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Senior Wisdom: Meena Ardebili

Meena Ardebili looks a lot like Ilana Glazer, and is kind enough to give us killer advice on friendship and relationships.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Meena Ardebili, Barnard, Neuroscience & Urban Studies, Roslyn, NY

Claim to fame: People telling me I look like Ilana Glazer

Where are you going?

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2023?

1- Be generous with your small gestures!! Smile at the people who you’ve seen around campus a bunch even if you’ve never spoken to them. Wave hi to an NSOP friend when you see them across the room at a party. It helps build community at a school that can feel disjointed and lonely.

2- All relationships take work- keeping your friends in your life requires you to make an effort to keep them there, even when you don’t have a default reason like class or a club to run into them

3- It’s easy to know the right thing to tell friends and to be ready with advice, but it’s a whole other thing to be good at applying that to yourself. If you find yourself thinking/acting in a way that would concern you if a friend did it, take a second and check what the heck is up!!

“Back in my day…” There was a hidden butt in the Hewitt mural, and the pasta station was two vats of alfredo sauce and red sauce with overcooked pasta. Deluxe was the comfy diner where I got my first ever meal in Morningside Heights, and 2017 Diana 2 was what Milstein 2 is today.

Favorite Columbia controversy? The identity of the Barnard Bread Bandits (……… you heard it here first!! They are my dear friends Sophie Edelhart and Hanna Graybill!!

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I have a Baklava walking tour of Morningside Heights

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Cities in Developing Countries with Sevin Yildiz- I’ve never learned as much in a class as I did in this one, and Prof. Yildiz, while super intimidating, is incredibly knowledgeable, and dedicated to learning about her students! The first time I raised my hand in class, she called on me using my name, even though I had never said one thing— in a 40-person lecture, she had been learning people’s names using Courseworks ID photos.
Narrative, Health, and Social Justice or Visionary Medicine: Racial Justice, Health, and Speculative Fictions with Sayantani DasGupta. Prof. DasGutpa is so incredibly supportive, and her classes have been transformative to the ways I think and my ability to participate in a classroom and analyze course materials. We also just watch/read incredible media!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I can’t see a world where you couldn’t have both???

Whom would you like to thank? Dr. Meena Rao, the professor of the organic chem lab I almost failed and dropped out of sophomore year, who decided that for some reason, she liked me (I think its because we have the same name), and essentially forced me to finish the semester. The community garden on 107th and Columbus and Saiguette, both of which have given me heart when I needed it. More than anything, my friends my friends my friends, who I love with my whole heart.

One thing to do before graduating: Take a vertical tour of St John the Divine, get a rice pudding from Appletree, and sit in the UTS courtyard.

Any regrets? Thinking I had any to begin with! But seriously, doubting myself too much

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