Freshmen Profile: Tania Harsono, Behind the Natty Ice

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Remember Tania “Boobilicious Bartender and Greek Life Spy, Official Party Animal #1” Harsono? Well she’s baaack… Bwogger Lucy Tang delves again into the seedy side of 2011.

During Bwog’s first glimpse into the class of 2011, many people accused me of singling out, mocking, hazing, and humiliating Tania (which is completely fair, but it was all in jest). Not surprisingly, the number of willing victims for the Freshmen Profile dwindled down after that spectacle.

Fortunately Tania’s got a sense of humor, not to mention courage, and she was willing to talk to me again to jumpstart Bwog’s Freshmen Profile series.

This time we get a fuller picture of Tania, more subdued. After all, no one is drunk 24/7…

Hometown: Vancouver BC

Prospective major: Double in Economics and Political Science

Dorm: JJ floor 11

How long do you think it’ll take you to lose your…

  • Dignity? I already have (thanks Lucy!!)
  • Moral compass? I never will – I’ve mapped the moral waters
  • Sanity? 1 day – first day of NSOP, I’ll finally meet all the Facebook friends and be sorely embarrassed when I can’t identify most of them, so I’ll put in extra effort to remember names, and my head will implode and become the size of the universe before the Big Bang.

Speaking of Facebook, you’re one of the more “notorious” figures, are you worried that people have the wrong impression?

My photos are 100% authentic. Whatever I do, I’m not ashamed of having done, and I’m not unwilling to have documented. Wrong impressions can always be righted, but trying to fix what impression was given online with another persona fabricated online is not the path I’d like to walk. I’ll wait till I arrive on campus to set the record straight.

While 2010 went nuts with the myspace, 2011 is the first official class to actually meet each other over the internet. Do you think you’re missing out on part of the college experience?

Yes and no. Yes: there are a select few individuals who are extremely active on the Class of 2011 group board. For those of us who browse the discussions but do not participate, we are able to see our classmates’ thoughts, interests, and even writing style, without having ever interacted with them. That’s unfair. Meeting people is all about ‘meeting’ people. With the rise of Facebook, I’m afraid that some people may subconsciously find themselves filtering their friends even before they arrive on campus. No: all of those discussion boards you see up on our Facebook group are simulations of what we would’ve been talking about during the first few days of NSOP. Why not speed along the process and arrive on campus, comforted knowing that we have established friendly relations with 3 or more of our floor mates?

How do you choose your Facebook friends?

If I’ve hung out with them, I friend them. If I’ve met them once AND taken a picture with them or of them, I friend them – so I can tag them. If I’ve never met them, it’s either because they’re my fellow Columbia pre-freshmen or program pre-participants, or it could be that they’re just pretty people.

What are you doing with your last pre-college summer?

I’m spending a month in Indonesia working at the national high school basketball reporting office, visiting with my grandparents, touring Borobudur – one of the Wonders of the man-made World, and relaxing in Bali – one of the truest paradises I’ve encountered. Then I’m meeting up with my ex-boyfriend and his family in Croatia. After that, I have a week to say farewell to my Vancouver friends and family before I take off to New York!! My last pre-college summer is very low-stress, un-intellectual, and sociable, quite unlike my past 4 summers!

What did you think when you first stepped on campus?

“I’m living here without air conditioning?” The first time I saw the campus was during the summer program in 2006 – July, smack in the heat of New York‘s notoriously and disgustingly muggy weather.

What aspect of Columbia are you most excited about?

I think most people would expect me to say “the parties”, but they’re actually not what I’m most looking forward to. I’ve had enough parties during my senior year to dull the luster of similar events during my first few semesters. Rather, I’m thrilled about finally being in an academic environment where the students are treated as adults – not as un-opinionated automatons who need to be spoon-fed notes and concepts, as we were treated in my high school – and where the atmosphere is rife with knowledge that knows no bounds.


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  1. Hrm

    I'm a cynic, especially when it comes to pre-frosh online (a year later and I still cringe when I hear "2010"). But I'm impressed. She comes across as articulate, in and of itself an achievement from a high schooler nowadays, with a proper mix of self-deprecation and earnestness. Congrats, class of 2011, Tania has single-handedly made me dislike you all less than I disliked 2010.

    • What?  

      She comes across as articulate? She's going to matriculate at one of the top schools in the country, so one would hope she would at least be articulate. Verbal skills are requisite for admission so she should hardly be congratulated for passing the same test we all did.

      That said, I hope she doesn't live to regret becoming so "notable" before even coming to campus.

  2. nah

    i still dislike them more than 2010.

  3. can you  

    double in econ and poli sci? or just do the econ-poli sci major? is that considered one or two majors?

  4. also  

    werd on the street she got facebook privileges taken away by the facebook admin

  5. hah  

    Remember all that backlash about people calling black public figures 'articulate' since it basically ended with the unspoken phrase 'for a black person'? The class of 2011 is the new black public figure in the media of Columbia.

  6. at least

    she's lightly self aware. that's good.

