy actually works. Or when Live@Lerner came into existence. You just gotta believe.

c. It’s so important to talk to the people in your classes! It’s easy to go to class every day and never meet anyone new because you can reach your friends through under-the-desk snap chats. But I met one of my best friends when she started talking to me in class, so there ya go. Human interaction wins.

Apparently three things meant nine things.

Senior Wisdom: Jess Levenson

Name, Hometown, School: Jess Levenson, West Orange, NJ, Barnard

Claim to fame? Former Hillel Eboard member, sister of Sigma Delta Tau, Columbia cheerleader, self-proclaimed food studies major. Hosted Greek Beats this year. Won second place in last year’s Erotic Cake Competition.

Where are you going? To live with my parents in Jerz

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. you CAN go all of college without pulling an all-nighter
  2. befriending security guards and food service staff will enable you to survive college without a student ID
  3. talking about how busy and stressed you are is a guaranteed way to make everyone hate you. You can get work done without talking about.

Back in my day… Barnard students could have whoever they wanted to sleep over without magazines writing about the administration regulating students’ sex lives, more fraternities had brownstones than EC townhouses, dining halls didn’t tell you the nutritional information of their food, you didn’t need invitations to frat parties.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I went to cheer tryouts a year ago with only a smile and a cartwheel. I proved a Jewish girl with a dream can make it come true if you allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Columbia lawns, thank you for providing me with a wonderful space to hear Snoop Dog/Lion and Macklemore, dance at the Red Bull Truck, smoke hookah, check out the topless track team, eat lunch, play football at 4 am, write final papers, and of course, get a tan. When one of you has a red flag, another has a green flag. I will always treasure the memories I made with you.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? My friend told me this will be googleable so I’ll use this as an opportunity to tell you the best way to eat cheese: in your bed (shout out to Liz Lemon and her Night Cheese).

One thing to do before graduating: ask your professor for an extension. They usually say yes.

Any regrets? Let’s see: the freshman 15, only taking African Dance twice, not spending more time in my sorority house, wasting time waiting for a machine at Dodge, laughing at my friends when they ask if I want to go for a run with them, not going to happy hour more, only JUST discovering the Diana cafe pizzas, not taking advantage of Barnard Career Development, only building one snowman in the last 4 years, never taking a picture with the magnolia tree on Lehman Lawn, and of course, NSOP week. Smh.

Senior Wisdom: Kenneth Zauderer

Kenneth (?)

Name, Hometown, School: Kenneth, Kenny, Ken, Moshe, Moses, Mo-Zow, Mo Zauderer; Woodmere, NY; Columbia College

Claim to fame? Probably the person who saw you saving three spots in the 3rd Floor Ref Room and kindly asked you, “Is anyone sitting there?” You unkindly gave me a dirty look, said no, and moved your things.

Where are you going? I’ll be going on a month-long vacation to Miami starting December 31st. HMU.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. In many situations, it’s not what you know; it’s who(m?) you know.
  2. Assignments will always get done, no matter how much I panic and stress that they won’t get done.
  3. Never be shy about asking for a meeting. With anyone. Here, that includes CSA, CCE, the College administration, professors, TAs, etc. At first, I was nervous about constantly asking higher-ups for meetings to discuss random things related to my college/professional career. But then I realized I’m here for a very short period of time and those meetings are a part of what I’m paying for.

Go on…

Senior Wisdom: Stephen Snowder


Name, Hometown, School: Stephen Snowder, Stafford VA, GS

Claim to fame? Co-founder/chief editor of The Lion, the only Columbia blog co-founded and chiefly edited by Stephen Snowder. Prior to that, editor of Spectrum, Spec’s blog. Some people still think I am behind specsucks, but I’m not (I’m not humble enough to refuse credit for something so hilarious). IvyGate once called me insane.

