Sarah tells us not to drop out, along with other wonderful pieces of wisdom.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Sarah Harty, Barnard College, History, Brooklyn, NY 

Claim to fame: My platinum blonde hair (RIP), my penchant for constantly losing my IDs, my perfect score on the “Countries of the World” Sporcle quiz. 

Where are you going? Mom! I told you I don’t know yet! 

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

Swipe right on that cute person in your class. Not as scary as you think. 

You might not meet all your best friends freshman year. This is okay. It’s a big school. Don’t drop out. 

It’s also okay to fail a class. I failed an actual graduation requirement and here I am. It’s brutal, but it puts things in perspective. 

“Back in my day…” Barnard students couldn’t get into JJ’s after 1 am, or into our library, at all, because we didn’t have one.

Favorite Columbia controversy? Beta knife set.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? US Foreign Relations 1890-1990 and Problems in International History, both with Anders Stephanson, The Seven Years’ War with Christopher L. Brown, War in Germany with Adam Tooze, and to prove I learned things other than men killing each other, The Art of the Essay with Nina Sharma.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Sorry, can you repeat that? I couldn’t hear you over the symphonic crunch of my ham and gruyère sandwich… 

Whom would you like to thank? In order of appearance: My parents, my sisters, and my beautiful friends, especially Kaili, Zack, Isa, Idris, Mary, and Ava. Also: Taylor Swift, rosé wine, Pepperidge Farm, Grammarly Plus, the Earl Hall gate, and the way the sun hits Low Steps in the early afternoon. 

One thing to do before graduating: Learn how to go places alone. Things will open again soon and you’ll be able to go to cinemas, restaurants, concerts etc. with abandon. New Yorkers aren’t as judgemental as you might think, and no one will care if you’re eating alone. Don’t miss out on things just because you don’t have anyone to go with. 

Any regrets? Having flannel sheets in dorms with no A/C.  Taking Intro Psych at Columbia instead of Barnard. Not wearing sunscreen every day. Do that, please. 

Image via Sarah