Hear ye, hear ye, we have another senior’s wisdom for your perusal!
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Rachana Gollapudi, SEAS, Chemical Engineering, South Brunswick, NJ and Hyderabad, India – pls don’t make me choose, I am a commitment-phobe.
Claim to fame: Hit me up for best napping spots on campus and for a definitive ranking of bagels in the dining halls.
Where are you going? To join Corporate America in San Francisco, before I eventually break down and run back to New York ! !
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2023?
1. Leave campus more! I know so many people will tell you this, but you’re literally in the greatest and most vibrant city in the whole world. NYC is funny and confusing and incredibly special, don’t let work/studying get in the way of meeting new people and exploring new places.
2. It’s such a privilege to find something that sparks an innate passion in you. And if you do find that, pursue it. Make friends in your department, because Columbia is lonely and communities are not, and some of your favorite people will be the ones who get your problems like no one else will (@ my senior design group).
3. Take care of yourself. Do your laundry, take showers, work out, attend (some) classes!!! Respect yourself enough to live as independently as you can, but love yourself enough to absolutely see a therapist when you need to. Don’t be afraid to be sad sometimes, but make sure you’re happy sometimes too. Don’t let anyone define your identity or experiences for you, because that’s your agency to have. Try not to own too many things (seriously, it will make move-out so hard). And don’t compare yourself to the people around you, everyone has their own life trajectories. There’s no right way to do college, but if you don’t take care of yourself first, who will?
“Back in my day…” Nussbaum & Wu was still around ;( and Lerner mailboxes, but that’s good because I haven’t seen my key since freshman year
Favorite Columbia controversy? Not sure if favorite is the appropriate word but how did we make it through mold, broken laundry machines, and no stoves…still wouldn’t even think of living anywhere else tho
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I’ll refer you to Elon Musk and the simulation hypothesis.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? Biopharmaceutical Product Development with Haro Hartounian, for teaching me about the industry I love most. And Major Texts of Middle East and South Asia with Rachel McDermott, it enhanced a lot of my culture and beliefs for me personally by providing a really wonderful literary foundation for them (and she’s a great professor!).
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Two words: Shake Shack.
Whom would you like to thank? My parents and brother, who I miss every day. My friends, professors, and Columbia, who I will miss every day. My high school teachers, Genentech for two of the greatest summers of my life, the kids I tutor – the list goes on. Myself, for remembering to stay hydrated through all the all-nighters and messy problem sets (a water bottle is one of the most important investments you can make). And especially the people who let me borrow their phone chargers. Also Flume for my entire Spotify playlist :))
One thing to do before graduating: Attend Holi! The shower afterwards will be the most grueling of your life, but it’s worth it, I promise.
Any regrets? Everything but also nothing. That being said, probably Thermodynamics.