Name, Hometown, School, Major: Duygu Yilmaz, The Hague, the Netherlands, Political Science

Claim to Fame? Secretary-General of CMUNNY, the-one-who-never-reached-5-feet, “she seems so cute and innocent, but she’s so feisty”

Where are you going? I’m going back to the country of wooden shoes, weed and politicians with ridiculous hair: the Netherlands. I will be working for the Labor Party in Amsterdam, which should be very interesting and hopefully a lot of fun.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. The amount of time people spend on Facebook is directly proportional to the amount of work they should be getting done
  2. There are two types of people at this school: those who say they don’t like the food in John Jay, and dirty f@%ing liars.
  3. People from all walks of life and with completely different interests can still become some of your best friends, as long as you keep an open mind and put some effort into getting to know people.

“Back in my day…” Oren’s was the only hipster coffee shop around campus, classrooms were all within a reasonable distance from dorms (Why, Knox, why??), and James Franco sightings in Butler would regularly blow up my Facebook newsfeed.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I was born weighing 1.5 pounds and the doctors initially advised my parents against naming me and getting attached. However, I still survived and I’d like to think there is a reason for that.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? When one of my friends tried to upload the pictures of the 2010 CIRCA Christmas party, Facebook wouldn’t let her due to their indecency rules. A text she sent about that party landed on “Texts From Last Night” and made it to the best of the 404 (Atlanta, Georgia). That was a seriously awesome party.

That said, some of my best memories were made during walks through the Upper West Side or Central Park and random trips to Magnolia at 11:00 PM or Arab dinners in Queens. And there is nothing an RA could have done to prevent those.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I have thought long and hard about this question, but now, at the climax of my exertion, I have come to the conclusion that no answer will leave me completely satisfied. Therefore, rather than spitting out a supposedly ballsy answer, I prefer to swallow my words at this time.

Advice for the class of 2016: “Listen, when you get home tonight you’re going to be confronted by the instinct to drink alone. Trust that instinct. Manage the pain. Don’t try to be a hero.” Toby Ziegler

Now, I’m not necessarily saying that you should all become alcoholics. However, you do need to realize that Columbia is a very demanding school and that it is okay to let yourself go when you need to.

Find your coping mechanism, cherish it and employ it frequently. Whether that mechanism be drinking, talking to your friends, or taking a jog, you should never feel bad about doing what makes you feel human and helps you to stay sane.

Too often, this school forces us to pretend to be robots. However, we are not machines and should not pretend to be anything but the wonderfully flawed human beings that we are.

Any regrets? Nothing major. I had a great time at Columbia and I don’t think I would do anything differently if I could. Even though I sometimes wish I’d studied Law at the University of Amsterdam , I know that I would not have been challenged and I would not have improved as much as I did at Columbia. Nothing that is worth doing is ever easy and I definitely think Columbia was worth the effort.

All in all, I would rate my time at Columbia a 5/5 stars- would accept the challenge to stumble, tumble and land on my feet again.