This pose should inspire all of the Class of 2021.

We’re back again and better than ever: this evening we share with you some words of wisdom from Vida Biggins! 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Vida Biggins, GS, Philosophy Major, Atlanta, Georgia

Claim to fame: First Multicultural Affairs Representative for GSSC and VP of Students of Color Alliance. I’m also known for smiling too hard, giving inappropriately long hugs, and being obsessed with Beyonce.

Where are you going? Austin, Texas. I’ll be working in management consulting and bringing a gang of magical black girls to the top with me!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2021?:

1) The moment you find yourself bragging/joking about how much sleep you didn’t get or how overwhelming your sense of existential dread has become, check yourself. Take a moment for self-care. Nothing -not even your GPA- is worth your personal health. Oh, and be nice to people. Columbia can be a huge, lonely place for many people. The more we smile at each other, the more we take care of one another, the more we show compassion to our classmates, the better this place is for all of us.

2) This next one is best summed up by a quote from the movie Poetic Justice that my grandmother likes to remind me of when I need to loosen up: “The world’s just a big place for us to go and fuck up in it.” College is the most appropriate place to make mistakes and when you stop obsessing over perfectionism and allow yourself room to mess up a little bit, you create the space you need to discover new things about yourself and learn valuable lessons. When I look at my transcript, it’s the biggest dips in my GPA that tell the most interesting, pivotal stories of my journey through Columbia.

3) You’re in Harlem (no matter what they tell you), bro! Get out of the Columbia bubble and take advantage of the rich culture around you. Do Harlem stuff! Eat you some real Caribbean/soul food, listen to you some good ol’ jazz, and support you some black theatre.

“Back in my day…”: Choosing your Top 8 was a major life decision, you had to press ‘8’ three times to get to ‘V’, and AJ and Free were still hosting 106 & Park.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: “I’mma keep runnin’ ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” -Beyonce

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Philosophy of Law with Dr. Michelle Moody-Adams. That woman is a queen and the subject is incredibly compelling (especially now). Also, literally anything taught by Achille Varzi in the Philosophy Department.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?  Ugh… that’s like choosing your favorite child, am I right? Anyway, cheese gotta go.

One thing to do before graduating: Stunt at a gala.

Any regrets?  I said no to too many things because I had “so much work to do”. If I could do it all over again, I would say yes to so much more! ‘Tis better to stress surrounded by friends and booze than to stress while staring blankly at an empty word doc.

Image via Vida Biggins