Where are you going? Wow, this is a good question. I should probably start thinking about that.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Most people are pretty nice, even the ones who don’t seem that way at first. Give people a chance, and then give them a second chance. You might make some awesome friends. Some of my best friends are people who, the first time I met them, I was like “What the hell is this person’s problem?” Of course, some people just suck. So maybe try a three-strikes rule or something.
  2. Look for viewpoints that differ from your own and try to find the value in them. Columbia is a diverse place, but the loudest voices on our campus tend to say all the same things. Everyone else sort of gets drowned out. Look for the drowned-out folks and listen to them. In general, if someone at Columbia disagrees with you, it’s not because he or she is stupid or evil. It’s because that person sees things differently than you do. Try to find out why that is. Learn from other people’s perspectives. Engage with differing opinions respectfully.
  3. Don’t study in Butler. Walking in there you just absorb other people’s stress and misery through osmosis. Find another study spot. My favorite place is in the basement of IAB, in the Lewisohn library. On the very bottom floor there are cubbies where you can study and usually there are a couple that are open. There’s no cell reception down there, so you won’t be distracted. Plus there is often funny stuff written on the walls.

But back in his day…

Senior Wisdom: Kyla Cheung


In our continuing series of midyear Senior Wisdoms for midyear graduates, we bring you Kyla Cheung, who’s been working on her Senior Wisdom for years.  Seriously.

Name, Hometown, School: Kyla, Jersey, Barnumbia

Claim to fame? Ha, “fame.” Mmhm. Okay.

I suspect I got nominated for this because I started writing parts of this Senior Wisdom years ago. I have a lot of love for this series, ever since I read Sari Ancel’s plea to Columbia to “stop and chat” as a first-year, so every few months or so, I wrote down small, hard-won bits of experience and memories, and a few of my good friends have read the whole, long-winded Google Doc.

But I don’t know what all that premeditation really amounts to. I’ve pared this down, but I come off as way earnest and way twenty-something and way into lists and maybe kinda humorless. I mean, the oral sex / cheese answer could definitely have been better. I had so much time to prepare, you know?

We know.

Senior Wisdom: Kendall Tucker


Name, Hometown, School: Kendall Hope Tucker, Sudbury Massachusetts, Columbia College

Claim to fame? President of the Roosevelt Institute, perpetual freshman, person who won’t stop gloating about the Red Sox

Where are you going? Home with a few stops on the way! First Israel, then DC for a few months (where I’ll be working at a start-up tech firm). After that hopefully England and then Massachusetts. I’ve allotted the next few years of my life to “figuring it out”. When I find out what “it” is, I’ll let you know and that will probably dictate where I am going to be.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Even if it feels like you know exactly what you want to do next week/next year/forever, unexpected opportunities are always lurking right around the corner. Columbia gives you almost limitless opportunities. Look beyond the normal 4 year pre-med/pre-law/pre-$$$ path and seize them.
  2. People in GS are way cooler than we are. This is why I am taking a few years to work before going to grad school. I’m hoping that I can harness some of their hard-fought, real-world wisdom.
  3. Going to Tom’s in the middle of the night for cheesy fries and a milk shake might make you feel fat, but it will also definitely make you some close friends. It’s worth it. (Also, on your way to Tom’s, invite the quiet guy on your floor. It’s not only freshmen who feel lonely some times.)

Back in my day… Someone dropped a cigarette down the trash chute in John Jay and the whole building filled up with smoke. For us John Jay 7’rs this and ‘Operation Ivy League’ consumed conversation for all of second semester.

Also back in 2010, 1020 was cool, insomnia cookies didn’t exist (life back then was terrible), Campo was a bar that I couldn’t get in to and EC still looked like the projects.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: One time I convinced everyone at a party that Joe Biden was my father. To be fair, everyone at the party was drunk, but still it was awesome.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: To the security guards on campus (in particular Adam, Clifton, Kristina and Mike): thank you so much not only for keeping us safe but also for making us feel at home in these buildings. Your sense of humor when we come home from Butler (or 1020) at 4 in the morning always makes us feel a little bit better. I’m going to miss you next year.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? (If you are my mom who I know will read this at some point, please stop reading here. Thanks for your support! xxx)

The obvious answer to this question is cheese, but then this bodes the follow-up question of whether we are all going to shout “say oral sex!” before taking a picture. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I still say it’s worth it.

