For the second Senior Wisdom of the day we present Meriam Raouf, who takes “30 words or fewer” literally and “one thing to do” less so.
Name, Hometown, School: Meriam Raouf – Flakes, New Jersey – CC
Claim to fame? I half-heartedly interned for KCR like 1 semester a year, and never took the test, so there’s that. I think I got nominated because I may or may not have pooped in the pool during my swim test. I lived in the Writer’s House in Harmony, I usually have tequila with me at Quarto readings.
Where are you going? You’re not the boss of me.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- The only thing dumber than wearing a bikini on campus on a brisk day in May, is discussing it. In fact, the only thing dumber than doing any dumb thing, is discussing it. It’s like you didn’t even see Mean Girls.
- If food, mice. Every damn time.
- If you make a joke, and it is too much for your friends, and this happens a lot, and you feel weird about it, make new friends, not new jokes. Your second joke will be worse and your second friend will be better.
Back in my day… Well first of all, John Jay had Hogwarts lighting. The turnstile at Lerner was fucked up so that if you swiped your ID without paying attention to the click, it would clothesline you right in the crotch. It was funny to watch people do–I’m pretty sad they fixed that. 1020 didn’t dare have a LINE, let alone a ROPE for that line, the nerve. The artist formally known as Campo was just Campo, a place where freshmen could get drunk in the morning, and a half-decent second base at night. Women were not allowed to go to Columbia, Four-Loko was not Three-Loko, and not a single igloo was left un-hotboxed.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer:
Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Where’s that guy with the squirrels? Why’s he not around as much?
And Crack Del, may your return to underage business be plentiful with 40’s.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? If you have to ask, you’re doing it wrong.
One thing to do before graduating: Sorry this is so long. Read it though and then you can avoid having fun and drinking with your friends.
- Lose that virginity. Not so much because you need to have sex to fit in, because, let’s be honest, there’s a ton of abstinence being practiced on this campus. But because that mission will probably take you below 110th street or just more into 116th. Either get involved off campus or get involved on campus. Netflix, Reddit, imgur, all those bastards, can eat up a semester, and then a year. And you’ll wish you’d only watched Parks and Rec all the way through one time, and done something instead. I think I often thought of Columbia as being kind of 4 years, but that I could negotiate them into being longer. But no, they are 4 years, and then you and all your friends are moving to Brooklyn probably.
- Columbia is like one big speech, only instead of picturing everyone naked, imagine everyone is a HUGE Vampire Diaries fan. Everyone, even the ones who seem very cool, had to be nerdy enough to get here. Just because they ran through Top Shop and had a metrocard before everyone else, doesn’t mean they’re not the same as you, looking for their place to stand in this beautiful dance called life. But really, they probably wanna be your friend. You’re cool.
- Don’t pretend to like or dislike anyone or anything. That’s really all there is to that one. Don’t make fun of musicians you like, and don’t buy posters for anything you don’t.
- Count your blessings, you idiot. When you think, damn, I wish I went to Wesleyan, they look like they did some DRUUUGS. Or, Bacchanal is lame, why don’t we have Slope Day? Just remember, those motherfuckers are 22 when they first get to New York, to work their FIRST unpaid internship. Like anyone does at any good place, they will look at Columbia and want.
- Your major is like what you ordered at a restaurant that one time. It seemed really important, you thought about it for a long time, but no one else remembers or cares what you got. It matters more what classes you take. I honestly wish I’d majored less, and explored more. If I could do it again, I might have gotten a small concentration, and just gone bananas with pass/failing weird classes. Unless you’re pre-med. Then I have no advice for you, except excel and go become walking miracle people.
- Study abroad probably. For me, it was the best thing I did at Columbia. If your only reason for not going is missing out on campus, go. It’ll be here when you get back and likely while you’re gone you’ll be part of Little Columbia. You’ll date a Frenchman, get fat, and be back here in a few months, a totally different person.
- Public safety will not chase you. And they will not call the cops for 40’s on 40. Do not leave. Climb Alma. Really, just climb as many things as you can.
- Don’t say anything on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or Snapchat that you wouldn’t say to a room full of your employers, family, friends, and Deantini. Please employ me. I’m not racist and I wear pretty dresses.
- If you put your iPhone in the sink and play music while you shower, it will act like a speaker. Do not, however, accidentally wash your iPhone. Sorry Mom.
- Things that seemed to matter but don’t: EC air conditioning, the swim test, whatever the fuck you THINK you sent to Printcu, parties in Wallach, Furnald or Hartley, what you think about Barnard girls, how your sorority feels about another sorority, anything dramatic that occurs first semester freshman year, the smoke detectors in Nussbaum, and the consequences for lounge ragers, roof-climbing, tunnel-sploring, and throwing small fruits out your John Jay window.
Any regrets? Mistakes, yes, but regrets, no. Lookin at you, guy from that one time. Regrets are for people that “seen things.”