  7. that's wrong  

    Class of 2011 is by no means the first class to meet each other over the internet. Facebook had just started when '08 were pre-frosh, and we had the added benefit of CU community (a social networking site that was wildly popular in its original form and no longer exists... i think it changed to campus network?). '08ers were the first class to indulge in this banality... and now that we're seniors, the whole school has had (or will have) the pleasure of artificially meeting other pre-frosh over the internet and then bashfully pretending not to know them when you cross paths in the real world!

  8. the parties?

    Where did she get that idea from?

  9. ex-JJ5

    I'm not sure how much partying she will experience living in John Jay.

    Note: My floor specialized in treasure hunts, tea parties, and games of Risk.

    • ehh  

      it depends. my jj floor was loud and had four cava calls by october.

      i think making facebook friends before you get here is a lot like making friends during NSOP -- you're not going to wind up being friends with the vast majority of them.

  10. Hey

    I did not spend four hours accumulating armies in Yaktusk just to have my efforts sullied by some silly JJ5-er.

    That's it. I'm invading your county.

  11. i will attack you  

    from australia! i've been sitting here all game with my meager troop bonus.

  12. lol

    her last FOUR summers were super-intellectual and stressed? if you're foregoing your childhood just to be "treated like an adult" (which you won't be, not by all profs and certainly not by the admin) you should have considered running away from home and joining a circus. then again columbia is a sort of circus. touche.

  13. CC 07

    Wow. I am so glad that facebook did not exist before I was a freshman and that my first interactions with my class were the day I moved onto campus...

  14. NSOP

    for CC should include a mandatory session on how to make the perfect cup of coffee. It'll be the analog of pre-professional classes in SEAS.

  15. ella ella ella eh eh

    this was a very interesting interview, and shows the utter warholization of our generation. this girl broadcasts everything that happens to her over the internet, then gently chides us for looking. She's like a CU Paris Hilton.

  16. kunt  

    "her last FOUR summers were super-intellectual and stressed? if you're foregoing your childhood just to be "treated like an adult" (which you won't be, not by all profs and certainly not by the admin) you should have considered running away from home and joining a circus. then again columbia is a sort of circus. touche."

    you do not know her will!

  17. 2008er

    aren't we all educated enough to know that "will" can also be a noun and make sense in that sentence? geez.

  18. '08-er

    Ehh I had a ton of AIM/Facebook/LJ "friends" the spring/summer before my freshmen year. Ironically the only one of my online friends that I am still friends with is the one who I thought was really psycho when she IM'd me and hoped would never, ever find me in real life... and then she ended up behind me in line and said hi, and I did not realize it was her, because she was nice, smart, and normal. As a rising senior I think I still have an enemy from the online pre-frosh Columbia days...

  19. nice

    i guess im a kunt but i really liked that i didnt even know what facebook was before nsop. i made friends, i survived. when i discovered facebook its most useful feature was looking at how everyone is dully similar.

  20. wow  

    this thread has almost as many comments as the one about burritos

  21. hahahhahah  

    hahahha she's full of shit.

    and chipotle's awesome by the way.

  22. varun gulati

    hey, the girl is articulate, and can hold her own. kudos to her.

  23. uh...

    talk about jaded sobs

  24. umm...

    I don't know this girl apart from the fact that either she or one of her facebook friends kept me up till 6AM with particularly loud bed movements. That massive party during DOC was right above my room. SEAS kids are used to not getting much sleep but that was a tad ridiculous

  25. wow

    with apologies to my man Jon Stewart, 2011: Clusterf@#ck to Columbia.


    I'm following all of you!

  27. when

    will people like Tania (and me, perhaps)and all of us learn not to talk like we are writing an application or in an interview? This is Bwog. Wind down.

  28. please,  

    if she hadn't spoken like that, bwog commenters would have torn her apart. when in rome ...

  29. hmmm

    bwog - do you really think the tag "Future Campus Character" is apt? Discuss.

  30. good lord  

    this is the most ridiculous shit ever. why are we giving 17 year old dreamers the time of day? let them get here before we say anything about them. theyll probably do it to themselves.

  31. i'm

    done. cc '07 here, and after reading through this post plus comments, i realize i couldn't give a shit about any of this nonsense.

    i remember when facebook came out and i could friend the few columbia folks on the thing, as well as my one friend at harvard who had it. wow a network with the info for columbia and harvard students plus a picture. this is a winner.

  32. It must be great  

    to have graduated and still be reading the gossip blog at your old college.

  33. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    Incoming first years never cease to amaze me with their simplicity.

    Although to be fair, when I was an incoming first year, I was mint.

  34. you people  

    need to get lives. stop ragging on this girl. your lives must suck if you spend your time talking about hers. columbia gossip is out of control. i love bwog - it's a vital part of campus life - however i don't think its purpose is to be a forum for intellectual outcasts to just talk shit about other people. get over your jealous about not having a life and do something fun.

  35. lucy tang  

    is a douche bag, for lack of more profound diction. her attempt to put others down to make her hipster self look better is depressing but not suprising. grow up lucy!

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