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Senior Wisdom: Ganiatu Afolabi

Name, Hometown, School
Ganiatu Denise Afolabi, Pawtucket (Yes, the Pawtucket of Family Guy’s Pawtucket Brewery) RI, CC (African American Studies and Political Science)

Claim to Fame?

To my friends: Finishing my credit requirements last semester when no one actually has ever witnessed me sit down and do work.

To others: Either being the President of the Black Students Organization, Women’s History Month Co-Chair, Mistress of Ceremonies of Passport To Columbia (thanks Jasmine Senior!) or, that (mostly) friendly face at the Poli-Sci desk in SIPA.

Where are you going?
Back to high school! I’ll be a Special Education teacher in Chicago (thanks TFA). (I feel like the Columbia to Chicago trajectory leads to big things…real big thangz,)

Three things you learned at Columbia?
1. Working long does not necessarily mean working hard. Getting your work done quickly and thoroughly can actually lead to a stress free existence on Columbia’s campus.

2. Google Books and Amazon Look Inside saves collegiate lives, and money. Granted chunks are oft missing, but we’re college students…we can use context clues.

3. If one is going to fake talking on the phone to avoid conversations with people you kind-of-know (like, for example, walking down College Walk or Lerner ramps), one should put their phone on silent.

“Back in my day…”
50 Cent was the reigning King, and urban dictionary was FAR LESS sophisticated.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less:
I have mastered the art of the one person dance party and spent copious amounts of times reading quotes online. I’m not a real person.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories?
The War on Fun exists for those that are determined to follow the rules. Therefore, I, personally, have won. I’ve signed in more than five people! (Scandalous!). I’ve been in Lerner AFTER it closed! (Juicy!). And I’ve done headstands on the lawn when the red flag was up!! I’M A REBEL!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?
Cheese is the most precious culinary treat one could ask for, a gift from a goddess, really…Anywho, goodbye cheese.

Advice for the class of 2016?
1) A quote I read freshman year pretty much sums it up: “I’ve learned one thing, and that’s to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” – Tom Petty
2) Oh yeah, surround yourself with people who impress you. My friends are some of the smartest people I know. They’re just bomb, and therefore, I am bomb by association.
3) Oh, and don’t take yourself so seriously. But really!

Any regrets?
So, I have a quote for this:
“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.” –Oscar Wilde
And another:
“For all sad words of tongue and pen,the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” – John Greenleaf Whittier
So, to answer the question, I wish I experienced a little more outside of my comfort zone. But, I guess that’s what my next (approximately) 61 years are for.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous i love you so much, Ganiatu. you are my wonderful life source and I wouldn’t be here without you.

  • Never met you says:

    @Never met you But I wish I had, you seem like a great and fun person

  • Evan says:

    @Evan I have an unbelievable amount of love for this person. Never met anyone quite like you, Gani.

  • B says:

    @B Gani was the first person I met at Columbia and I remember calling my mom and telling her how nice people were here, especially the girl at the front desk for days on campus/perspectives on diversity. She even kept in touch with me when I was a pre frosh on Facebook and just made me feel right at home. Gani is the sweetest girl I’ve beset at Columbia and is such a wonderful person..she deserves every good thing that comes her way. Congrats on graduating!!!

  • MB says:

    @MB Love this woman. One of the best people I’ve met at Columbia – or ever.

  • please says:

    @please tag this post Bwog

  • do i even have to say it? says:

    @do i even have to say it?

  • caroline park kim yours truly says:

    @caroline park kim yours truly GANIATU YOU ARE THE BEST LUH U

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous googlebooks+amazonlook saved me SOOO many times….sad how the combination can beat columbia library system when it doesnt have the randomest books. ebrary needs to have more stuff in it, thats all i can say. great tip.

  • to my sec’ of the soulja boy dance says:

    @to my sec’ of the soulja boy dance Couple years after I’ve gotten my last Gani hug, but still you’ve had an enormous impact on me. You’re just awesome, and wow, those kids aren’t going to know what hit them. There are very few people that are as genuine as you are, as open as you are, as you as you are.

    I love and miss you.

  • Jareline says:

    @Jareline you are phenomenal. Thank you.

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