We begin our first round of wisdom from the old ones with Adam Chelminski, who was Head Manager of CUMB last year and member of the CUMB “Bored” for three years (a man of power!). Here’s his advice on comfort zones, relaxing, and cheese.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Adam Chelminski, SEAS, Computer Science, Smithfield, RI
Claim to fame: Head Manager of the CUMB for a year, member of CUMB’s “Bored” for three years, ignored by administrators, and possibly your TA if you took DAPME Lab this semester.
Where are you going? Going to travel around Europe and Southeast Asia for most of January, but I’ll be back in the spring helping a Columbia professor launch a new interdisciplinary entrepreneurship program. After that I’ll be starting a full-time job in NYC in August.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2020?
1. When you’re picking classes (or a major/minor/concentration), don’t pick something just because you think it’ll be easy, pick something that actually interests you. Even if a class/program is supposedly “easy”, you’re going to be miserable and you won’t get anything out of it if you don’t actually care about the subject. If there’s a class that looks interesting to you but people say it’s hard, you’ll still enjoy the experience and you’ll find the time, energy, and motivation to do well.
2. Don’t be afraid to try things out of your comfort zone. Columbia (and NYC too) is a great place to explore yourself and you’ll miss out on so many great opportunities if you stick to what you know.
3. Set aside more time to relax. We all know being a Columbia student can be extremely stressful, and it will only be more stressful if you don’t let yourself regularly take time off from schoolwork. Columbia certainly won’t help you, so you have to figure out how to do this on your own. You have more free time than you think, especially if you’re not mindlessly scrolling through Facebook memes while trying to study in Butler on a Saturday. Join a club, and spend a Friday or a Saturday exploring an outer borough with your friends!
“Back in my day…”: Bacchanal was fun, the roofs and tunnels were more accessible, Cannons was regretfully a thing, and Orgo Night was an event where the band played in Butler 209, followed by a performance in the Barnard Quad where a ton of Barnard students threw their old papers and homework onto the band in a cathartic show of school spirit. I hope the band will continue fighting back against the Columbia and Barnard administrations so that students in the near future will be able to experience an Orgo Night like the ones I so fondly remember from my underclassman days.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Yes.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? CS: Computer Graphics w/ Michael Reed. Freedom of Speech and Press w/ Prezbo, until he gave up :(.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? A world without cheese is not a world I’d like to live in. On a related note, if you haven’t already, go to Symposium and try their saganaki.
One thing to do before graduating: Walk from Columbia to Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan. We live in the greatest city in the world, and it’s hard to appreciate its epic scale and its multitude of things to do if you don’t explore it on foot.
Any regrets? Very few. Mainly I wish I had considered studying abroad and I wish I had interacted with my professors more by going to OH and getting to know them. Regardless, I don’t think it’s worth stressing out about what could have been.
Held aloft in Roaree’s arms via Adam Chelminski