Chad’s senior wisdom includes avoiding regrets, getting up before 5 am, and going to hell.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Chad Arle, CC, Film and Media Studies / Business Concentration, Concord, MA

Claim to fame: I hosted the first Carman party on the first night of NSOP. I typed up and submitted a final project in one hour on a desktop in a Harvard Library and got a 100%. I won DG Anchor Tag. That’s really all I care about. 

Where are you going? To Hell. But first, I’m hoping to go to LA once it opens again. In the meantime, I’m writing some movies.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2025?

  1. You can make memories doing anything. Some of the closest moments I had with friends were at 3 am sharing Red Bulls in a study room in Butler. Some of my most memorable epiphanies at Columbia happened while walking back to the dorm when it was a little foggy which made me look at the campus in a way I never had before. Or use these moments to call home…I didn’t do it enough, and looking back, it means way more than I thought. Not everything worthwhile has to be an “event.”
  2. People will tell you to join clubs, and you should. But don’t be afraid to leave clubs, either. Check out whatever you think is cool (mark your calendars—BDSM club meets Tuesdays at 8), but leave if it isn’t giving you what you’re putting in, or has lost that original spark. If the friendships are good enough, they’ll last outside of a club meeting. Time is too short and clubs eat up all of it, so make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing. 
  3. JJ’s does have ranch dressing—it’s over at the salad bar.

“Back in my day…” Ferris pasta was served in regular bowls, not those square hybrid things. The nearest Dunkin was on 104th & Amsterdam (but I still went), Amir’s Falafel existed (but no one went), the name Chad wasn’t as much of a meme, and Carman dorms were more like prison cells that gave you pinkeye (though you had WAY more wardrobe space).

Favorite Columbia controversy? Ferris vs. John Jay. I mostly find this one amusing because everyone agrees that they are both second to JJ’s, so it’s sort of like a weird run-off competition that people have when they’re trying to pretend that they eat more than fried food and soft-serve every night.
But I will support Ferris to my grave. John Jay is a good place. Everything seems like it’s better—bigger space, more options, etc.—but then you start to notice the little details. The chairs are just too low on the tables, the food is always just dry enough, there are dozens of utensil holders but only one ever has forks, and one of the cereals is always stale.
The worst thing Ferris does is play the same three songs on loop.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

Origins and Meaning with Brian Greene.

But I’d like to shoutout Intro to Film & Media with Rob King. I walked in there sophomore fall on the brink of being a sellout, and this class inspired me to instead pursue unemployment. And I’m genuinely thankful.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? As far as I know, you can’t buy fresh oral sex for $14 a block at Westside, so I’m willing to let it go. 

Whom would you like to thank? My parents for allowing me to major in film (bless them), Katie (my final 2), Aaron (my Don Quixote), Alvy (my lover), Will (I’m already writing my best man speech), Ian (my Yoda), Tyler (for making all of my songs sound professional), Samantha (especially for your apartment), Dylan (for reminding me that there are other people in film), Sophia (for messaging me when I was sick during Camelot), Sophie (for keeping me in the circle), Gonzo (for bringing me doughnuts at my darkest hour), Mohammed at the 115th St Halal (for the fries), SigNu (every one of you), Clefs (for giving me nodes), CMTS (for getting Bwog to comment on my ass), UpLo (for Ders), Carman 1005 (for the vines and Harry), McBain 10 (for the groupme), Ruggles (for my 3rd roommate Mariel), the Schapiro practice rooms (for crying), Uris floor 3 (for chinese food), the cast of Skywalker: a Star Wars Musical (for never happening), JJ’s (for 4 meals a day), and my parents again, because I couldn’t have started this journey without them, or finished it without them.

One thing to do before graduating: Get up before 5 am, put on something cozy, grab a few close pals, and sit out on the lawns or Low as the sun rises, before anyone else is up. This might be your peak.

Any regrets?

When I was in 6th grade a cute girl texted me and said “Btw, I’m home alone this weekend,” (yes, 6th grade), and my response was “Wow! We should throw a party!” 

I just had to get that off my chest.

My biggest regret is really how often I tried to avoid having regrets. Life can be far more interesting if you stop hesitating and realize that people around you are looking for something interesting too. Spice it up. There are many times I wish I’d done that.

Also, I regret Venday.