Read more for the wise words of the ‘grandmother’ of the Columbia Arab Students Association.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Mallak Al Husban, Barnard College, Double Major in Economics and Human Rights. Mafraq, Jordan
Claim to fame: I do not know how to put this, but I am kind of a big deal. Former President and current senior advisor (aka grandmother) of CU Turath, the Arab Students Association at Columbia University. Relationship expert, aspiring marathon runner (in less than 12 years inshallah) and a makeup enthusiast.
Where are you going? WhEre ArE yOu GoiNg
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2023?
First, four places to avoid at all costs. Meatless Monday at John Jay, Dinner at Ferris from 6-7pm ( at least three casualties every evening) (jk) (seriously tho), Late Dinner in Hewitt (you’ll leave hungrier or with food poisoning, your choice), and last but not least at all, do not come near Butler during midterms, don’t even think about it. Midterms are not a good time to catch the plague.
Second, take yourself seriously. Do not underestimate yourself. It is easy to compare yourself to your peers on campus, and feel like everyone is hustling and on a roll. Do not overthink the Goldman Sachs job or the McKinsey offer that your friend whose dad owns wall street got. You will end up somewhere. You will be overwhelmed by everything and everyone. I was too overwhelmed when I got to Barnard, I lost my sense of direction and ended up taking a taxi to Citibank a couple of blocks down. Do not let it get to you. Trust me. You are beyond strong and capable of doing it your way.
Third, don’t take yourself too seriously though. Have a good time. Allow yourself to hang out with your friends and to enjoy the city. If there is an exhibition at the MET that you are dying to see, go see it! If there a cookie dough ice cream place you want to devour, do that! If there is a falafel place with actual hummus, by all means, run to it! School work will always be there, so it is very important to pace yourself and take a breath. Even if it is a subway breath filled with bacteria and viruses that are most likely to shut down your immune system and send you to the ER for a night or two, take it.
“Back in my day…” JJ’s was a private club, and we had to bribe cc students with kidneys. Did you know that Malia Obama was denied access to JJ’s amid rumors of her attending Barnard? *cries in Diana points*
Favorite Columbia controversy? Columbia pays TAs.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Funny, my Palestinian friends get asked this question ALL the time.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? My all time favorite class would be Arabian Nights and Its Influences with Prof. Hisham Matar. Hands down the best Professor and human being you would ever meet. He only teaches in the fall so grab your seat now and change your life.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Ramadan is in 5 days (or will be here by the time you read this). 3eeb.
Whom would you like to thank? I would like to thank the Peet’s baristas for not questioning my decision of ordering a caramel macchiato with four shots at 10:00 pm on a school night. I would like to thank the people at Blue Java for sneaking an extra shot in my drinks when possible. I want to thank my amazing professors for the extensions they did not give me, and a bigger thank you for those who did. I want to thank my advisor for allowing me to P/D/F all my classes. I wanna thank the amazing people at Hewitt for not judging my attire at 11am on a Sunday morning. Oh, and a very special thank you to Turath squad for being the amazing and beautiful people they are *insert 5 kisses on each cheek*.
One thing to do before graduating: I want to wake up one day with enough energy to walk to 108th street, enough patience to wait in line for Absolute Bagels, enough willpower to stay in line, enough appetite to get 16 handles afterwards, and enough guilt to run in riverside two hours later.
Any regrets? Not really. I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.