“Breathe, relax, enjoy.”

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Carolyn Friedman, Columbia College, Anthropology, Atlanta, Georgia

Claim to fame: Leaving glitter literally everywhere I go (sorry, no, it won’t come out), directing “The Bacchae 2.1”, C I R C U S, working at Hungarian for approximately six months, dancing on EC furniture, HÖP 

Where are you going?: Wouldn’t I like to know

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2026?

  1. Consider a concentration. My sophomore year I decided that I’d just do a concentration in Anthropology, and it opened up my entire college experience. All of those amazing classes you’d love to take but don’t have the time for? I took them, explored weird interests, and ultimately opened up my worldview and path forward in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible with a traditional major. You also graduate with the same exact degree. 
  1. Do things that scare you while you’re here! Things that feel impossible. These are the lowest stakes you’ll ever have so take those risks. Why not?
  1. You are exactly where you once desperately hoped you’d be. Breathe, relax, enjoy.

“Back in my day…” Bacchanal was a hot happening mess, the first night at Columbia was spent sleeping on the lawns, The Mill existed, Wu and Nussbaum was Nussbaum and Wu, you had to really work to sneak food and drinks into Butler, and the top floor of the IAB was still a secret (oop)

Favorite Columbia controversy? When the marching band was banned from the library so they hid their instruments ahead of time, locked the doors of Butler 209, and performed anyway.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Too many to name. Drama, Theatre, Theory with Austin Quigley quite literally changed my life; Reincarnation and Technology with David Kittay; Intro to Linguistics with John McWhorter; Ecocriticism for the End Times with Marilyn Ivy; Shakespeare I with James Shapiro; Indigenous Place-Thought with Severin Fowles. Additionally, anything taught by Heidi Julavits, Margo Shohl, Tamisha Guy, Roosevelt Montas, Catherine Fennell, or Selina Makana.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? At first I said cheese and then I thought about it and now my answer is cheese.

Whom would you like to thank? Everybody. Alex. Jaine. Mira and James. Ginnie. My first family here- Boy Meets Girl. My actual family. COÖP. The Bayit, whom I love and am so grateful for. Every professor that has let me sit in their office just to chat. The cast of SFB. The entire team of “The Bacchae 2.1”. Columbia Circus Collective. My room in John Jay with the little balcony. Big windows that let you see the NYC skyline. Hot sauce. Snow days. 

One thing to do before graduating: I want to go to the observatory on top of Pupin. Is it open? Is there a big telescope? Please advise.

Any regrets? Covid, obviously. But if I’d had a normal senior year I would have lost out on all the beautiful moments and people the past two years have brought. There will always be more classes to take, people to meet, and moments to share. Onward and upward baby.

Portrait via Soorim Lee