Want to learn more about yourself and your style? Seth Benjamin has some wise words to share about being your genuine self.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Seth Benjamin, CC ’18, Computer Science w/ Linguistics concentration, West Lafayette, IN
Claim to fame: After-hours denizen of WKCR and foulest-mouthed 1004 TA. Some ADP kid once described my guitar playing as “just random shit, no talent”.
Where are you going? I’m staying in New York to work as a code monkey.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
Embrace change. I came in with a lot of plans about what I’d study and who I’d be. My gut abandoned them all on Day 1, but my brain took a few semesters to catch up. Let yourself become who you need to become.
Respect your own style. I am incapable of following a schedule or going to bed at a reasonable hour. Sometimes I want to stay inside and be very boring. One of the most valuable things I learned in college is that all of these things are fine. The only person your workflow, social life or hobbies need to work for is yourself.
Don’t take Mandarin, shit’s way too hard.
“Back in my day…”
JJ’s closed at 10 pm, laundry cost money, and you had to install a separate driver for every single printer you wanted to use on campus. The future is bright.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: A private Facebook group was once created to photographically document my whereabouts without my knowledge. (I was not invited to the group.)
What was your favorite class at Columbia? Advanced Programming with Jae Woo Lee, where I learned masochism. Honorable mention: Analysis of Algorithms with Eleni Drinea. Turns out my preferred lecturing approach was “tell me ALL the information about this thing”.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? The latter would affect my life with greater frequency, but the former would probably bum me out more overall. I know this question is like, a well-accepted part of this questionnaire, but I’m still amused to imagine what kind of weirdly specific dystopia I’d be forced to make this choice under (2020 presidential election with Mike Pence vs Morrissey?). I’d miss brie.
Whom would you like to thank? Friends, teachers, WKCR, halal carts.
One thing to do before graduating: Keep your KCR friend company as they program Transfigured Night from 2-6 am on a Friday night. It’ll be an adventure for the both of you.
Also, go to CPS.
Any regrets? Machine Learning with Itsik Pe’er, a man more uniquely unsuited for pedagogy than any human I have ever encountered.
Image via Seth Benjamin