Need a good laugh and some words of encouragement to get through the day? Check out what Simi Olagundoye has to say about her time at Barnard.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Simi aka Sim Simma aka ya favourite Aunty, Barnard, Urban Studies (concentration in Africana studies), NYC via Lagos, Nigeria
Claim to fame: Retired co-president of the Black owned club that is Bacchanal, constantly inviting people to Well-Woman, took a class just to write a paper on Vin Diesel, and publicly out as a Sagittarius
Where are you going? Where am I not going?
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?
Allow yourself to breathe and explore. Don’t force yourself into spaces because there are so many open doors that’ll allow you to grow and be yourself. Literally do *whatever* you want as long as it’s not harmful.
ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF! To quote a good friend “closed mouths don’t get fed”. ASK FOR EXTENSIONS/INCOMPLETES IN CLASSES IF YOU NEED!!! If a club/organisation is unnecessarily adding to your stress/unhappiness leave it. There is *no* shame in saying you need time/space because your health, both physical and mental, matters!!! Take up space when you need it and really figure out ways you can take care of yourself.
Finding things that relax and ground you and people who you can really build wholesome community with are incredibly important. This won’t come immediately but don’t lose faith. Go do that one thing you were always curious about and ask your friend crushes to hang out and really just be open to seeing what happens. Pause, reflect, and go.
“Back in my day…” I would walk through the tunnels (RIP) to go to Lehman Library (RIP) and then later exit to sit by the Magnolia Tree (RIP).
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: One time I made an entire thread on twitter about the signs as things I did in my late teens. Since I can’t find that here’s a vine
What was your favorite class at Columbia? I took Critical Approaches with Neferti Tadiar my first semester of first year and honestly it shifted my whole mindset; I feel like my neurons are still reconfiguring from it. It was really challenging in the best of ways and laid the critical foundation for a lot of things. I’ve taken a lot of other great classes like Black Women, Performance, and the Politics of Style with Shirley Taylor, Advanced Phonetics with Anne Boyman, and so much more.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m lactose intolerant.
Whom would you like to thank? I could say a million things about my amazing friends and communities, so I’ll keep it short: thank you Janelle Monáe for getting my whole life with Dirty Computer.
One thing to do before graduating: Walk over to Riverside Park as the sun is setting, sit on a bench, listen to music that makes you feel at ease, and thank yourself!! Pause and look back at everything you’ve done/are about to do and really just sit in that shit!
Any regrets? I stayed committed to things that were energy suckers for a little too long (those who know, know) which made me not show up for loved ones in ways that I wish I could. Not getting to know staff and faculty as well as I wish. Not switching my meal plan to have more points than swipes until this semester. Not checking people who use inaccessible jargon just to sound smart enough.
Image via Simi aka Sim Simma aka ya favourite Aunty