Soon-to-be middle school teacher, Callum Kiser, explains how to cultivate a main character sentimental moment with friends before graduating in this Senior Wisdom.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Callum Kiser, CC, English, Chatsworth, CA

Claim to fame: Lurking in JJ’s so often that Apple Maps eventually started calling it “Home.”

Where are you going? I’m staying on the Upper West Side to be a middle school English teacher!

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

  1. Do things alone! Life at Columbia can get overwhelming, and a lot of times you just need to go out and spend time with yourself. Eat a meal for one on the blue couches outside Ferris. Be your own date to the Met. Walk through Riverside Park and sit by the Hudson, and even swim in it if you want antibodies.
  2. College is really the only time in our lives where we’re living with and surrounded by thousands of people our age—take advantage of that! Undergrad is like one big beautiful theme park filled with other 18 to 22-years olds, and that’s really cool! Keep your friends close, always be open to building new relationships, and just live it up as much as you can.
  3. If you’re a humanities major, DO THE READINGS FOR YOUR CLASSES!!! I have no right telling you this considering I eventually set my browser home page to Shmoop, but I think I would’ve gotten a lot more out of my classes had I actually read what I was supposed to.

“Back in my day…” Zoom was a verb.

Favorite Columbia controversy?
I think all the dining hall scandals are so funny…like…thumbtacks and glass shards in the food?? What, as if the sting of seasonal depression isn’t sharp enough??

What was your favorite class at Columbia? 
“History of the English Language” with John McWhorter!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Unlike my oral sex, I prefer my cheeses semi-hard (Gouda, Provolone, Gruyere). Besides those types, though, I’m not much of a cheese fan, so I’d definitely ditch the dairy.

Whom would you like to thank?
If I make a list, I’m nervous the people I leave out will get mad at me, so I shall instead skip the anxiety and thank no one.

One thing to do before graduating: Find particular spots on campus that are meaningful to you and a friend (did you jump into the penis fountains drunk on the way home from an EC party? have a Timothée sighting?) and stroll around those spots together one night <33.

Any regrets? Not finding the owl in Alma that would have made me valedictorian in spite of my mediocre GPA.

portrait via Callum