Trying more pizza places is advice we can all get behind.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Jackson Hasty, Columbia College, Political Science with a History concentration, Nashville, TN

Claim to fame: Nobody knows this was me, but two years ago I started making lost clothing posters for increasingly unusual articles and putting them in laundry rooms. Assless chaps, Cookie Monster onesies, gimp suits, things like that. I even included a fake Columbia email for contact, checked to make sure it wasn’t a uni in use. 

Where are you going? Immediately to Nashville, hopefully to Law School afterward

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

  1. You’re a lot younger than you think you are. College is an important part of your life, but it’s not the beginning and end of your youth. Resist internal and external signals telling you that life is passing you by and that you’ll regret everything you did or didn’t do when you graduate. In that same vein, not everything you do needs to be a step towards career or academic success. Live in the moment as much as possible and try to find things you enjoy, not things you feel obliged to be doing.
  1. A lot of people will tell you to try things you didn’t like in high school, which is sound advice, but you should also be prepared not to enjoy every activity or subject you have up to this point. It’s really easy to stay with a major or a club you don’t truly love because you did it so much in high school and then miss out on other things.
  1. It’s always fun to leave the neighborhood, or even better, leave Manhattan if you get a chance. There are so many great restaurants, museums, and sights around the city if you look around. The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens is probably my personal favorite, it’s dedicated to film and television over the years. 

“Back in my day…” Wu and Nussbaum was Nussbaum and Wu, Dig was Dig Inn, and CUEMS (cyooms?) was CAVA.

Favorite Columbia controversy? My personal favorite was when a CC instructor had to cancel class because she poisoned herself with elderberries trying to create “natural immunity” instead of taking the flu vaccine.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? 

  1. Contemporary Civilization with Annie Pfeifer. I know people have mixed feelings about the Core, but her section was one of the most rewarding courses I’ve taken, and she is one of the kindest and most brilliant professors at the University. 
  1. US Intellectual History with Casey Blake. This was a fascinating course to take as someone experiencing the current state of academia to view the history of different ideologies and movements that led the American intellectual community to where it is now. Also an insight into the history and decline of left-wing politics in the United States since World War I. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Changing my name to DJ Khaled…

Whom would you like to thank? Annie Pfeifer again for a lot of reasons, one of which is for being supportive through the stresses of early Covid. David Helfand for making me love science for the first time since before my teens. Ryan Kuratko and all my Canterbury friends for keeping religion in my life in a positive way through college. The bottle flip guy on low steps for obvious reasons. Everyone in my Milanos Sundays group for being great people I always enjoy seeing. The halal cart guys for all the great work they do. Antonio and Jacob for being good friends and occasionally roommates through the years. 

One thing to do before graduating: Try enough pizza places to have a passionate opinion about which one is best (it’s Patsy’s!)

Any regrets? Most of the bad choices I made (staying with my high school girlfriend for a year, taking a 4000-level Comp Lit seminar my first semester of college, trying no fewer than fifteen extracurriculars freshman year) taught me important lessons and helped me get to where I am now. 

Here are two that I learned nothing from and which I simply regret:

I wish I had been to Postcrypt more while I was here before Covid, it’s one of the best Columbia traditions I had any opportunity to experience. I also regret using a mandolin in the Wallach kitchen sophomore year because I lost 2 of my fingertips. 

Portrait via Jackson