Today’s senior wisdoms are starting off strong with Nathan Rosin, CCSC president and Bwog’s friend from the fifth floor of Lerner.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Nathan Rosin, CC, Middle East South Asian and African Studies and Econ, Needham MA
Claim to fame: Received an email last year from Dean Kromm that she and Deantini wanted to explore what exactly the annual student snowball fight was all about for the first time, and I was out of bed like lighting a few minutes later to see just how well the Dean could toss a snowball – and he didn’t disappoint. Then, this year was personally challenged to a rematch snowball fight by Deantini via email alongside John and Nicole (clearly I did a good job last year, given that the Dean seemed to think he had some scores to settle) – and tbh I think I did a pretty good job the next day living up to the challenge (judging by the snowball I landed smack on his face). CCSC President, COOP leader, and McBain president once upon a time (responsible for Rush McB tanks…)
Where are you going? 50 blocks downtown, but probably won’t be able to stay even that far away for too long…
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
1. It’s so important to put in the time and effort to maintain strong friendships throughout your four years here. Sometimes it’s hard to remember or to make the time, and I’ve struggled at points to keep some friendships going that I really wished I had worked harder for, because it really is the people that define Columbia. When I graduate, I’m pretty confident I’ll remember my relationships and the people here in general as the best part about this place. The stories everyone has to share are unbelievable, and the support and encouragement people give each other carried me through my time here.
2. Go to cool events – I’d never had the type of access to cool people and conversations that Columbia gave me before I got here. Whether it’s through the World Leaders Forum or the Eric Holder Initiative or something else, actually take an hour or two out of your day to go sit in Low and listen to inspiring global leaders talk about the change they have made and want to make in the world. It’s way easier and feels more special when you’re a freshman, and as you get older you may have more difficulty finding the time or the energy, but it’s worth it – you’ll hear stories of lived experiences that will shape what you want to do and how you might be able to do it.
3. Explore classes you would never have considered in departments you might never have heard of before. One class I took outside my initial field of interest ended up inspiring my major, and another one focused what I think I want to do with my life. Don’t underestimate the hidden value in something you don’t know anything about – it may just change your major, or even change your life path.
“Back in my day…” Morningside Heights wasn’t overwhelmed by chain restaurants, the subways weren’t a disaster all the time, John Jay 12 renovations were unique from all the others, we had school the Wednesday before thanksgiving, the U.S. President was good, JJs wasn’t 24 hours, there were stoves and ovens in EC, John Jay dining hall closed at 8, cold JJs food was served in John Jay after JJs flooded and they called it “johnJJs,” you had to pay for laundry.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: One time Obama told my girlfriend that I’m a keeper.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? Equity in Higher Education with Roger Lehecka and Andrew Delbanco. It was a senior spring class that I took because it looked interesting and was completely out of my major or concentration area – and it’s probably been the most formative class in helping me figure out what I want to do with my life. The class embraced difficult and especially relevant conversation topics in the realm of access to education in this country and made them feel very real. The volunteer work at the Double Discovery Center (DDC) was one of the best parts – it not only gave a practical and direct lens into the telos of the course, but also gave me a space to develop meaningful connections with other volunteers and the students there. Whether or not you take the course – volunteer at DDC!! I also loved Major Texts of the Middle East and India with Nathanael Shelley.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Is there a pareve option?
Whom would you like to thank? My parents for making everything in my life possible and supporting me every minute of every step. For inspiring in me the passions and sentiments they set such a beautiful and respectable example of. And for having the best accents, the greatest jokes, the most consistent positivity and energy, and the biggest smiles and best laughs. Also the most supportive and inspiring friends for the best conversations and good times. And all the Columbia staff who keep this place running, especially the dining staff like Iris and Kelin and Raj and Donna and Fran and Rudy and Bernard who literally made my day everyday (and, everyone who suffered through my annoying campaigns and facebook messages but supported me anyways – thank you so much and im sorry).
One thing to do before graduating: Make the effort to spend some time with a professor you respect and admire and try to develop a meaningful relationship with them. Also grab a friend or two and walk downtown from campus, and just keep walking – through the park, along the river, wherever. It helps to clear your head and take your mind off of whatever the busy things are that are going on uptown. Or, you could grab a professor and walk downtown, and kill two birds with one stone.
Any regrets? I wish I had gone to office hours way more, not so much for academic support but really just to get to know my professors better. They’re pretty special people, and it’s worth putting in the time to get to know them. I somehow managed to stay after school in high school and connect with my teachers there, but I wish I had kept that up throughout college. I also wish I put in more time and effort to maintain relationships with freshman year friends – it’s too easy to lose touch in this crazy busy and overwhelming place with so many things to do, especially as people get older and disperse – but don’t let it happen! The friendships and the people are worth it. I wish I hadn’t spread myself so thin, especially sophomore year – I somehow got involved in too many things and really couldn’t manage it. Maybe I also should have spent less time on the 5th floor of Lerner Hall – a few too many people told me “they should get you an office” or asked if I slept there (which probably seemed especially likely when I did fall asleep on one of those big comfy blue chairs)… and I’m writing this senior wisdom from that very spot.
Photo via Nathan Rosin