Senior Wisdom: Justin Chow

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Next, we hear from a “SEASoned character.”

Name, school: Justin Chow, SEAS

Claim to fame: 8 time Orgo-nighter, 4 years in a row Homecoming baby blue pigmented crowd pleaser (shout out to my stalwart crew the Columbs!), Kung Fu Fighter/stunter, that guy who periodically looks like he’s dressed up for war.

Where are you going? Embracing my Manifest Destiny and heading to the West Coast aka. SoCal. Living the graduate life researching these fancy things called Fuel Cells.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

1. Dropped calls can be 100% avoided via the ROLM phone. Also, they are very effective tools for wake-up calling Freshpeople.

2. Tupperware can be a college student’s best friend. I shamelessly carry them around and the rewards are bountiful. Use certified ones or glass containers if possible though— take-out containers are prone to producing a strange putrid smell over many cycles. Suspiciously carcinogenic.

3. Next time you decide to meet up with that perennially late friend tell them to do so 30 minutes earlier. They will be on time.

“Back in my day…” The weather wasn’t so fickle and Jeffrey Sachs and causes like eliminating world poverty were more newsworthy than disparaging GS vets at town halls. Also, SEAS was in the dark ages but then Dean Peña-Mora came. And it was good.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: White Ninja

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? Having been on both sides of the struggle, I am under the impression that this supposed “war” is just a sensationalized farce perpetuated by a select few vigilantes. But that’s just my opinion. Besides, there’s more to college than substance consumption or abuse. While on one side of the DMZ, my friends and I were able to do outrageously fun things like erect a yellow submarine in Schapiro for one of our landmark collegiate get-togethers or go to Central Park to set up camp, light backpacking stoves and hitch tents for the heck of it. Or, take over a lecture hall and watch a movie. Escaping to Brooklyn’s warehouse parties has been fun too. From the Man’s perspective, however, next time you’re out and about just translate the reslife saying of being “smart, safe, and responsible” as just another way of saying Don’t Be a Dumb F@!k and everything will be just fine. See, being CAVAd may sound like a great feat but it’s actually not.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Humans are hedonists by nature. Any seniors who have said oral sex are lying.

Advice for the class of 2015: Next time you eye that cup of coffee, try an orange instead. Citrus fruits are not only immune system boosters, but can also work wonders at keeping you awake. Wanda’s ‘Action Station’ at Hewitt beats Wilma’s Grill at JJ’s anytime, but when it comes to brunch, Wilma’s omelets win hands down. Speaking of food, learn how to cook. Your Morningside dining selection is only so small and it will make your life infinitely more enjoyable. It’s also muy popularo with the ladies. Either that or befriend the floor chef. When the libraries on campus are out of your book, make use of Borrow Direct. Sledding on a tray (there ARE still methods of procuring these) is phenomenal at the south most end of Morningside Park where there exists a killer hill. Sample as many clubs as you can in your first year and experience the plethora of awesomeness that Columbia boasts- your best friends can be met this way. In the same vein, try new, out of your comfort bubble things! I was like the only man in Orchesis one year and it was glorious. I also tried out for three plays in my time here and was rejected from all of them. Still fun. Go to the Upright Citizens Brigade on a weekend for their dirt cheap or even free shows for great laughs. Lastly, and my personal favorite, when you pass someone you know, greet them. The simple act of saying hi can make or break bonds.

Any regrets? I’d still like to know what g(tb)^2 stands for and make Donkey Kong come to life on the Lerner ramps.

Thanks to all who’ve made my time here at Columbia so worth it! Keep in touch. And to all those I still have the pleasure to meet, let’s establish this touch so we can keep it. In the spirit of the Fellowship of the Meatshtick, J.

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  1. THANK YOU!  

    "Humans are hedonists by nature. Any seniors who have said oral sex are lying."

    Right on Justin! A logical Hobbesian response!

    • re: hedonism  

      eating cheese is often more pleasurable than getting head. in fact, the latter can be unbearably boring, and, at worst, downright painful. sad truth.

      -- a girl

      • Anonymous  

        jesus. let me tell you i have NEVER had bad head and if it was headed in that direction, just get bossy!

      • Anonymous  

        That's so sad.

        And it shouldn't hurt. That random giant on the basketball team went down on me once and bit me. On purpose. After a quick "Don't EVER bite the kitty" lecture he stopped. Anyone can be trained.

    • Diogenes meets success!  

      Or, at last, an honest man.

      I've often wanted to line up all the male seniors who say that wouldn't give up cheese, put them in a room with an imminent blowjob and a slice of pizza, and see which they reach for.

      Dogs be lyin'.

  2. Sounds  

    like a decent guy.

  3. Van Owen

    About God damn time...a real fucking person. Good luck Justin and may the force be with you.

