Bwog recently overheard a freshman wondering why two strangers were debating oral sex vs cheese. This can only mean one thing—it’s Senior Wisdom time. Every year, before the seniors head out into the big bad world, we invite them to reminisce. Leading the pack is Nina Pedrad—full disclosure: she’s a  frequent fiction contributor to The Blue and White.

Name, School: Nina Pedrad, CC

Claim to fame: A computerized high school career assessment test determined that my ideal career is “Indian Chief.”  This highlights two problems: 1) funding for California public schools and 2) the growth of roboracism in our society.

Where are you going? Gonna be writing in L.A. for the summer, then will be back in New York this fall to work a string of unsatisfying part time jobs until I make it big. Parents, don’t all vie for me to date your eligible sons at once.

Three things you learned at Columbia:
1. Westside market delivers for free.  I just learned this.  I’m freaking out about it.  Don’t ever rip up your doll hands by hauling four double-bagged bags up Broadway again!
2. Spending a good amount of time off campus senior year has made me less afraid of post-grad life, but for the last two months just stay on campus and say yes to everything. Nina, come to my ROOTEd meeting? Okay!  Nina, ditch your paper and come to the Heights? Okay!  Nina, your paper is late.  (“Okay” didn’t work here—neither did saying “yes it is!” then going in for a fist bump, but I don’t regret doing it)
3. Two cups of water after a night out.  Not one, two.  Don’t try to be a hero on this one.

“Back in my day…” Pre-meal plan Ferris served these great burritos on Mondays.  That was the best thing about Mondays!  Now the best thing about Mondays is nothing.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Politics used to be my love and comedy used to be my strumpet.  But ideally I’d like to be in a polygamous relationship with both.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? Public Safety tried to shut down Fruit Paunch’s 24-hour show last year.  An improv show.  Because everyone knows there’s nothing more dangerous than a bunch of comedy nerds carefully listening and reacting to each other for an audience of supportive friends. But in the end we won that battle, so that was cool.

You know what battle I didn’t win? The War on Fun waged by the Catholic League.  After writing XMAS 4: Shalom Alone, this happened. Apparently we were “sissies” for not making fun of Ramadan.

I think the takeaway here is there will always be dark forces plotting the destruction of fun.  You just gotta rise up, get on your broomstick, and fight the good fight.  Which is why John Goodwin, my writing partner on XMAS, will forever be a hero of mine for his hilarious email response to the Catholic League.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese.*

*Hello current/future family members and employers!  If you’re reading this it must mean Google still exists in the future.  That’s great!  I guess the first thing I should say is “Congrats!”  You’ve found what we in 2011 called a “skeleton in [my] closet.”  Alotofpeoplehadthem. I like cheese, don’t get me wrong, but there isn’t much of it in Persian cooking so it wasn’t really a part of my diet.  And hence, with a mind towards the health of both my marriage and my cholesterol, I offer you the logic behind my response. And I’m okay with it. Right?  Sure.

Advice for the class of 2015: Find a couple things you love here, and get into them.  I came from the “do every activity imaginable in high school so you can get into a good college” school of thought.  And I wore sweatpants for most of high school.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with sweatpants, but I wasn’t pregnant or training to fight Apollo Creed.  My point is, you can calm down a bit because… you’ve done it!  You’ve gotten into a good college.  So do a few things you love and relax.

Oscar Wilde said “life is too important to be taken seriously” and sister knows her business.  No assignment should throw you into a massive panic attack, no weird look at a party should ruin your night.  I don’t know if these will best the best four (or five, or six) years of your life because that will mean you peaked in college, but they can be a damn fun four years.

And get to know people, because there are some pretty cool ones here. On your freshman floor you probably have a kid who can build a rocket ship, belt all of “Defying Gravity,” and make fart noises with six different body parts.  If the same kid can do all three, then you need to become that kid’s manager and exploit him.

Any regrets?
One time not too long ago I walked into my dorm late at night and two drunk kids were berating a security guard for “not being happy enough.”  And that just made me really sad, because people don’t have a right to treat other people like that.  Especially not at four in the morning.  I regret not using my elementary school tae kwon do to punch them in the face words as my weapons.

Also, I regret not becoming an Indian Chief.

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