Bwog is kicking off our Senior Wisdoms with Barnard’s very own Ali Fraerman! She may not have known that she would be graduating, but she does have some pretty good advice to give.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Ali Fraerman, Barnard, Human Rights and Political Science, Chicago suburbs
Claim to fame: Graduating a year early by surprise, taking grad pictures in Hewitt, being the Roosevelt Institute’s resident advocate for “human rights do exist.”
Where are you going? Working for a civil rights firm downtown (will be migrating back to Morningside frequently) before my inevitable return to school.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
1. Go to office hours. They can only help, and sometimes professors will read your papers and tell you exactly what they want.
2. Pare down your schedule. Cut out activities that do not make you happy, leave time for naps but also do leave ample time to pace yourself on big assignments.
3. Always be fulfilling your Columbia/Barnard bucket list! In other words, if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do on campus, in New York, or with your friends, or someone you’ve always want to get to know better, do it now! You could find yourself with a year until graduation one day and two months the next.
“Back in my day…” Barnard had a library (for two months of my education here), Hewitt had late night (unlimited cereal), and I was just getting to know Cannon’s before it closed.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Ummm, “the dignity of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace” so I shouldn’t have to? Did you know I majored in Human Rights.
What was your favorite class at Columbia?
My Barnard Poli Sci Colloquia, Urban Violence with Eduardo Moncada and Race and Ethnic Politics with Audrey Neville! Also, I can’t believe I’m this person, but PrezBo’s Freedom of Speech and Press.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Morningside’s selection of cheese is way better (shoutout Westside).
Whom would you like to thank? My parents: because to not thank them would be a dick move, but also because they have given me everything; all the friends who have made me feel like I actually belong here; and Barnard! For giving me the skills to land on my feet despite sorta surprise throwing me into adulthood.
One thing to do before graduating: Ice a keg in an EC bathtub.
Any regrets? I was too stressed about my future during my time here, and when I unexpectedly needed to plan for the future, I realized I let stress keep me from a lot of fun stuff.
Image via Ali Fraerman