One thing to do before graduating: Buy your RA a drink. They have a tough job (much tougher than many of you might realize) and most of them (hint, the Carman staff) like to turn up.

Any regrets? Unfortunately, yes. Doing too much work, not spending enough time on campus, not asking Dorian Warren out on a date (kidding!), not joining a sorority or the rowing team, not telling my friends I love them enough and not being able to finish out this year with Carman 9. Shame on me. I love you all.

Senior Wisdom: Pazia Miller

The file name was “PAZIA_HAY” and for that we love her.

Welcome back to another round of our short December Senior Wisdoms, shouting out to those midyear graduates. Here we have Pazia Miller—we can’t believe her life, either.

Name, Hometown, School: Pazia Shayne Miller (Pronounced Asia with a P at the front), raised in Baltimore and transplanted to White Plains, New York (REPRESENT). Barnard College always.

Claim to fame? Outspoken feminist-type and listener, gender studies major/former slam poet. I am the interim campus astrology expert. I helped organize a rally for Ramarley Graham’s family during a finals week. I have shamelessly gone on two international BCRW trips. I live in Brooklyn.

Where are you going? For the next four months, I’ll be on a backpacking trip from Costa Rica to Argentina. I can’t believe my life.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Don’t be afraid to not know what you’re doing here or think you don’t belong here. Honestly, this school is chock full of people with a lot of privilege and elitism—if you don’t feel like you fit that model, it’s ok. You don’t even have to like it, but I guarantee you, there are other people who feel that way too. Find them.
  2. “Self care” cannot happen without your community behind you supporting you. No matter how much we talk about the need to retreat into your room and watch Netflix (and trust me, I do it), you need to have people outside of that ready to welcome you back in.
  3. Going to Columbia doesn’t make you better or smarter than anyone else. It doesn’t make you more qualified for a job, it doesn’t make you more worthy, and it definitely doesn’t make you happier than everyone else. Even though we are told time and time again that we will be Powerful People Who Will Make Change In The World, check yourself. You are among a selective few who got to go here. You have a powerful degree. And it is just that: a powerful degree. Be careful, respect other people and other ideas that aren’t from here.
  4. Annnnd 4, because whatever, this is my senior wisdom and I’m going to say what I want: Academia often exists to reproduce itself. Yes, your theory is important, but hierarchical relationships between the “best” theory with the least evidence in the ivory tower are really just the hierarchical relationships between professors selling books and gaining cultural capital. What you make is important too. Yes, this is my theory.

Back in Pazia’s day…

Senior Wisdom: Benjie Frieling

Benjie Frieling

We know, we know, it’s a little early for this. In honor of those mid-year graduates, we’re running a short series of Senior Wisdoms. Kicking things off we have Benjie Frieling, saving the day from congestion.

Name, Hometown, School: Benjamin Frieling, though most people call me Benjie [no, not the dog]. Hailing from the rather nearby Lawrence, NY. Civil Engineering at SEAS !

Claim to fame? CSA Peer Adviser [last remaining of the first batch, completing 3rd semester tour of duty, with 2 crazy weeks of NSOP under my belt]; Challah for Hunger [sporadic member for 3 years; Sales Manager this semester]; CU Souper Troopers [R.I.P.]; Hillel Social Justice Coordinator for a semester; completing a self-organized half-Ironman in a little over 8 hours this past August even with a flat-tire in the middle of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Where are you going? ”To Infinity and Beyond !” Just kidding. Well for now while I’m on this planet, the upcoming semester will be a seven-week pilot trip to Israel to check out grad school, employment, and housing prospects, and to relax a bit – with the plan to move there this upcoming summer/fall or possibly the following one. It’s definitely going to be a big shift – language, culture, pay scale – but I am looking forward to experience a bit more of a spiritual and laid back lifestyle in addition to having an enormous opportunity to work on civil engineering infrastructure projects there. [Like the US, much of the country was built in the 1950s and is falling apart.] Thankfully, I have a good support network of friends there who should make the move smoother!

More wisdom, please, Benjie.

