We’re losing a real one (creator of BwogTok).

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Jordan Merrill, SEAS, Operations Research, Boca Raton, FL. Favorite dining hall food: Ferris chana masala. Favorite article of clothing: socks. Favorite Australian: Nicole Kidman. Favorite number: 72.

Claim to fame: You’ve probably either unfollowed me on Twitter or read this article I wrote my sophomore year. I was also the video editor for this site for a few years and did things I’m not proud of (created the Bwog TikTok). 

Where are you going? South Florida, hopefully to an apartment complex with a pool. Alternatively: Your Mom’s House. 

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

  1. Don’t take yourself or your classmates too seriously. A lot of people my freshman year at Columbia (including me) thought they were a “big fish in a small pond” before coming here. Most of the time that actually just meant they were really pretentious and annoying. I saw a lot of people at this time getting prestigious internships or doing crazy summer research and felt like I had to “keep up” to be taken seriously here (I didn’t keep up). Don’t give people unnecessary credibility in your head just because they sold their summer to Goldman when they were nineteen. We all end up doing something
  2. This might sound ironic after my first point but join a club or organization (not greek life lol) and take it 100% seriously. Commit yourself to something without a sense of ironic detachment; care about literally anything. It’s so much more rewarding than milling your way through classes just trying to reach the finish line. And having any type of community in this place is really valuable, especially during senior year when you might not have any idea what your next goal will be. 
  3. Have a little humility and don’t be a dick to anyone who works in the dining halls. 

“Back in my day…” Junzi had a promotion where you could get a free bowl if you submitted your email to them, so everyone kept making up new emails and getting so many free Junzi bowls they had to end the entire campaign. There were also fake bird noises all over campus from like midnight to 8AM my first two years here. I don’t have evidence and I don’t know what happened to them, but I know PrezBo did it. 

Favorite Columbia controversy? This image. 

Also the entire “controversy” section of the marching band’s Wikipedia page. My personal most controversial Columbia opinion is that the air outside of Dig Inn smells good. 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Simulation with Yi Zhang was probably the hardest class I took here but also the most rewarding. Yi has no idea who I am, but he’s one of the most straightforward and just…good… professors I’ve ever had. I’m also in Beginning Fiction Workshop with Melanie Broder right now, and if you’ve ever had any inclination to write I highly recommend this class! I went from only knowing how to write poetry and weird articles where I interview rats to writing two short stories that I don’t hate!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? A real news publication that loves me and cares about me wouldn’t make me choose (I have trouble with lactose). 

Whom would you like to thank? The Academy and God. My best friends–the bitches who quarantined with me in NEW JERSEY for a whole year–Amber, Anthony, and Lily. I’d be rolling around on the sidewalks in despair without you guys. The absolute legends who have been with me since the beginning of my Columbia career (Abi, Grace, Emily, Sarah). The people who graduated before me but imparted so much wisdom and shenanigans during their time here (Lara, Zack, Jenny, Zoe). Every single person in Bwog. My family (thanks for paying my tuition, Dad) and my best friends from home (Brandon and Hallie) who got me through many rough nights by watching Drag Race with me over facetime. And also my boyfriend, who just rocks. 

One thing to do before graduating: Do the stupid Subway Party where you skinny dip in Coney Island. 

Any regrets? Taking a nap the day Amy Adams was on campus filming Enchanted 2. And not writing more weird articles my senior year. And maybe I could’ve stopped Covid at the source or something. I stand by everything else. 

Portrait via Jordan