Brb, taking out my headphones and leaving my dorm right now!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: 

Spencer, SEAS, Computer Science + Sociology Minor, Baldwinsville, NY

Claim to fame: 

Filming the Wien dumpster fire in the Fall of 2018 <3 long live the sinks!

Where are you going? 

I am planning to take a train ride across the country because trains are cool. After that, somewhere fun, I hope!

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

  1. There will always be assignments, deadlines, and tasks to do here, most of which you will not remember in 5 years. Leave room in your schedule to spend time with friends, learn a new hobby, sleep, and relax. These are non-negotiables. My favorite memories happened at impromptu egg hunts, Train Night movie screenings, and random run-ins. Be present in those moments and always show up for those friends!
  2. You don’t need to be productive all the time, and you don’t need to be friends with people that make you feel like you do. Find people that want to hang out with you outside of work. Take a walk to Levain or play board games or have an early-morning breakfast in Lerner. I can’t remember the questions on my Principles of Econ midterm, but I do remember the women’s swim team’s favorite Pixar movies, and I think that’s great. Not only are these moments fulfilling, but they remind you that life exists outside the CU bubble.
  3. Go to Postcrypt! There are some wonderful artists at this school and beyond, many of which I would have never crossed paths with if not for the cute coffeehouse under the church. They are inspiring and talented and super rad.
  4. Bonus piece of wisdom: Don’t miss the sample tube with the covid test nose swab.

“Back in my day…”

St. Paul’s Chapel was covered in scaffolding, Columbia didn’t accept online classes for credit, and you could collect soooooo many pathogens from high-touch surfaces.

Favorite Columbia controversy? That some people believe Ferris is the best dining hall. Much love to the Ferris employees, but it’s just not the place to be unless you’re looking for an early breakfast (see above). In Ferris, you spend 90% of your time waiting in lines while not actually knowing what you’re waiting for. You think it’s quesadilla day; you’re stoked. You see so many quesadillas. There’s no fast-pass lane and the line gets longer by the second, so you claim your spot at (what you believe is) the end. You learn after a while that you are somehow in line for waffles (?), so you adjust course and start to inch forward on the correct path. You glance at the gallon-sized peanut butter and Nutella tubs to your right and feel sticky at the thought of the flat spatulas poking out of them like flag poles. You snap back to reality just in time for your turn to request your quesadilla and—what’s this?! No quesadillas?! You question your grip on reality, accept another lie from the CU dining website, and gaslight yourself for letting your guard down yet again. Begrudgingly, you get the brie and mango chutney sandwich and unwashed arugula with berries and shuffle your way up the staircase for the world to see. Not the spiral staircase, you’re not a maniac. Your day is otherwise unbothered.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

I absolutely adored The Social World with Adam Reich. I took the class in my second semester after transferring to Columbia, still unsure about whether I regretted my decision to transfer. Even in a large lecture, I appreciated Professor Reich’s insistence on learning our names and being fun + engaging, and that ended up being my favorite class that semester.

I also had a blast in Salsa, Soca + Reggae. Got to travel to deep Brooklyn and accidentally snuck into a cigar lounge for an assignment! Some hot takes were made. Good experience overall.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? 

I am extremely lactose intolerant, so obviously oral.

Whom would you like to thank? 

My family and friends for the endless supplies of laughs, love, and sweets, and Tamika from John Jay for the bagels + smoothies ( ˘ ³˘)♥

One thing to do before graduating:

Crush PrezBo in his own 5k 😏

Any regrets?

I spent a large portion of my time at Columbia fixated on the fact that I had transferred. I was compelled to make up for lost time while simultaneously paralyzed with fear because I felt that I didn’t belong. A few sore experiences in my first year locked me in that position for quite awhile. It wasn’t until I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone, felt embarrassed, and met new people that I started to lose that feeling.

Try out that club, leave your dorm room, take out your headphones, and have a bit of fun when you can. Adventure is out there!