Senior Wisdom: Kapil Wattamwar

Kapil Wattamar

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Senior Wisdom: Randolph Carr III
Randolph Carr III

Randolph Carr III

Name, Hometown, School: My birth name is Randolph Carr III, a name long descended from my slave-owning, colonial forefathers. However, throughout my time at Columbia, at some point or another, I have been called Malik Newton, Xavier Lee, Brother CUSH, or some combination of these names, usually began with the honorific, Brother. South Central Los Angeles, California. Columbia College.

Claim to fame: At random hours, I could be seen walking around the Upper West Side, casually strolling about, usually alone. At the most unnecessary of moments, I would ride my bike from my dorm to class in Hamilton, just because. Whenever the weather permitted, I could be seen perched on the platform at the side of the Low Library steps, overlooking Low Plaza. In other words, my claim to fame is not really doing shit.

Where are you going? I will be in the city, here and there, wherever I happen to find myself. I will work enough to pay for a ridiculously cramped apartment with several roommates and enough food to survive. I will read, incessantly and indiscriminately. Occasionally, I will be on campus to, once again, sit atop my perch on Low Steps, not doing shit. I want to stay informed and active, preparing myself for what is next to come. What is next to come? If my vision were that good I would have less injuries, more money, and I would, surely, be much, much less interesting.

If you are around in the city and you are one of the rare individuals who doesn’t find me annoying, please give me a call. I always enjoy a good conversation. And, to those friends who will be returning to Columbia in the fall, whenever you have a swipe you would like to give away, hit a brother up.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  • You are not unintelligent. Just because your classmates may have gone to elite private schools since nursery school, translated the Iliad in high school, and often use words like milieu or some other frequently misplaced word like dialectic, does not mean they are smarter than you, or their thoughts more valuable. You should never be afraid to speak your mind, candidly and openly. You should never walk with your head down for you are intelligent despite feeling otherwise. Anyone who would have you believe differently is probably not as intelligent as they would hope or pretend. Speak, and speak proudly.
  • Keep your commitments that you make to yourself and others. All of your words, big or small, should be honored. When you say you will do something, do so. If you can’t keep your commitments to your friends while in college , why might you suddenly do so in the “real world”? All you have are your words. If you say you will meet someone at John Jay do so even if it means missing that concert that you just secured tickets to and much rather attend.
  • Don’t take up too much space. You should always be present, fully, in every living moment. While, yes, you should always proudly, and sometimes loudly, speak your mind–no one likes a motor mouth. Speak in short thoughts, when asked, when necessary. This does not mean be silent or be passive: you can also take up a lot of space when you say nothing. Be conscious and present with others in the room. Your words mean infinitely more when they are preceded by an open ear, a giving hand, and a kind heart.


Senior Wisdom: Jasper Clyatt

Jasper Clyatt

And now we bring you one of Bwog’s favorite people at this entire school in his reveal as the voice behind @Butler_209, who got us through many an all-nighter–not to mention his work on Carman Forever and Ni**as in Ferris.

Name, Hometown, School: Jasper L. Clyatt, Rye, NY, CC

Claim to fame? I photograph a lot of things and have supplied at least 30 of James Bennett II’s Facebook profile pictures. I blue myself at Halloween and Bacchanal. I worked with some excellent rappers while directing Carman Forever and the Ni**as in Ferris music video series. I was the voice of @Butler_209.

