Feeling as if you need a little more wisdom in your life? Here’s CC senior Ben Caine’s senior wisdom to get you through.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Ben Caine; CC; Applied Math; Newton, MA
Claim to fame: You know how, when something’s good, people sometimes say, “v. good”? I started that.
Where are you going? Somewhere far away from New York City to work on a farm for the summer, then off to the beautiful mountains of Seattle. (Looking for roommates in Seattle, hit me up!)
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2019?
1. Listen. Give people your emotional investment, and they will return the favor. Find what’s most interesting to you about what your friend is saying, and ask her about it. The Beatles had it right: “And in the end, / The love you take / Is equal to the love you make.”
2. Get rid of your Facebook. Get rid of your snapchat, instagram, and twitter too. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in college, and I strongly recommend it. You do not need to be a slave to your image, and you do not need to pass judgment on others for theirs. Facebook causes you to be alienated from your friends and gives you unrealistic expectations for your own life. While it can be hard to part with your social media, I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.
3. You’re more than your resumé. As you, the class of 2019, enter into this wonderful and intimidating community, you might ask the same question that generations of Columbians before you have asked: what defines you? There’s no right answer to this question, but there is a wrong answer: it’s not your GPA, your internships, or your extracurriculars. It’s the countless hours you spend banging your head against the wall in frustration. It’s the relationships you make and the friendships you cultivate over time. It’s the crazy late night endeavors, the all-night Netflix binges, the weird inside jokes. It cannot be confined to a number and words on a page. Never lose sight of your humanity.
“Back in my day…” The tunnels were open, JJ’s was janky as hell, and the administrators weren’t paralyzed by fear of getting sued. (Weren’t as paralyzed.)
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I am more than my resumé.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? Intro to East Asian Buddhism with Michael Como. Professor Como is a Buddha of storytelling.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m not about to spend my summer on an oral sex farm. (“Oral sex farm” sounds like the title of a porno with a very loose plot. Or maybe a very trashy reality show? Next up on Oral Sex Farm…will Cowboy Mike’s charm and flattery bring Farmhand Jenny to her knees? I just thought of a whole plotline but it’s too much to post here.)
One thing to do before graduating: Look up when you’re walking. The sheer enormity of the city can be oppressive sometimes, but it can also be very, very beautiful. Sometimes the best views are from the ground, looking up at the grandeur of it all.
Any regrets? I should have taken a P.E. every semester. I should have done more stuff in the city. I shouldn’t have lived alone junior year. I should have followed up on budding friendships. But I don’t regret my regrets, ya know?