Sadly, we bring you our final Senior Wisdom for this semester with another early graduate, Kathy Yuh.
Name, Hometown, School, Major: Kathy Yuh, the 925 Bay Area, CA, CC, Economics
Claim to fame: Having a very pun-able last name. Sister of Alpha Chi Omega. And the one obviously non-Slavic person working at the Slavic Department in Hamilton 708 for the past 3.5 years. This also meant I walked up the stairs to the goddamn 7th floor of Hamilton at least once, every single day of the semester since fall 2011.
Where are you going? In about month, to Thailand to volunteer at an elephant rescue camp!
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2018?
- Be okay with being perceived differently than you’re used to.
Isn’t it weird, how when you come to college, for the most part no one knows who you are? Sure, you can tell people you were a varsity letter athlete, a student activist, a musician, etc., but that is not how people will see you. And soon enough, that outdated version of ‘you’ will no longer be how you identify yourself, either. While it’s hard to question your identity that you’ve been attached to for the past 18 years of your life, these 4 years are really your only chance to go out there and create a different and (hopefully) better version of yourself that you want—whatever that means to you—a version that’s not dictated by your past or by anyone else’s expectations. Be okay with the fact that you’re not who you used to be, and be proactive about finding out what you can be. I can’t think of a better place than Columbia to do that.
- Be okay with feeling completely average.
It’s okay if you’re not the student making front page of New York Times. It’s okay if you don’t make president of a club during your 4 years here. Have faith in yourself that you are more than a title or an award that will, let’s be real, be forgotten years, if not months, later. It’s difficult not to feel self-doubt when we’re surrounded by some of the smartest, most passionate, and most genuinely nice people we’ll ever meet in life. But I’ve come to realize I’d rather spend my time celebrating my peers’ good news, not fretting over whether I deserve to be here at Columbia just as much as they are. Take feeling average as a blessing for all the wonderful people you get to meet, and know that your time to shine will come in due time. And when it does, remember that it’s just news.
- Be vulnerable.
I’m borrowing this piece of advice from a past senior wisdom that really touched me. “…I thought I would never visit CPS or call Nightline because I had it together. I’m glad to have learned otherwise.” I am too. It takes a lot of courage to seek help at Columbia. Please do it even if you think you can handle it by yourself.