Where are you going? Like the late Alvin Lee said, I’m goin’ home. My plan is to commute into Manhattan from the suburbs for about a year, then rent a penthouse quadruplex in the Village for two weeks. Prorated, of course.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. It seems that many Columbians would rather be right than happy. Not everyone and not all of the time of course, but as a community we always find something to indignantly defend or destroy. Every semester has at least one scandalous controversy that divides and brings out the worst in us. I don’t claim to have a solution, but whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I turn to Book 2 of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. Or, I just think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport and sip on a Baileys hot chocolate.
  2. The fundamental attribution error. Take an intro Psychology class or Google it. I won’t explain the FAE here, but I’ll share my method for correcting it: any time you start to pass judgment on a person, count to ten and put yourself in their shoes. Don’t just assume that someone is a dick; consider the possibility he just bombed his final exam and feels like shit, or that he’s angry at the world because he was up all night breaking up with his girlfriend. It’s natural to make assumptions about a person’s character without considering their circumstances. Take the time to think, and I promise it will make you a happier and more empathetic person.
  3. I know it’s cliché, but the Core really is fantastic. I didn’t fully appreciate it during my CC and Lit Hum years, but by junior spring in Music Hum things started to click. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Music Hum (s/o to Alex Mincek) changed my life. Discovering that music could be so powerful and complex seemed to flip a switch upstairs; I realized that there’s so much more out there left to learn and understand. Everyone says the Core teaches us how to think, although I disagree. “Thinking” isn’t something that can be taught in just four years. I believe the Core teaches us that we can think, and that our lives and our worlds are worth thinking about.

Back in my day… JJ’s Place operated on Dining Dollars and had a convenience store that sold milk, ramen noodles, and cookies. Combine that with the dining hall, CrackDel delivery, and an entire floor of friends, and you could theoretically spend the entire semester without leaving John Jay. You would fail all of your attendance-based classes of course, but I’m sure any reasonable instructor would let you Skype into LitHum if you asked/bribed them.

On a more serious note: we didn’t have 2Chainz, Trinidad James, or trap music. It was a different time, you understand.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I may not leave behind a city of marble, but I try to make things better when I can. If I can create more smiles than frowns, that’s worth something.


Senior Wisdom: Sakina A. Pasha

Sakina Pasha

Welcome Sakina Pasha, who provided you with both baked goods and wristbands.

Name, Hometown, School: Sakina A Pasha, Phoenix/Las Vegas/LA, Barnard College

Claim to fame? Just received the honor of being on the cover of Barnard Magazine the semester I graduated, which means my face is awkwardly in peoples mailboxes, on coffee tables, and recycling bins (STOP THROWING AWAY RECYCLABLES-YOU WILL KILL THE POLAR BEARS). I’m President of Knickerbocker Motorsports (Formula SAE)- the AWESOME racecar team on campus, I’m OBSESSED with SGA and been involved with it for 4 years, I’ve been an intro bio TA for two years,I ended up getting 2nd place in assassins being disavowed the entire game, with no one alive on my team, and without killing anyone *cough* greg duchard you died before spring break and claiming to kill someone who is in charge of checking tickets during the Hoodie Allen concert is BS and not a real kill *cough* and I can usually be found in the cadlab/basement of mudd or lying on my floor eating cookies

Where are you going? BACK TO THE SUNSHINE (aka the west coast) to get my Vitamin D on and possibly do ALL THE PASTRY CHEFING before saving the world :)

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Don’t judge people. It might be sappy and cliche to say, but there is no one on this campus who isn’t meant to be here. Whether someones presence helps you to appreciate things in your life more because you see how much they suck, or because you meet someone who is the nicest human being on the planet, everyone you interact with impacts your life, be it in a big or small way and whether you like it or not. So take the time to learn about someones life story, GO TO CAMPUS EVENTS (4 COUNCIL EVENTS ROCK), get involved with a variety of things some of my best friends are from GSSC and 3/2ers from SEAS, take advantage of the knowledge and passion that people around campus have for things. this school is full of some of the most amazing people you will ever be in the presence of, probably including yourself.
  2. Appreciate and contribute to the experience. From four years of intense observation I have found that I can see about 72 stars from the ledge on the steps on a clear night. Take the time to stop, breathe, observe, and appreciate where you go to school and the people you go to school with. Thank the faculty, staff, and administration when you get the chance, and consider how much it actually takes to run an institution. Its simple to put blame on the people in charge, but honestly by trolling you’re not helping anyone or furthering an argument that hasnt been made or been overturned. Don’t waste your time, energy, or internet space talking smack with no intention of picking up the slack.
  3. Engage. You can’t do everything on campus and in the city and there is no perfect balance or formula that can help you have the perfect college experience; but if you don’t get involved, meet people, and really engage, you’re wasting a lot of your time, money, and your life. You have the chance to work with some of them most capable people you will ever come across or work and explore in a city of opportunity, so take advantage of it and enjoy your time while you still can, because once the word graduate is attached to your name, the perks of being a college kid dissolve almost immediately.


