In tonight’s bit of the Autumn issue of The Blue & White, Karen Brill gives us a glimpse into how the fictional stars of CW’s epic drama Gossip Girl feel about their fictional time at fictional Columbia.
Hello, Upper West Siders. Columbia students are known for their ambition and talents, but it takes a certain breed of Manhattan’s elite to earn a Columbia degree without attending a single class. As Gossip Girl winds down after 113 triumphant episodes and trades the Upper East Side for CW heaven, it’s time to part ways with the alternate-universe Columbians and model New Yorkers made famous by the show. To commemorate the end of an era, imaginary students Serena van der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf, and Nate Archibald reflect on their time here.*
Housing: Van der Woodsen, Waldorf, and Archibald are among the slim five percent of students who spend any of their four years at Columbia living off-campus, and Archibald and Van der Woodsen represent an especially elusive zero percent who didn’t live in University housing as freshmen. All find the commute from the Upper East Side unproblematic, because, duh, chauffeurs.
Academics: Despite showing up to fewer classes per week than a DG sister with an antibiotic-resistant UTI, Waldorf and van der Woodsen still had some bones to pick. “I don’t want to use the word ‘bribery,’ but let’s just say either way professors don’t like it. Which is unfortunate, considering certain sartorial decisions made by the Women’s Studies department,” sniffed Waldorf.
Extracurriculars: While none of the interviewees have been spotted in Morningside since 2010 and each declined to comment on their student status, the late 2000s witnessed a period of extraordinary campus engagement for the group: Van der Woodsen felt she was a shoe-in for Hamilton House, Columbia’s premier secret society, but was later denied admission. “It’s fine, I joined St. A’s instead,” she shrugged. “Oops! That’s off the record.”
Employment Prospects: Those worried about the practicality of a liberal arts education can take solace: Archibald has already acquired a full-time job. He scored a post as editor-in-chief of the poignantly named New York Spectator (formerly the Pinkberry Today). He says these opportunities exist for any Columbia student. “This is obviously a result of our exposure to the Core and is unrelated to our social status or fictional nature. Also, the study drugs up here are great.”
*Representatives of the “real” Columbia University declined to comment on this story.