    • Anonymous  

      Agreed, Van Owen--this guy sounds really great and his comments are probably the most original I've read yet

      • Van Owen

        Perception is a fickle thing, because many of those who have been interviewed do wish to be perceived in a certain way, but often this "creation" is inauthentic. Columbia has taught me to be suspicious of those who are disingenuous (or maybe I've always been an asshole?), but I do think Justin's interview shows him to be authentic. Granted, a short survey doesn't capture the essence of one's true self (whatever that means?), but it certainly provides us voyeurs with an opportunity to either relate to or abhor the interviewee's personality. Maybe those other folks should take a lesson from Justin and just drop their pretentious shtick. I am a grumpy fuck, as well as an asshole; furthermore, I don't give two shits about telling someone to drop their pretentiousness.

        • Anonymous

          worst commenter since Harmony Hunter

          • Van Owen

            Yes! Right on! If that is your honest opinion. You have that right, and you also have the right to go fuck yourself. That's just my opinion. You, fuckface, and your father can go eat a grilled cheese sandwich because I'm going to play 69 with your mother. Oh, I'll let her know you send your regards, and clean up your God damn room you filthy animal.

          • Van Owen

            69 means that we are going to give each other oral pleasure, simultaneously. I just thought that you'd like to know (this ought to save you, and google, some time).

  4. cc11  

    I had the great opportunity to meet and spend some time with Justin freshman year, and, even though we don't run in the same circles, he still remembers my name and always says hi or stops to talk for a while when we encounter each other.
    I regret not actually becoming real friends with Justin because he's seriously one of the nicest/most interesting people ever.

    Side note: I totally agree with his regrets!

  5. hold up  

    Wait he WRITES white ninja?? Because if so he is my idol.

  6. BC '11  

    Another dope senior I want to be friends with.

  7. McBain 2009-2010

    I wasn't even his resident and he would always give a head nod and ask what's up. I don't think I've gotten that from my own RA. Quality dude.

  8. CC'13

    such a great guy!! sad i only got to know him a little. all the best, justin!!!


    Good times, man. You've infused my years at Columbia with an extra manly dose of testosterone. ;)

  10. Ashley  


  11. Anonymous  

    Agree with all of the above comments. Met him in freshman year, haven't talked much since then, and he still remembers my name and waves. His advice for CC'15 is spot on.

  12. Annie

    I'm gonna miss you, Justin!! I wish we hung out more, but I think I got a good chunk of Chow in my life before leaving. =)

  13. Mentor

    Great job Justin! I'm so proud of you ^_^
    <3, R

  14. Mikey  

    Justin, the positive comments are all true and just reinforce the point I want to make: that you're an awesome dude. Even though we never hang out, you do exactly as you advise, you say hi and wave EVERY time I see you. Thank you for giving our campus a happier atmosphere. Also, thanks for standing up and being honest about cheese. High five!

  15. Anonymous  

    Justin is the one of the nicest, most genuine guys at Columbia! He never fails to say hi...I'll miss his friendly hellos.

  16. Borrow Direct  

    is my shit!!

  17. Anonymous  

    Not to be nitpicky, but it is Jeffrey Sachs. Nice senior wisdom though!

  18. so true

    "3. Next time you decide to meet up with that perennially late friend tell them to do so 30 minutes earlier. They will be on time." I figured this out this year, and it is invaluable!!

  19. fan  

    Run a Chow test on this guy and you'll have no choice but to reject the null hypothesis that he's lame!

  20. Anonymous  

    One of THE nicest and friendliest people on this campus. Cannot say anything bad about this guy ^.^

  21. Anonymous  

    sounds like he loves to follow the rules. yay.

  22. Aaand  

    that makes 4 Harvard Westlake senior wisdoms

  23. Justin  

    He does say hi to everyone he's ever met! And it always makes my day!! Thanks, Justin. You will be missed.

  24. Anonymous  

    I met this guy when i was really drunk so I always recognized him but could never place him and it is a little unnerving when he still says hi to me.

  25. anonbro  

    biggest dbag of an RA last year in mcbain. he WAS the war on fun.

  26. Anonymous  

    JChow, what a sincere and amazing guy! And a total hunk too!!! Look out California girls ;)

  27. RS  

    honored to have my furry vest in the second Senior Wisdom photo already! good times, jingo.

  28. I'm just curious  

    Justin Chow, Ian Kwok, and Brendan Cline, who are all featured in Senior Wisdom, are all close friends. They're all great people and deserve to be profiled, but I just find it strange that there isn't more social diversity in the selection process. What's up with that, Bwog?

    • Anonymous  

      exactly. nearly everyone featured in senior wisdom is affiliated with "official" columbia in some capacity (RA, student gov, president of X, etc)... which is cool but diversity would definitely be appreciated

  29. re: citrus

    for all you hedonists, citrus fruits make you taste better. so if you wanna keep getting it, keep downing those citrus fruits, pineapple, oranges, melons too!

    justin you know who i am. but i will never tell you that i wrote this!

  30. Anonymous  

    coolest kid i know. but then again, i don't know that many. only wish i knew him sooner

  31. Acquaintance of Justin

    really nice guy. I met him randomly and forever after that he ALWAYS said hi/what's up/whatever. Wish more Columbians were like that

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