Senior Wisdom: Kaley Hanenkrat
Written by Bwog Staff
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.