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Senior Wisdom: Gary Kim

A flattering picture

This next senior wisdom is from Gary Kim, who has dealt with Social Media Editor Youngweon Lee’s “extraness” for six years and counting.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Jeong Soo (Gary) Kim, SEAS, Mechanical Engineering (Minor in History), Seoul, South Korea.

Claim to fame: Not very famous. However I’m the one kid that runs shirtless in the 8th floor gym in EC at 11pm every night. What should actually make me famous is that I dealt with Youngweon’s extraness for six years and counting.

Where are you going? I’m going to sign off at least four years of my life to the Navy. I think I’ll become a Surface Warfare Officers (the guys that drive ships and shoots missiles) and hopefully be able to go to Nuclear Power School to play with reactors. Before I become a sailor, I am sticking around in NYC, and I think I will be working at an aerospace company, washing planes and giving weekend tours at the Intrepid Museum.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Loving to hate your teachers. There are a lot of excellent professors/scholars here. As a slightly weird engineer/historian there are a lot of professors who I hate their scholarships too. That doesn’t mean that they are wrong, but you are just seeing the same facts in a different interpretation. Especially in my history classes, I think I learned the most from professors I “hate.” I actually love those professors to death and I wouldn’t be me without those teachers.

2. The art of 80%. In long distance running (yes… I run) you can’t give your 100% at any moment. You will crash and burn and collapse half way into the race, and that’s not good. I think school is similar. You can’t line up 21 credits, three internships and a research project in September and expect to be alive and kicking by May. Kudos to anyone that can live like that. Obviously your 80% is not my 80%.

3. Shackling up is not overrated. I’m not telling you to marry the high school sweetheart you’re probably gonna end up cheating on during NSOP. However if you do end of falling in love, don’t let “I can’t even take care of myself” discourage you from going for the relationship. Trust me it pays off.

“Back in my day…” Sun Chan had happy hour from 11pm to 4am on Fridays and Saturdays. Sweet Nigori sake was 6.75 per bottle and my friends and I basically lived there my freshman and sophomore year. It got shut down because of bunch of kids consistently trashed the place. On the bright side it probably brought my grades up significantly.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I like Naval history, Jet engines, and run a shit ton. Not a terribly good student but still scraped by, and have a place to go after graduation. Woot Woot

What was your favorite class at Columbia? I can’t think of one. I generally struggled through classes though.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Definitely oral sex. 1. There are multiple kinds of sex. Losing one, while regrettable is not like end of the world. 2. Imagine biting into a slice of pizza and only tasting sauce. Ew.

Whom would you like to thank? Firstly my parents for giving me the tools to be here, keeping me here and afloat so I can concentrate just on what and who I want to become as a real adult. Next is my girlfriend, for I would have never survived had I not met her. Next is my brother. He would have been higher up if he was smart enough to get into Columbia. Then my friends, and classes who played, guided and helped through some interesting times.

One thing to do before graduating: I still haven’t bought my gown and cap. I should really get on that and take some nice pictures with friends.

Any regrets? Of course. I could have definitely pulled better grades. Don’t believe people when they say GPA doesn’t matter. Trust me it matters. But then grades might not work out. Then definitely try to hustle your way into things. Trust me, people recognize hustlers.

Photo via Gary Kim

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