Sophia shares Butler 8 secrets and reminds you that people care.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Sophia Houdaigui, Barnard, History, Mclean, Virginia

Claim to fame: In the words of Greta Gerwig, “Varsity Varsity Varsity.” Danced a tango about the Ferris Pasta station in The 124th Annual Varsity Show and directed the notoriously digital V126.5. Also could be found presiding over CMTS and editing op-eds for the Columbia Political Review.

Where are you going? Putting my four years of theatre experience to good use—by going to law school.

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

  1. Upperclassmen want to be friends with you. My first real friend in college was a senior who asked me to go to dinner after a rehearsal. So ask that wise upperclassman that you admire to go to coffee (they’ll feel flattered).
  2. Your friends want you to go to their events but aren’t telling you. People work really hard at this school on their shows, events, and concerts. But they’re embarrassed to ask you to go see them. People at CU are afraid to show they care about things sometimes, so go and make their day by showing up.
  3. Butler has an 8th floor and it’s the place to study if you want absolutely zero distractions. You should work in Butler 209 for everyday studying, but when I needed to hurriedly finish a paper with no interaction from the outside world, Butler 8 was the place to be. Be warned though – it looks like an insane asylum.

“Back in my day…” It was Nussbaum and Wu, Barnard students had to be swiped into JJs after 1 AM, the Marching Band existed and played in 209, Barnard’s campus was just scaffolding, and Milstein was a plot of dirt.

Favorite Columbia controversy? The Great Registration Site Crash of Fall 2017, The Great Registration Site Crash of Spring 2018, The Great Registration Site Crash of Fall 2018, The Great Registration Site Crash of Spring 2019, The Great Registration Site Crash of Fall 2019, The Great Registration Site Crash of Spring 2020, The Great Registration Site Crash of Fall 2020, The Great Registration Site Crash of Spring 2021

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Mark Carnes’ “US History 1940-1975” will lead you to obsesses over counterculture, Rashid Khalidi’s “History of the Modern Middle East” will make an 8:40 worth the wake up time, Stephanie McCurry’s “U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction” will have you fall down the rabbit hole of Southern History, and Matthew Vaz’s “Race, Class, and Politics in New York City” will make you appreciate the kindness of a professor. But it is Barbara Fields’ “History of the South” that will make you a history major. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Whatever answer will more easily get me a Mama’s Too sponsorship.

Whom would you like to thank? In order of appearance: My parents, Sammy, Talmage, Rachel, Jacob, The But Caf Baristas, CMTS, Genevieve, Ilana, Lydia, XMAS, Joel, Anna, V124, Sophie, Sila, Ethan, Nakiri, Lauren, The Athena Center, Sophia, Kate, Sarah, Andrea, Isabelle, Christian, Chad, Allie Emmerich, Alex, Maria, Ramsay, Jackie, Olivia, Ava, V126, Lisa Tiersten, and Nara Milanich.

One thing to do before graduating: SEE. THE. VARSITY. SHOW. (Also study in Butler 209 and take a History class).

Any regrets? Not spending enough time in Brownie’s.

Image via Sophia