Sarah has a lot of wisdom to share. The one thing they want in return is to know how their mattress got from EC to Alma. Literally, how??
Name, School, Major, Hometown:
Sarah, CC, PoLiTiCaL sCiEnCe, Beijing
Claim to fame:
Probably one of the following: Posting excessively on an Instagram account named after a skincare product company or posting excessively on Columbia buy sell memes at its peak; pointless Facebook arguments; dating app escapades and spicy commentary on the lovely trash fire that is dating at Columbia and in NYC; completely ripping my jeans down the middle while trying to hop the fence between KDR and Beta during Bacchanal 2018 but rallying anyway; maybe…….for being *that* pre-law kid (this one is the worst)?
Where are you going?
I’ll be back in Beijing and using a couple of months to improve my Chinese language skills! Also, I will be studying for the drag that is the LSAT, in preparation to apply to law school/grad school. I hope to eventually make it into a couple of JD-PhD programs and apply for some fellowships in between.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2024?
- Social climbing sucks. There’s this weird tendency for people at Columbia to chase friendships of temporary clout and fame, and I had a lot of trouble finding my ~place~ before I realized that Columbia is kind of what you make out of it. There’s no one way to be a college student and you definitely shouldn’t rely on gossip or false expectations to know what’s right for you. Popularity is overrated if you’re a terrible person, and you’ll get burnt out putting a face on for people you don’t like. All you can do is surround yourself with people who make you happy because truly nothing else matters when you’re outside of the Bubble™–when you graduate, literally no one is going to care about who you knew or who you spent time with. But really, get out of the Columbia bubble. If you ever have to wait in line for ANY kind of social gathering on campus, it’s not worth it. Yes, this includes Senior Night.
- It’s not necessary to be so hyper-competitive and individualistic all the damn time. Your peers are probably incredible people and their accomplishments or journeys should never invalidate your own. Hype up your friends, support each other, and develop your hobbies; your identity should exist outside of just school or superficial visions of success. Best advice I ever got from my dad was the following: people are not going to remember you for how smart and accomplished you are, they are going to remember how you interacted with them and how you made them feel. It’s worth it to make others feel good about themselves.
- The halal cart near the law school entrance on 116th/Amsterdam is hands-down the best one. You can fight me on this!!!
“Back in my day…”
Columbia Confessions didn’t exist, freshmen had smaller social media followings than upperclassmen (it’s like they all skipped the awkward phase and went straight to becoming viral on TikTok????), and online classes? What online classes?
Favorite Columbia controversy?
As a lover of controversy and drama it’s waaaaaaay too difficult to pick just one, but I’m gonna have to say either 1) that one time someone fell down the EC shaft and was stuck in there for a bizarre amount of time, or 2) all the random bits of tea I’ve heard over the past few years, like the fact that someone in John Jay got his window bolted shut by facilities because he couldn’t stop peeing out of it–sir, are you doing OK?
What was your favorite class at Columbia?
Literature Humanities with Debashree Mukherjee. That woman was a LitHum GODDESS. Shoutout to all the brilliant minds in that class also because every seminar I’ve taken after that, including higher-level ones in my field of study, have never really lived up to it.
Close second would be either Philosophy of Feminism with Christia Mercer, or Power, Rights, and Social Change with Bernard Harcourt. Take Mercer’s class even if you don’t know anything about philosophy or feminism! It’s not the way it sounds and it’s actually a pretty good introduction to epistemology. Honestly, anything in the Columbia Philosophy department is fire.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?
I truly despise cheese.
Whom would you like to thank?
All the friends and degenerates I’ve met along the way–Catherine Chu: We really made our way through it all. I love you endlessly!
Audrey, Esme: The incredible meat clowns I needed all of college. Us peaking was really too short :(
Megan Massey: For being the big sister I never had.
SJ, Laura T, Neel, Erinn, Alice Z, Michael, Hannah, Ani, and Sacha: Thank you for the friendship and for being some of the most important people to me during these formative years.
Claudia, Chelsea, and Fiona: My favorite off-campus people.
Beerlin Gang and Condo E: I know we had a short time together, but it’s been extremely entertaining and fun nonetheless.
AXO: Greek life as an institution sucks. The sorority as an institution sucks. If Nationals is reading this, you really need to move past restrictive standards for women that have not progressed past the 1950s. But AXO Columbia? I wouldn’t be here without you and the brilliant people I’ve met. Big shoutout to my lineage and to everyone who lived in the stone.
All the quasi-friendships I’ve cultivated on social media: Thanks for the DMs and kind messages. I take them to heart!
My parents, for putting up with me, and my brother, for being the funniest person I know.
Did I forget anyone?? I hate leaving people out.
One thing to do before graduating:
Find my Senior Scramble crushes and tell them all to find me in the stacks at the exact same time. They then proceed to eliminate each other with nerf guns, battle royale-style, while I watch and give commentary from afar. The last one standing gets my undying love and attention, plus a free dinner date.
In all seriousness though, one thing I always wanted to do was watch the sunrise from Low Steps with my friends, after pulling an all-nighter in that weird liminal space before graduation–our last hurrah as seniors. The ideal night would probably start at 1020 and we’d hit all the Columbia hotspots one last time before leaving.
But the pandemic got in the way, and….ah, even writing this is making me sad.
Not taking more philosophy classes, not being able to sit on the lawns on a sunny day one last time, and never making it to Butler roof. :(
PS whoever took my mattress from Alma Mater after the last senior gathering in EC, why??? You took a whole mattress from Low Steps? I mean my friends put it there drunkenly, but still.