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Senior Wisdom: Malaya Sadler

Everything’s beginning to look up.

For Malaya Sadler, there are other things to life besides Columbia and New York. Learn about your life’s purpose in this senior wisdom. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Malaya Sadler, CC, Anthropology, San Francisco.

Claim to fame: Lerner front desk girl

Where are you going? For a walk.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
Though admissions marketing might have you believe otherwise, Columbia and New York are not the center of the universe. The things we value here, on this campus and in this city, aren’t remotely universal, normal, or sane. The prestige, social status, and resumé brownie points you rack up here might have their pragmatic uses, but these uses are fundamentally limited. Don’t resign yourself to “selling out” just because it feels like there are no other options—don’t build your personality around a unnecessarily specific, intellectually impoverished definition of success. Take a weird, no-name internship just because the people are interesting. Join an archaeology dig in Kazakhstan. Join a political campaign. Date off-campus. Drink off-campus. Change your major if you’re not in love with it. Decide on a class based on flipping through reading lists in the back of Book Culture. Go very far away and see who you are without this place. Contrary to how it feels or what consulting recruiting timelines and your mother might tell you, you have plenty of time.

Columbia couldn’t be Columbia without your brilliant ass and the thousands like it, so make this institution work for you. CCE covered the entirety of my junior year summer living expenses at a low-paid internship, and the anthropology department funded a camera for my thesis: the money’s there if you know how to ask for it. Butler has, crazily enough, a lot of books—pounce on those assigned texts during syllabus week. Fuck a paywall—the New York Times is free if you’re CC, SEAS, or GS, and the entirety of the Wall Street Journal’s archives are available in Clio. Everything Duke University Press has ever published you can download in full via Columbia Libraries.

Dodge 7 has the best bathroom-mirror-selfie conditions on campus. Single occupancy, great natural light, unobtrusive sink, classic tiling. 10/10.

“Back in my day…” Café East was a lot less 2001 A Space Odyssey and a lot more Dexter.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: “Malaya you can’t be both an elitist and a Marxist”

What was your favorite class at Columbia? The Ethnographic Imagination with Rosalind Morris.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Depends on the wine pairing.

Whom would you like to thank? My parents and CULPA, two sources of unsolicited advice that still end up always being right.

One thing to do before graduating: Pay off my library fines yikes

Any regrets? Not discovering Library Genesis sooner!


Image via Malaya Sadler

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous such a beautiful senior wisdom, so genuine and thoughtful, thank you.

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