Senior Wisdom: Sara Schilling

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Get smart, children.

Name, School: Sara Schilling, CC

Claim to fame: I’ve been a part of COÖP, CAVA, and Youth for Debate and am an exceedingly fast-talker, but hopefully, it’s mostly for being friendly.

Where are you going? Home to a lake in northern Minnesota until August, then to Chile for a year to work and be very happy. After that, med school (I’d love to be a psychiatrist for Spanish-speaking patients) or full-time bohemian.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

1. No matter how dedicated or “good of a person” you are, it’s really not worth your time to be in a club you are not passionate about or in a relationship/friendship that stresses you out. Days here are long, but the years have flown by, so please please spend them being happy.
2. Everyone has a story—talk to people! If you smile and ask questions, you’ll learn a lot.
3. The pronunciation difference between bag and bagel (though sometimes it still gets me).

“Back in my day…” Frontiers of Science was called Frontiers—none of this FroSci business, and a metro ride was $2.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I once got a man who was hardly responsive to tell me his major and future plans. Also, I enjoy making a fool of myself in the name of icebreakers.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories?: A wise alumna told me to never say no to fun. I say that if you had fun, even if you don’t quite remember it all, you won, so keep having fun. Columbia will deal. The best times you have, however, are those you remember (and don’t end up at St. Luke’s for).

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese empanadas are the greatest.

Advice for the class of 2015: A few months ago, this Bwog posting on mental health issues in college generated a huge comment thread. At times, you may feel egregiously overwhelmed, out of place, or hopeless, but it is important to remember that (a) you are not alone in that sentiment and (b) just because others feel the same doesn’t make it okay or into some sort of competition. Don’t isolate yourself out of fear or shame. There are many resources in place to support you, and even just talking to a friend does wonders.

On an entirely different note: do COÖP, go to as many of your friends’ events and performances as possible, have frequent and spontaneous dance parties (FYI, “Club Can’t Handle Me” by Flo Rida is key), and run in Riverside and Central Park.

Any regrets? I wish I had done more to tackle the mental health culture issue on campus and that I went to more office hours to simply chat with professors. I also should have spent more time on The Steps. But, overall, it’s been wonderful.

Know someone wise? Submit your nominees’ UNIs and a few good tales to


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  1. Naina  

    YAY SARA!!!! By far the nicest person I have ever met in my entire life!

  2. Anonymous  

    "Back in my day…Frontiers of Science was called Frontiers—none of this FroSci business"

    yes, thank you!

  3. wooo

    COÖP has the best senior wisdomss

  4. Anonymous

    I can't believe all these people would give up oral sex for cheese.. There's no food item I would choose over sex. Unless it's bad sex. Is Columbia just bad at oral sex?

  5. Anonymous  

    Wait- did she give up oral or cheese then?
    ps: Columbia oral sex has rocked my life so far ;)

  6. Confused  

    but...cheese empanadas=oral sex, no?

  7. Wizard of Oz

    The real question is...

    Is she into Asian guys?

  8. Prickly Pear Enthusiast  

    SARA IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!

  9. sari

    yayyyy sara!!!!!!

  10. Mic  

    sara, i love you. you keep people sane. magazines and bagels fo lyfe.



  12. Anonymous  

    yfd icebreakers ftw

  13. Anonymous  


  14. Anonymous  

    yayyy sara!!

  15. yes!  

    smart, generous, kind, does a million things but always there for you. great sense of humor. all-around quality human being. LOVE YOU SARA

  16. Ab  

    As the wise Sara once said to a struggling friend, "The American Revolution was hard. But it was right." I LOVE YOU ALWAYS

  17. oh man  

    i wish i had been your friend! HUGS FROM A STRANGER-WISHING-YOU-THE-BEST

  18. Sara  

    is one of the more amazing people in the world. Freshies listen to her advice! it's good.

  19. Anonymous  

    Sooo....what's your major?

  20. Anonymous  

    te amo sara schilling. vos sos mi niña minesotana para siempre

  21. so honored  

    to have taken that picture (I think)!

  22. Anonymous


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