Feel the rain on your skin! No one else can feel it for you, only Jillian can let it in…

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Jillian Harrison, Columbia College, Psychology and Economics, Pelham, New York

Claim to fame: Active student group leader (CU Dems VP, CBHillel poster child, etc.) turned senior ghost. Exposed to the mumps in the year 2022. This tweet.

Where are you going? The industrial walk-in fridge at the Beit Ephraim (Bayit): Columbia’s Jewish Pluralistic Food Co-Op (please help I’m stuck!!!)

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

  1. Doing less can be good, actually. It gives you the space to seek out the things that give you energy, find new creative outlets, and share more laughs with the people you miss.
  2. School isn’t everything (duh), but it can be a thing. When it is, go to the Empirical Reasoning Center! And the Writing Center! Find the people and spaces that make your projects less lonely and more collaborative. You and your work will be better for it.
  3. It’s okay to be struggling with bad feelings other than “stressed” and “soooo busy.” If you’re feeling down, sad, unmotivated, or the like, you are not alone in that and you deserve to feel better.
  4. Bonus Jonas alert! If you think you have something to say, you probably do and you should probably say it. Sometimes, it’s just like Natasha Bedingfield said: release your inhibitions.

“Back in my day…” JJ’s was open 22/7, Bacchanal was on campus, I was lucky to be on a renovated floor of Carman, Hungarian was cash only, student workers didn’t have a fair contract (c’mon union power!!!), it was called Nussbaum & Wu, and you could walk to the Urban Outfitters at 101 St for a study break.

Favorite Columbia controversy? That deleted Columbia tweet about seeing the lit up blue sky from Brooklyn the night a power plant exploded in 2018.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? In my majors, Political Psych with Prof. Brotherton and Econ of the Public Sector with Prof. Ananat. For dance, Ballet IV with Marjorie Folkman and Modern III with Caitlin Trainor.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m lactose intolerant. (Yes, this is a cop out.)

Whom would you like to thank? CU Dems for giving me Sarah, Janine, Grace, Alex, and Parker. The Bayit for being the Jewish and literal home of my dreams. ASB Argentina, Welcome Weekend, and J Street for making Hillel #HereForMe. Carman 13 for giving me Emma and CMTS Presents: Legally Blonde for giving me Kate. Everyone who has shown me kindness on this campus. And every Barnard professor and core professor I’ve ever had (except for one. I won’t name names).

One thing to do before graduating: Pass the swim test. And check my email.

Any regrets? I spent too much of freshman year thinking that doing all the reading was a necessary and sufficient condition for being prepared for class. Also, I should have taken more classes with my friends and more classes that let me grow as a writer. And I wish I’d danced more. Alas, someday. ((Someday just began.))

Photo of Jillian via Lynne Irvin