We at Bwog decided to show our diplomatic side for the day by inviting the former Editor in Chief of Spectator, Catie Edmondson, to come give us wisdom! We’re all ears, Catie!
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Catie Edmondson, Barnard, English, Appleton, Wisconsin.
Claim to fame: Editor in Chief of Spectator
Where are you going? Diving headfirst into the swamp (Washington) to cover national politics for The New York Times.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
1. Nothing good happens at 1020 after 2 a.m.
2. Take care of each other. Probably everyone at Columbia will have a tough time at some point, and life is so much better and worthwhile when you know you have at least one person looking out for you, and who will always make time to help you out.
3. You should constantly be evaluating whether what you’re doing is worth it. One of the most eye-opening experiences for me was freshman year when my best friend at Barnard, who was having a gut-wrenchingly terrible time, chose to leave and go somewhere else. Having the moxie and sense of self to say, ‘this isn’t working’ and then make a change left a big impression on me. That’s an extreme example, but I think a lot of people here put so much pressure on themselves and think that they “have” to do certain things, whether it’s double majoring or putting up with a friend, colleague, or professor who seems hellbent on making their life miserable. Most of the time, you just don’t. There were a lot of times at Columbia when I felt powerless, and looking back, it was always needlessly so. There are always ways to change things, or other choices you have the power to make, and I wish I would’ve taken that to heart more.
“Back in my day…” You had to take the subway to get Shake Shack, undergrads had no idea who Suzanne Goldberg was, and Spec had an office on Broadway (RIP).
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Once I asked Bollinger a question and he responded by saying “Catie, Catie, Catie…” while shaking his head. So he’s said my name only 997 times less than “Manhattanville.”
What was your favorite class at Columbia? I have three: Technologies of Dissent with Dennis Tenen to be wowed and terrified by the implications of the digital world; Freedom of Speech and Press with PrezBo to get to witness how he thinks through complex issues; and any class with Edward Mendelson to learn how to read and think more compassionately.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese and head are an inseparable pair in Wisconsin.
Whom would you like to thank? The creator of DayQuil and no one at Health Services.
One thing to do before graduating: Grab some smoothies from JJ’s with a friend, spike them, bring them to Low Steps and talk about the good things about Columbia. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that they exist.
Any regrets? I missed out on a lot of excellent classes, either to sleep or do Spec. I don’t really regret that, but I do regret not going to more office hours and having interesting conversations with interesting professors. I think a lot of students don’t go because they’re intimidated or think it isn’t worth their time. It is.
Image via Catie Edmondson