Name, Hometown, School, Major: Stephanie Jurburg, Montevideo, Uruguay, Environmental Biology

Claim to fame: Hanging out like it’s a sport. Also I once 911-ed myself

Where are you going? To the Netherlands, to study soil ecology.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

Aside from academics, which vary greatly between majors,

  1. New York moves at a completely different pace. This just seems to be the way it is. While I haven’t gotten the conversion quite right yet, I’d say that 15 minutes of recreation here are equivalent to about an hour in most other places. It is important to cherish 15 minutes of coffee or office hours as if they were a full hour.
  2. I was raised on the premise that “Different people are good at different things”. The Columbia population is an extreme example of this. It’s great sometimes, but it has the potential to make you feel tiny. If you are here, though, chances are you are very good at something too, but this is easy to forget.
  3. New York City has a surprising amount of public parks, and many of them are beautifully designed. I did not appreciate public spaces before coming to New York. Columbia’s campus is particularly beautiful, especially in the Spring.

“Back in my day…” I had to budget 15 minutes (a full NY hour!) to get to Milbank, Owning a radio was less preposterous than it is today (although it was still pretty strange), and the lack of widespread smartphones meant you could actually get lost in the city…

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I am pretty pleased with my current situation, I think that’s good enough.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? Enforcing the rules/laws is the job of Public Safety Officers. Sadly, rules/laws tend to be terribly outdated, but enforcers are simply doing what their job requires, and in many cases they are very accommodating. Is it a war? Is it a slow and bureaucratic process? Does it matter? Below, 3 illustrative cases.

I’ve been to a party which had been carefully planned for weeks in advance but was busted at 11 pm on a Friday, before it even started. That was not fair.

On the other hand, I participated in a pretty impressive Labor Day barbecue on Riverside Park which never got busted. That was a lovely time.

Most importantly, turning 21 blurs the lines. This year’s Passover Seder tally: 16 people, 20 liters of wine, 0 broken rules.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I would give up oral sex, easy. The cheese variety out there is simply unrivaled, and eating bread and cheese by the river will never be frowned upon. Can’t say that about the alternative.

Advice for the class of 2016:

  • If you can, get a part-time job. Full-time jobs are bound to affect your performance in school or at least stress you out, but part-time jobs can help you keep your priorities in check.
  • Keep your priorities in check: if you aren’t eating or sleeping to study, then you are effectively neglecting your body in favor of a higher grade. This may make sense sometimes, but not always. Respect yourself!
  • If you can, get a bike. It will pay for itself in saved Metrocards, you will get to see parts of the city you wouldn’t otherwise, and in time your sense of direction is bound to improve.
  • Statistics say you will never live as close to all of your college friends as during college. Take advantage!

Any regrets? I never did get to see Hair or the Rockefeller Center’s tree-lighting ceremony. Other than that, it’s been a great run.