Conor Skelding

Conor Skelding

Future journalists listen up. This next Senior Wisdom is from Conor Skelding, famous in the journalistic community for his baby blues.

Name, Hometown, School, Major: Conor Skelding, River Forest, IL, Columbia College, English

Claim to fame: Published all sorts of stuff (at Bwog and The Blue and White for 3.5 years, at the Lion for 0.5.). Preserved institutional memory by reviving WikiCU. Led COÖP trips.

Where are you going? Continuing to cover City Hall for Capital New York.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2018?

1. It’s as important to be for something as against something. (I’m not saying, “Don’t judge,” “Don’t be a hater,” or, “It’s all relative.” There is plenty to be against. I’m only saying that it is as important to build up the good as tear down evil.)

2. If you become highly involved in “the Columbia community,” it can be a fun sandbox to play in—only remember that it is a sandbox. There are, campus politicians (both administrators and students), campus news media, lots of scandals, etc., so it’s easy to get wrapped up in Morningside Heights. But a big shot on campus is not a world-historical figure. Remember that there is a city out there.

3. To the future campus reporter: thorough will set you apart from your competitors. Knowing how to search a physical archive, request public records from government agencies, or even just use Google cache and site searches will turn up valuable information that the casual Google search will not. (Thorough research will also set you apart from your classmates, many of whom lean too heavily on JSTOR and the like.)

“Back in my day…” it was

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Nobody kicks a dead dog.

Write your most memorable note from the field: Potluck’s subway party.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Neither, if it gets me out of answering this question.

One thing to do before graduating: You should become a regular somewhere. The Hungarian Pastry Shop is one nice place to do that.

Any regrets? I regret what I’ve written that’s too harsh. I regret dealing with conflicts of interest poorly. I regret that I haven’t always responded to hard stares by sticking out my tongue. I regret staying in nights I should have gone out and going out nights I should have stayed in. I regret lots more.