Apr

30

Senior Wisdom: Evan Welber

Written by

Evan Welber

Evan Welber

Our senior wisdoms will be running every night — and maybe even more often than that — for the next few weeks, so keep coming back to get your knowledge fix. Tonight: Evan Welber, mustached master.

Name, Hometown, School: Evan Welber, Coral Springs, FL, CC

Claim to fame? I still haven’t managed to raze memories of my mustached past.

Where are you going? In June, I’m leaving for New Delhi to complete a summer internship at the Centre for Civil Society, a public policy think-tank. In August, I’ll be moving to Dushanbe for an academic year to complete a fellowship at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan.

3 things you learned at Columbia:

  • 1. CHANGE YOUR MIND. Don’t continue with a major/club/commitment you don’t enjoy because you don’t want to have “wasted” the time you invested in those activities. In college, it’s easy to feel that the stakes are much higher than they actually are. Don’t feel hopeless because you think that everything that you’ve done in college (or haven’t) will define you for the rest of your life. It won’t. Interesting lives rarely follow a premeditated trajectory.
  • 2. GRAD SCHOOLS DON’T CARE. Unless you are pursuing a highly technical field like medicine or engineering, grad schools rarely care what you majored in or how many credits you took. They just want to see that you did well in those endeavors. They also don’t care that you went to Columbia. Just because you’re at Columbia doesn’t mean that your life is made for you. (Unless it already is.) Grad schools, employers, and fellowship committees will readily reject you for applicants from schools you may have somehow dismissed as below you if they have higher GPAs, more interesting professional experiences, and better recommendations than you do.
  • 3. FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t get lost in the race for prestige. Don’t compare yourself to those around you. Just because your path may not be as paved for you as some of your peers’ may be doesn’t mean it’s aimless. If you can’t find an internship that interests you, don’t blame lionshare or your advisors. Google searches and cold e-mails often take you much further.

“Back in my day….” Winters were finite, everyone was going to major in anthropology, and the IIliad was like gangster rap.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Trying to leave behind something more than a carbon footprint.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Yanyi Luo, thank you for always making time for me. Thank you for being so passionate about so many things and for being so devoted to what you do. Thank you for being a great friend.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? The week I spent in Paris thinking I was lactose intolerant was the worst week of my life.

One thing to do before graduating: Spend a whole day drinking on the steps with your friends in spring. Wine, warmth, music, food, conversation— these simple pleasures have been enjoyed long before the opening texts of Lit Hum.

Any regrets? I regret ever allowing myself to believe that busyness is a legitimate excuse for neglecting friendship or self-cultivation. We’re all so busy at Columbia. We all have work hanging over our heads all the time. And it’s likely that that will be the case for the rest of our lives. It’s up to us to decide when we will actually start living our lives instead of deferring real living for the future. We’re rarely so busy that we can’t spend a few nights a week exploring this city and the minds of those who inhabit it. If you can’t manage that as a busy Columbia student, you seriously need to cut down on your commitments.

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29 Comments

  1. Jason  

    really enjoyed living with you this year. see you in Tajikistan next year (maybe)!

  2. Anonymous  

    Evan's awesome! So lucky to have (through a series of random coincidences) gotten to know him while I've been here.

  3. Anonymous

    wish i could've met you, dude. good luck!

  4. Not the point, but No.2  

    Makes me really sad, though. What if I did challenge myself and don't have the highest GPA? Ugh. Life.

  5. ae mere bhagwan...  

    que lindo!

  6. Anonymous  

    Love you Evan. You're seriously one of the coolest people that I've met at Columbia and I'm sad that I won't randomly bump into you on campus next year.

  7. Anonymous  

    In other words, he meant #yolo

  8. CC '13

    "The Iliad is like gangster rap" love that you referenced that fellow senior!

  9. Anonymous  

    Evan, I loved the sweet and much-deserved words of admiration for Yanyi. She's a special one.

  10. CrazyInLove

    Not to be a creep but my eyes went straight to his bulge. Damn!

  11. Plantation, FL

    Your Yogurtland can suck it, Coral Springs.

  12. Anonymous

    Will you smell my finger?

  13. CC '14  

    I really disagree with #2. Take what you love, explore classes outside of your comfort zone, and if your GPA suffers, at least you'll have spent college actually learning, exploring and pursuing knowledge. Fuck graduate schools. And hey, who knows, maybe you'll even do well in quantum physics.

  14. rd  

    in love with evan and yanyi. also super wise advice. kkool thanks.

  15. Coral Springs, FL  

    Let's not pretend like either of us would be winners here, Plantation. Also, PS, your city is named Plantation. Just throwing that out there.

  16. yl  

    I am so proud for/of/to know you. everything else I'll say in person.

  17. Robin T.  

    I'll miss you Evan!

  18. JJ 10 alum  

    Mustache Man!
    (we always enjoyed hearing your flute music)

  19. senior  

    I used to call him 'Pringle' before I knew his name.
    Evan, you're awesome.

  20. anonymouse  

    Really glad that I got to know Evan through mutual acquaintances and bumping into him in random places. Though I wish I knew him better, got to spend more time with him... the times we shared were wonderful. I really admire his sense of excitement and openness towards new people and new ideas, that bubbly personality of his. Hope that our paths cross again in the future, and best of luck to you, Evan!! Hope it's a crazy awesome future ahead of you :)
    <3

  21. Tareq Abuissa

    Evan is the best man I know! I'm so thankful we exploded into an awesome friendship when I unpremeditatedly visited him in Paris this summer. <3

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