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Senior Wisdom: Serena Piol

Serena Piol

The first Senior Wisdom of the day is Serena Piol, who wrote her thesis about milk despite being lactose-intolerant.

Name, Hometown, School: Serena Piol, New York City, Columbia College

Claim to fame? I would have to say either that I wrote my thesis about milk or that I successfully housed my dog in EC for a week.

Where are you going? For now, right back to the womb.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Don’t be afraid to quit.  College is too short to do something that makes you miserable.  No one is forcing you to do something for your entire four years.  Try it out. If you like it, continue.  If you don’t, at least you learned something (or didn’t) and you can move on.  This doesn’t just apply to clubs.  This applies to classes (it’s why we have a shopping period!) and people (meet lots but don’t waste your time on the ones that aren’t worth wasting time on).
  2. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.  Do FemSex. Go to Take Back the Night.  Take a dance class. Go to ROOTed discussions. Do things like the What I Be project.  Embrace your vulnerability because you will grow from it.
  3. Use the time between classes.  Don’t underestimate the fact that you could write a page or two of your CC paper during that random 50 minute break you have.  That’s a page or two you wont have to write later and 50 more minutes of sleep.

Back in my day… JJ’s had microblasts, internet trolls had I See You Columbia and College ACB, and Senior Night was only for Seniors.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I was potty trained by 1 and haven’t since done anything to trump that.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: @femsex: you have changed and shaped me more than you will ever know

@theM2Mveggieburger: I just can’t quit you.

@MikeRady: your smile lights up EC 20.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m lactose intolerant, yet I wrote my thesis on milk and I eat cheese multiple times a day.

One thing to do before graduating: Make a list of all the events at Columbia that you want to go to and go to them all at least once.  Go all out all the time so you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you would rather go to bed than go to Senior Night.  Don’t pass up an opportunity in hopes of something better coming along.  Get the core over with by the end of sophomore year and take a random class P/F every semester.

Any regrets? I wish I were graduating with just a concentration (you can do that!) and had not wasted so many classes on major requirements that were miserable.  I wish I had gone to a lot of Columbia events before this year so that I could have gone to them more than once.  I wish I had applied to live in the IRC.  I wish I had joined FemSex earlier so I could have done it again and again.  I wish I had had the guts to join a peer advocacy group like Nightline or The Rape Crisis Center.

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  • Sarah says:

    @Sarah Congratulations Serena! FemSex with you this past semester was the best experience that I have had in college so far, and you have inspired me to take a dance class next semester. I am so happy that I got to know you before you graduated :)

  • Serena! says:

    @Serena! I love you!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous plz tell me more about femsex so intrigued

    1. FemSex says:

      @FemSex FemSex is a peer-facilitated, semester-long discussion group at Columbia University, dedicated to the empowerment and fulfillment of the sexual self. FemSex aims to create an inclusive, safe, and diverse community that fosters the sexual growth of its participants by adopting an intersectional approach to examine the external and internal forces that control our sexuality, drawing primarily on the lived expertise of the participants and their individual potential for increased learning and understanding. This is where we talk about what makes us juicy, what makes us joyous, and what makes us rage.

      1. FemSex 2 says:

        @FemSex 2 And you can find next semester’s application at tinyurl [dot] com/femsexfall2013application

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous omg can i just say sweetest person ever?!

    luv you serens!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous …who?

  • Kj says:

    @Kj She was born with a silver spon and a gold plate – I won’t take her advice seriously….

    The 99%

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous @Kj:

      As a fellow member of “the 99%” i have many qualms with this statement, as you’re trying to paint her as some snobby entitled prick, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

      1. Kj says:

        @Kj No, I am not attacking Serena. Its just an observation, noting personal against her…She is a good person, but shielded from the struggles majority of us have to face.

        Destiny is the word…

  • MK says:

    @MK I’m not quite sure how I’ll function without you holding my day-to-day affairs together after next week.

    There’s no one quite like you…

  • ~ says:

    @~ this girl is the greatest

  • Simon says:

    @Simon Serena is DA BEST

  • Anonymous says:


  • aaron says:

    @aaron I was gonna write something really cheesy and cute in reply to this, but I’ll just co-sign Simon and MK and say “word.”

    Serena, congratulations. You’re a wonderful person and you’re gonna do big things.

    Oh and re: Kj, did you know there are 12-packs of haterade on sale RIGHT NOW at rite-aid? Yeah, you should get on that.

  • Myrsini says:

    @Myrsini To KJ: Have you even met her? Serena is one of the most kind-hearted, accepting, and interesting people on campus, and if that’s all you have to say you really must not have spent too much time with her. Additionally, if you’ve only met her in passing, you don’t really have a right to judge things like that, do you?

    Anyhoo. Miss Piol, thank you for making my time at Columbia extra wonderful. I am legitimately glad I met you and look forward to many more adventures with you.

    A-not-so-secret admirer

  • To all from KJ says:

    @To all from KJ Guys this is not a personal attack on Serena….she is a very good human being. Don’t distort my pov.

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