Name, Hometown, School, Major: Margaret Kaminski, New York City, Barnard, Philosophy
Claim to Fame: Sister of Sigma Delta Tau, fundraiser emcee, and general loudmouth. I was briefly slandered on college ACB under the pseudonym “Morgit.” I threw a ragin’ 365 party at Cannons a few years back (which I’m sure somebody will explain in the comments). You may have seen me half-naked outside Butler, half-naked in ADP, or fully clothed by a pile of mac n’ cheese in Ferris.
Where are you going? It’s still up in the air, but I may be hitting the road with the Vans Warped Tour this summer before settling in at a children’s publishing house come September. After that I will probably stay in young adult media until I abandon the corporate lifestyle in favor of starting my own business and subsequent Bravo reality show based on my craft (I’m going to make it about puppies!!!!). Then I’m moving to Montana.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
What I thought I knew, I really didn’t know at all. My first year here I took a class called Contemporary Moral Problems where we talked about getting abortions and eating meat and watching porn and everything else fun. I walked in on the first day with a manifesto of sorts, ready to declare my allegiance to whatever side of the battle I had been raised to agree with. But then I did the readings (cough.), listened to the discussions, and took a second look at how I really felt about things. Some of my opinions stayed the same, and some of them changed entirely. The moral of this boring story is, it’s okay to change your mind sometimes.
The worst thing that could possibly happen really isn’t that bad. Don’t let fear – of any kind – stop you from trying something. Afraid you might fall on stage? Be the slowest person on the track in Dodge? Say something stupid in front of your hot TA in discussion section? Trust me, I’ve done worse. And so has probably every person there to witness your bloopers. What is youth about if not embarrassing yourself publicly day after day? Just don’t put it on the internet.
If it exists, you can probably get it for free. This is a life lesson, but is particularly relevant at Columbia. Do you guys know how expensive condoms are in the real world? I wouldn’t either, but I do know you can get them for free here! Stock up, because someday, you might be getting some. You can also get free lube, and therapy, and food on any night of the week. Mix and match as you please! Barnard even has a nutritionist on staff. Here, they want to give you things just because you’re a woman. That’s true in the real world too, but then you have to put out.
“Back in my day…” Manchester Diner was West Way Cafe, Absolute Bagels never had a line, Saga Sushi existed, everybody knew about and nobody talked about Vine’s shitty health code rating, Fortago’s delivered uptown, there was a rumor that Sig Ep was cool, there were only four “Columbia bars,” Bigga was unemployed, Ferris wasn’t unlimited, and what the fuck is the hive?
Justify your existence in 30 words or less: Level 80 frostfire troll mage in WoW, summit-ed Mt. Washington twice, accused of sexually harassing 80-year-old in high school. I have stories to tell.
Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The war is never over. Or maybe it never existed at all. I will say that Columbia puts up with a lot of public drunkenness, but I’d also say we’ve earned it. Keep fighting the good fight, young soldiers. And by that I mean keep making snow penises.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? When cheese is moldy, one need only cut off the moldy part to eat it. I’ll just let you sit on that.
Advice for the class of 2016: Plenty.
First semester, everybody wants to transfer. Don’t.
Barnard and Columbia don’t actually hate each other, or at least that was never my experience. Don’t let this past year convince you that this rivalry will define your time here. Some people, I’m sure, do think Barnard is populated by morons. But those people also have small penises. Bring it on, trolls.
Go abroad. Get your credits approved first, but go. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Go Greek. Whether you become president of your organization or a fringe member who only shows up to formal, you will have a much-needed support system behind you regardless. And you may even meet your best friends (… that’s as sappy as I get. Love you guys).
Don’t think you can live without air conditioning over the summer. “I’ll just get a fan! I can handle it! But I’m from the equator!” I don’t want to hear it. You will die.
Work on Fridays. I know three-day weekends sound amazing, and they are. But you’ve been given one full workday per week in New York City. Get. A. Job. Or join a club. Or take an extra class. Don’t just use Fridays as hangover days (though you can still be hungover while doing something else).
Don’t just sit in your room. I’m graduating on time, despite having seen every episode of Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Twice. But I’ve still been to comedy shows, dance performances, plays, concerts, restaurants, mixers, and birthday parties, and I’ve even just sat on the steps for hours at a time when the weather is nice enough. Don’t let your homework or your laziness get in the way of your college experience.
Don’t tell anyone this, but the best pizza in the world is on 102nd and Broadway. Sal and Carmines. They also have cans of Yoo-Hoo. Be respectful when you’re there. You’re in the presence of legends.
Any regrets? Never knowing what regret feels like. And not having more time to spend here with you all.