Feeling knocked down by finals? Nicki Felmus knows just what to say to get you back up and running in no time.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Nicki Felmus, CC, American Studies and Education, Richmond, Virginia
Claim to fame: NSOP lady, president of Roosevelt, CCSC class rep, spams you to buy challah, I didn’t pee for 30 hours on my COOP trip, and that education girl
Where are you going? Washington, D.C. to teach middle school humanities
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
1. Get off campus. My freshman year I barely left campus and I really struggled with mental health/ succumbing to stress culture. Sophomore year, I vowed to myself that I would leave campus at least once a week and I’m a much happier and healthier person for it. Whether it’s going to Riverside for a walk, a coffee shop to work on reading, or exploring the East Village, you will thank yourself for hopping on the 1.
2. Advocate for yourself. There are so many resources on Columbia’s campus, but none of them will reach out to you. You need to do the research to find the resources and use them. I found my first two years to be very frustrating because I never knew which office to ask about what. Additionally, i had a really difficult Junior fall and I wish I had been more communicative with my professors.
3. Columbia tends to knock you down, but you can and will get back up. Everyone faces a lot of troubles and stresses. Sometimes you feel as if you can’t get back up from falling. I’m here to tell you that you can. You can still be a leader of a club if you lose an election. You’re still a fantastic human being if you didn’t get into the group you applied for. You are worthy, you are strong, you are brilliant, and you can get back up.
“Back in my day…” Koronets had a mirror, Cannons was a lively freshman bar, Sweetgreen didn’t exist, Roosevelt had 15 members.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I once lost my ID outside of Koronets and they posted it behind the glass with the pizza. They wanted me to pay $10 to get it back.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? My favorite class was Contemporary Issues of Education. It was my first education class and opened the door for my concentration in Urban Teaching. Without the class, I wouldn’t have considered becoming a teacher. The education department is wonderful and supportive. If you get the chance, you should 100% take one of their classes!
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Mozzarella sticks don’t ask for reciprocation.
Whom would you like to thank? Everyone. My mom and dad for making me. My advisors who dealt with my breakdowns in the CSA office. My professors that pushed me beyond my perceived academic limits. Anyone who has been ever, even tangentially, involved in Roosevelt. Dean Marinaccio for accepting me. Undergraduate Student Life at both Columbia and Barnard for supporting. Myself, for finally learning self-care and taking a daily allergy med regiment.
One thing to do before graduating: Cherish the friends I’ve made and people I’ve met.
Any regrets? My mom has always told me “don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.” I wish I had listened and spent less time in Butler.
Image via Nicki Felmus