Senior Wisdom: Carolyn Ruvkun
Carolyn Ruvkun

Carolyn Ruvkun

Bwog-wisdom’s back: Carolyn Ruvkun, former creative editor and provider of good feelings, both on Bwog and in general.

Name, Hometown, School: Carolyn Ruvkun, NYC, Columbia College

Claim to Fame? Nightline, Puppy Coalition, green flags, Bwog tags.

Where are you going? Home to cuddle with my dog, play the piano, and procrastinate from becoming a real person reflect. I need some chill time that’s not just confined to scattered guilty hours between various commitments crowding my planner. That’s all been very exciting and productive, but now it’s time to process.

And maybe I’ll eventually start a Jewish food truck called Knish & Tell.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  • 1. I’ve come to respect my parents so much more professionally, but I’ve also seen their emotional vulnerabilities in ways I didn’t recognize when I lived with them. Some of my most important conversations over the past four years have been with people in my family who have divulged their own struggles. Caring for and comforting your elders can seem like a jarring inversion of some natural order. But these difficult moments have made my family relationships feel more reciprocal and real. In short, call your bubbe.
  • 2. Sit in the front row, so you won’t be distracted by the ridiculousness that appears on other people’s computer screens. I once witnessed a girl ordering a Vajazzling kit during lecture. She pulled out her credit card and everything.
  • 3. If you turn on Netflix subtitles, you can understand the words while eating pretzels.

Back in my day…I thought I knew a lot more than I really did. But the more I learned, the more I realized how little I know. I’m leaving Columbia with few answers but better questions. Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable. After all, college shouldn’t validate your existing knowledge but put it in perspective.

Also, I went to H&H every Sunday morning for the best bagels in New York, crossing signs had words instead of pictures, hashtags and gifs didn’t exist, and seniors seemed very old.


Senior Wisdom: Constance Boozer
Constance Boozer

Constance Boozer

Name, Hometown, School: Constance Boozer; Jackson, Mississippi; Columbia College

Claim to fame? I engaged in CPRevelry and oversaw the transformation of countless U-Writing essays into articles as the EIC of the Columbia Political Review, coined the phrase Jim Yong Kim is “a rapping spaceman,” covered and broke some nom-nom-nom news in MoHi, was that girl from Alabama, and even had my unparalleled poster holding skills documented in the Staten Island Advance.

Where are you going? For the summer, I have a job as a researcher in NYC for a group that advocates for gun policy reform. In September, I’m shipping off to math camp as I start to earn my Masters of Public Policy in the birthplace of politics (Chicago). After that graduation, I am hoping to mosey onto a campaign during the 2016 election cycle.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  • 1) Many times success requires taking risks and a willingness to fail in your endeavors. If you have not literally and metaphorically tripped and fallen on your ass a few times, you have not truly taken advantage of what Columbia and what life have to offer.
  • 2) It’s ok to hate Columbia at times. It’s not ok to ignore the reasons why you hate Columbia. If walking around campus does not give you some sense of joy on a semi-regular basis, it’s time to figure out what makes you happy and shake up your life a little. You may have an intense hatred of in-class exams and blue books. (In that case, choose seminars over lectures). You may enjoy going below 110th street every once in a while. (In that case, intern, work, volunteer, befriend more people who venture off campus, etc.). And you may prefer not having mice in your room. (Not much you can do about that one. A possible course of action is putting food in a trashcan to lure the mouse into the receptacle and then cover the brim with a Milano bag until the rodent stops jumping. It is safe to assume that said creature is now deceased. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how to get it out of the dorm). In short, awareness of how you best function and being proactive about maintaining those parameters is a road to happiness in any environment – especially Columbia.
  • 3) Electrolytes are your friend. To work, to try, and to play hard – chug a bottle of Gatorade every day.