Senior Wisdom: Kaley Hanenkrat

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The wisdom continues…

Name, school: Kaley Hanenkrat, BC

Claim to fame: I’m the person who flooded your inbox with Columbia Dems emails in 08-09 and now I’m the outgoing Columbia Dems President which means I probably pestered you at some point to sign a petition or call your Senator about something. I’m also somewhat infamous for wandering around Lerner or sitting in the Piano Lounge all day, everyday. (I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the Mario theme song on that piano.)

Where are you going? Back to Ohio for the summer, Kyiv from September – June to do research through a Fulbright grant, maybe back to Ohio in 2012 to work on the US Presidential election then to the Peace Corps.

Three things you learned at Columbia:
1. The Barnard Political Science Department is absolutely amazing and has multiple professors who will change your life – especially Professor El-Ghobashy, Professor Marten, and Professor Pious.
2. Saying “pop” instead of “soda” might make people look at you funny, but they also call you “adorable.” Listening to country music, however, will always make people look at you funny.
3. Everyone is somehow connected to everyone else on this campus and by the time you’re a senior, you’re less than three degrees of separation from almost anyone you meet. It’s awesome and completely creepy at the same time.

“Back in my day…” …George W. Bush was still President and Barack Obama was a Senator from the Midwest who gave awesome speeches.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I give great pep talks, bake delicious cookies, and really love to cheer up people with both.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? I’ve been living in a dorm that is pretty far from campus so a lot of my “fun” is a bit out of Columbia’s reach. We’re in NYC, so it’s kind of hard for them to really win or even put up a real fight in the “War on Fun.” However, I will say that Columbia needs to relax a little bit because I can’t count how many times I’ve seen public safety question groups of people just hanging out on the steps at night. Chill out, Columbia.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? As many awkwardly hilarious questions as I get about my tongue ring and the former, I don’t think my soul could survive without mac n’ cheese.

Advice for the class of 2015: Don’t be afraid to take classes you’re passionate about just because they’re completely outside your major or to major in something that does not automatically segue into a career. Happiness is more important than building your résumé. Getting a bad grade on a paper or even in a class will not automatically kill your post-graduation job prospects. Taking a nap is never a bad thing nor is a midnight walk around campus or watching the sunrise from the bridge over Amsterdam. You will hear many “inspiring” speeches and meet a lot of “inspiring” people, but the most inspired you will ever be at Columbia is when you find something that makes you furious and you do something about it.

Any regrets? I wonder what college would have been like if I’d joined different student groups or taken different classes, but I don’t regret anything I’ve done here because I always tried to do what made me happy.

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  1. Anonymous  

    She talks about Columbia like she goes here......

  2. sophia

    i love you. this is amazing.

  3. Yeaaaaah  

    It's "pop"!

  4. Anonymous  

    i love kaley!!! ASB mullens 4ever

  5. Anonymous

    I love Kales! miss our 4am chats a ton.

  6. BC2012

    Kaley is so adorable! Classy way to answer the awkwardly hilarious question :) you are an inspiration but you forgot to mention your love of pearl necklaces!!!!

  7. Anonymous  

    Kaley, we are all so proud of you!

  8. So true

    "the most inspired you will ever be at Columbia is when you find something that makes you furious and you do something about it."

    That's how the ROTC movement happened. "ISO, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." They didn't listen and now we have ROTC.

  9. MB  

    We love you Kaley! Wise, strong, and beautiful you is forevs and evs.

  10. yeehaw

    i heard she likes asian guys.

  11. ohio love  

    represent, what what!


    4 LIFE! Love you Kales!

  13. Kaley's Awesome  

    Starship Hope rocks!

  14. BC  

    OP is commenting on the fact that she goes to Barnard but references Columbia as if she attends Columbia. Blah, blah Barnard's not Columbia blah, blah.

  15. marla  

    had class with her once she is all kinds of delightful and inspiring, A++ senior wisdom

  16. dueaa  

    kaley, i absolutely adore you. it's been a beautiful four years. you're amazing and i know you will do great things!

    • Anna  

      1) Word. From the days of Sulz-Reid 4, I've never failed to be impressed by your unflappable enthusiasm, work ethic, kindness, and direction, Kaley. Gurl, you is incredible! Congrats on everything!

      2) Senior Wisdom from Dueaa Elzin? Pretty please!

  17. Yulia Tymoshenko  

    Kaley! Congratulations on everything. It's been a pleasure to be friends with you here, and you had better put money on me visiting you in Ukraine this winter, but I'm going to miss my Slavic mentor and Democrats mom. Love you!

  18. Wow  

    This was a great Senior Wisdom. One of the best I've read. Congratulations Kaley!

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