Name, Hometown, School, Major: Hayley Peterson, East Bethel, MN, Barnard College, Film Studies

Claim to Fame? Former Drum Major of the Columbia University Marching Band, I’ve strutted around in a certain lion costume, and danced with Lebron James…sort of.

Where are you going? That remains to be seen. But definitely northern Minnesota for the 4th of July and Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wein Stadium at Baker Athletics Complex for the opening football game. And I’ll be hanging out in the city until June 29.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. “There’s no deadline for life.” President Spar shared that little gem with me. Everything falls into place at some point and stressing just makes me grumpy. It’s important to do the things that make you happy, surround yourself with people you love, and try new things all the time.
  2. Being friendly is worth the effort. And it’s free. I made friends with an EC security guard when I gave him a red carnation and now we always chat. All those people you met at NSOP can be awkward to encounter, but only if you let them. Campus is so much more fun when you talk to people all the time. Say hi to anyone and everyone you’ve ever met here. A little Minnesota-Nice goes a long way.
  3. The true meaning of G(tb)^2.

“Back in my day…” The subway cost two dollars.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: My existence is an awfully big adventure.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? I’m pretty sure the war will never end. Someone will always be unhappy at another person’s merriment. Maintain a sense of humor and a tiny bit of respect, and victory will be yours. Don’t let the man get you down, Columbia!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? My diet is 90% cheeseburgers, pizza and Twisters from Hamdel. I fear a world without cheese. And Hamdel.

Advice for the class of 2016:

  • Go to the activities fairs at the beginning of the year. Write your name on email lists, you can always unsubscribe later. And sign up for things you never thought you would. I joined the marching band sophomore year because, honestly, I just really wanted a rugby shirt. I ended up making some of the best friends I have ever had, developing a true love for Columbia athletics (seriously), and having a thoroughly amazing time. I also became a sister of Alpha Chi Omega, despite my reluctance to join greek life. That ended up being the best decision I could have made as a freshman. You can find your passions in very unexpected places. Forget inhibitions and throw yourself into whatever you do.
  • College is as much about being young and having a good time as it is about academics and responsibility. Don’t pass up the opportunity to see a performance, go to a game, or just hang out with friends because you have too much work. The work will get it done, it always does. Now is the time to make mistakes and to learn from them.
  • Write down the funny things your friends say on post-its. They make excellent wall decorations.

Any regrets? I try to look at everything in my life as a learning experience, that way I can’t regret anything. Sure, there are some moments I wish I could re-do, but in the end, those are the moments that become good stories. I DO regret not learning from the experience of not getting a SPEARS ticket. I didn’t get a senior ball ticket either.