Grayson Warrick (1)You probably know him as your COOP leader, CCSC rep, or the guy modeling the tank top you’re about to buy from American Apparel. We gladly present you with the senior wisdom from Grayson Warrick.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Grayson Warrick, Columbia College, the funky dualism of MESAAS and Economics, New York City (just a few stops away on the 1 train).

Claim to fame: I’ve worked a variety of odd jobs within CCSC for four years. Loyal COÖP leader. Helped Bike Share ascend to a higher plane of existence. I once acted in a Latenite skit with my twin sister. I had no lines, and my only role was to smear lipstick all over my face and cry underneath a table.

Where are you going? I’m bringing what’s left of my college-addled brain to a think tank downtown. Hit me up if you ever venture across the Here There Be Real Life threshold (110th Street).

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2020?

1. Never forget that you’re not invincible.

You’re a human being, not a consciousness made of pure reason that just happens to dwell within a living sack of meat. Yes, you might be able to pull off getting less than five hours of sleep for eight days in a row, subsisting on nothing but coffee, ramen and sheer force of will, but it’s not worth the inevitable hit to your sanity. I can say without a doubt that I’ve been the happiest (and the most productive!) when I’ve been sleeping, eating, exercising and seeing friends. If you actively try to take care of yourself, everything else tends to fall into place.

2. Remind yourself of what you want out of your experience here.

It’s often easy for us to get swallowed up in the day-to-day of our umpteen responsibilities and lose sight of our larger forest for the daily trees. So try your hardest not to forget your greater goals – no matter what they might be. Send them to yourself in an email. Write them on an index card and stick it on your door. Just record them in a place where you can easily and often check back on it. And, of course, allow them to change if need be. Don’t know what you might want out of Columbia yet? That’s okay! Remind yourself to actively try to find out – that’s your goal now. Then, of course, follow this up with a good old dose of planning and hard work, and you’ll be on your way.

3. There is a universally recognized beauty in a prompt email reply.

“Back in my day…” I’m going to use this section as an elegy for UNI Cafe. It was a strange little eatery located where you can now find Sweetgreen. Bizarre stock photos on the storefront, like this baby eating a pizza. Eerie inside decor, like these spooky shadow-students. Nondescript cafe food. I went there for my first meal in Morningside Heights, a sad bagel. UNI Cafe was outstanding for its lack of outstanding qualities. It had character in its characterlessness. I miss it so.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer. Every so often, a friend goes online to American Apparel to purchase tank tops as apparel for their student group and finds my cold, emotionless face staring back at them.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Two. First, CC with the legendary Bob Neer. My classmates and I gained a feeling of devotion to our professor that achieved nearly cultlike levels. (We even made t-shirts.)

Second, Theory and Culture with Gil Anidjar. No other course has so effectively called into question notions I’ve always taken as fact or illuminated truths I never would have discovered, and no other course has so strongly made me feel like I had much, much more to learn.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? When I was much younger, when out for groceries at my local Fairway, I used to regularly buy a quarter-pound of blue cheese. Not a specific type of blue cheese or anything; I aimed for variety. I then used to consume said cheese on the way home, straight out of the saran wrap.

I was an odd child. I have since matured, much like a fine Roquefort that I would be more than happy to do without.

One thing to do before graduating: Get a meal with a professor in a class you love. Try your best to make it happen – and any meal will do. (Except for group meals where you’re sitting four seats away from the professor so you just eat your soup in silence.) There’s something about conversation over food that brings out the realness in people in a way that office hours can’t quite ever achieve. And there’s nothing quite like witnessing that realness within a professor whom you appreciate.

Any regrets? Definitely. I wish I had dove even deeper into my academic interests and spent more time finding them sooner. I wish I had invested more energy in the groups I’ve been a part of, and I wish I had fulfilled more promises. And more than anything, I wish I had shown more appreciation for the friends who have kept me afloat these past four years.

But good news! Things are never over! When all is said and done, the undergrad experience – just four years – is probably a better sandbox for regrets than, you know, the rest of life to come. If we learn from the past rather than ruminate on it, our regrets will soon be anything but.

The cold, emotionless face of Bwog’s favorite American Apparel model via Grayson Warrick