In our second Senior Wisdom, we’ve got Nza-Ari Khepra, future McKinsey employee and former Bacchanal President. Her greatest accomplishment? Graduating in one piece.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Nza-Ari Khepra, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
Claim to fame: I honestly have no clue…Bacchanal President? Gun violence prevention work? Still not sure I can claim fame.
Where are you going? Home! Catch me in Chicago, consulting for McKinsey.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
You’re not here to compare yourself. I know this seems like it’s a generic statement, but during my time here, I was surprised to see how many people allow comparison to negatively influence their mental and physical states. I understand many of you are going to pursue higher degrees or trying to get the best jobs out there, but those opportunities will be inaccessible if you break yourself trying to “keep up” with the stress culture this school and city permeates. Graduating in one piece, figuratively and literally, should be your one and only goal. Do that at your own pace, because you can’t compare where you don’t compete honeyyyyy (;
Excellence is doing something you’re passionate about. Even when I put my heart and soul into some assignment/meeting/etc. that I didn’t care about, it ends up terrible. No matter how nice that role or title looks on your resume, if you hate it, that shows in the interview. Do something you care about, seriously! Stop walking down the path that you think is made for you—there’s always a path that you can feel or know is made for you!
The people you surround yourself with matter the most. Find people that make you comfortable to be yourself. This takes time!! It’s not always going to happen during NSOP, and that’s okay! Continue to go to random peoples’ parties, invite strangers to sit with you at the dining hall, find new people in lectures! Don’t ever stop doing this. My closest friends here were accidental. But really, this extends past your clique. Think about the classes you’re in! Do the students and teachers push you to learn more? How are the people in your clubs shaping you? How are you taking care of the people you care about most?
“Back in my day…”JJs closed before everyone left the frats, Cannons (RIP) and EC. Deluxe, M2M, Ollies, and Vine were open!! We never dreamed of having a Panda Express, Pret, Junzi, or Shake Shack in walking distance. Times were hard to say the least.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: “I’m here for a good time not a long time, y’know I—I haven’t had a good time in a long time..y’know I—I’m waaaay up I feel blessed.”
What was your favorite class at Columbia? Black Memoirs by Professor Sorett
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese is my favorite thing to eat, so….yeah.
Whom would you like to thank? Alixx Robin Lucas for being an amazing person and convincing me to come to this school. Candace, Mara, and Luke for dealing with my shenanigans for 4 years!!
One thing to do before graduating: Got to a select few people’s favorite places on campus. Drop some “secret” spots in the comments below (;
Any regrets? I am done regretting to be honest. You can’t do everything, but I surely tried.
Image via Nza-Ari Khepra