Senior Wisdom: Pazia Miller
Written by Bwog Staff
Welcome back to another round of our short December Senior Wisdoms, shouting out to those midyear graduates. Here we have Pazia Miller—we can’t believe her life, either.
Name, Hometown, School: Pazia Shayne Miller (Pronounced Asia with a P at the front), raised in Baltimore and transplanted to White Plains, New York (REPRESENT). Barnard College always.
Claim to fame? Outspoken feminist-type and listener, gender studies major/former slam poet. I am the interim campus astrology expert. I helped organize a rally for Ramarley Graham’s family during a finals week. I have shamelessly gone on two international BCRW trips. I live in Brooklyn.
Where are you going? For the next four months, I’ll be on a backpacking trip from Costa Rica to Argentina. I can’t believe my life.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- Don’t be afraid to not know what you’re doing here or think you don’t belong here. Honestly, this school is chock full of people with a lot of privilege and elitism—if you don’t feel like you fit that model, it’s ok. You don’t even have to like it, but I guarantee you, there are other people who feel that way too. Find them.
- “Self care” cannot happen without your community behind you supporting you. No matter how much we talk about the need to retreat into your room and watch Netflix (and trust me, I do it), you need to have people outside of that ready to welcome you back in.
- Going to Columbia doesn’t make you better or smarter than anyone else. It doesn’t make you more qualified for a job, it doesn’t make you more worthy, and it definitely doesn’t make you happier than everyone else. Even though we are told time and time again that we will be Powerful People Who Will Make Change In The World, check yourself. You are among a selective few who got to go here. You have a powerful degree. And it is just that: a powerful degree. Be careful, respect other people and other ideas that aren’t from here.
- Annnnd 4, because whatever, this is my senior wisdom and I’m going to say what I want: Academia often exists to reproduce itself. Yes, your theory is important, but hierarchical relationships between the “best” theory with the least evidence in the ivory tower are really just the hierarchical relationships between professors selling books and gaining cultural capital. What you make is important too. Yes, this is my theory.
Back in my day… Professors were cancelling class so that you would be out on the street demanding that universities make school affordable during Occupy Wall Street.
Uni Café was called Pinnacle before it was shut down by the health department at least 3 different times.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Are you implying that some people have to justify their existence?
Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: To the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Barnard: you all have changed me and have opened up my experiences. Thank you for making college worthwhile. Special shout-out to WGSS senior seminar 2013: I want to write with your support always.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Audre Lorde once said, “Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.”
One thing to do before graduating: Live in New York. Not Morningside, Columbia, but New York. Let yourself experience the city outside of the Columbia bubble. You might be surprised how much you can feel at home here…and how much you might actually go to class.
Any regrets? I didn’t make it to a single senior night as a senior. I’ll never know what I missed.
Tags: checking your privilege, did dora the explorer have a cbs backpack, losing yourself to netflix instead of studying is ok sometimes, senior wisdom, senior wisdom december 2013, wgss, white plains represent, words that are hard to pronounce, yes that is what we're implying