Name, Hometown, School, Major: Lila Neiswanger, Portland (Oregon), Columbia College, Drama and Theater Arts.
Claim to Fame? I’ve designed and teched something like a zillion on-campus productions, I was News Photo Editor for the Spec, I was on the NSOP Committee, I’m working on this year’s Senior Week, I do graphic design for a lot of student groups, and I change my hair color every two weeks or so, maybe you’ve seen it.
Where are you going? Sydney, Australia, for about a year, and then (hopefully) grad school back in the USA.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
Food always tastes better when it’s free.
It’s totally possible to have an excellent time doing almost anything if you’re doing it with people you like. Even homework. Even manual labor. Even waking up early.
The stairs in the back hallways of Lerner Hall are so, so much faster than the ramps or the elevators. Find them. Use them.
“Back in my day…” Some people actually used their ROLM phones and Ferris Booth served better food.
Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I’m like a craft supplies boy scout: always prepared. I walk a little too fast. Sometimes I wear winter hats even when it’s warm out.
Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? I’m not sure I’d say there ever was a War on Fun. At any institution, there are going to be rules about what you can and cannot do. Having worked with the side that establishes these rules, I understand why a lot of them exist. This doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to have a good time. And it doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of ways to get around the rules.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Oral sex might be awesome fucking, but cheese is fucking awesome.
Advice for the class of 2016:
Get involved. There are so many exciting and interesting things to do on campus that you maybe didn’t know even existed. It’s totally cool to just go to a new club one day because you feel like it. In fact, the club members will probably be glad you did.
Conversely, you can’t do everything all the time, as much as you would like to. Sometimes, you have to learn to say “no” to things. Not “maybe”, not “we’ll see”, but “no.” The occasional missed opportunity will be more than made up for by the sleep you get and the free time you have.
Get off campus. See interesting theater, eat new foods, go for walks in the park.
Studying abroad is definitely worth it. I know some people worry they’ll miss out if they go away for a semester, but you’ll see so many new things, meet new people, have interesting and exciting experiences, and you’ll realize which things are most important to you at Columbia because they’re the things you actually miss while you’re away.
Play in the snow.
Board game night is a fun thing.
It might take a while, but eventually you’ll find the perfect niche at Columbia.
Any regrets? I regret that I never spent an afternoon sunning on Low Steps. I regret never joining a pub trivia team. I regret that I didn’t join KCST earlier.