Name, School, Major, Hometown: lev; cc; ealac; salt lake city, utah.
Claim to fame: i’m the person who comments “rush frisbee!!” on every columbia confessions post. if you’ve ever been in a discussion-based class with me, we’ve definitely gotten into an argument because (i flatter myself to say) i’m kind of a notorious shit-stirrer. finally, i am proud to say that i’m probably the least talented person at this university when it comes to reading social cues. and that’s saying something.
Where are you going? moving home to sleep on the floor in my sister’s room, and then who knows! life is a great mystery. so probably grad school :/
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2026?
1. this place can be really, really awful or really, really great, and at least 90% of what makes the difference is doing something you find tolerable. maybe that means leaving your terrible club and finding friends somewhere else. maybe that means changing your major. maybe that means studying somewhere that isn’t ref. i don’t know what it looks like for you, but i promise that you can do it.
it is so, so easy to fall into self-defeating ruts of misery here, but you HAVE to break yourself out of them. i know that i was really unhappy here for a long time, because i had convinced myself that i should stick with the things that i knew. in every possible way that you could take this: you’re in one of the most wonderful, diverse cities in the world, surrounded by more lives/sensations/languages/tastes/experiences/knowledge than your little primate brain can imagine. try everything. that’s what you’re here to do.
2. do the readings. seriously. they’re more important than the homework. we both know that your discussion post is going to be a bunch of bs regardless. your professors don’t assign readings because they want you to be bored; they assign them because they want you to think. so think!
3. rush frisbee!!!
“Back in my day…” orgo night. what else is there to say.
Favorite Columbia controversy? uh watching columbia confessions come into existence was pretty magical, and those first few months were an experience that i think will be often imitated but never replicated. but the mario badescu foaming cleanser scandal is definitely up there.
What was your favorite class at Columbia?
cheating to say my top three.
third year chinese with shi zhongqi. shi laoshi is an absolute powerhouse—he quite literally wrote the textbook—in a department full of powerhouses, but he’s also just a huge sweetie. one of my most treasured memories from zoom school is him painstakingly typing “Press F to pay respect” in the chat box.
post-socialist cosmologies with emily ng changed not only the way that i think about the world, but also probably my life (tbd). the only subject and professor that could have possibly made me consider taking a class with a friday 2:10-4:00 timeslot. one hundred percent worth it.
classical chinese with liu lening was the hardest class i’ve ever taken (harder than classes that i failed, lol), but also, now i can look at 史記, or an inscription in a han dynasty tomb, or centuries of text from anywhere in the sinosphere, and just… read them? so that’s pretty cool.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? are we talking giving or receiving here
(what? ew! i’m talking about the cheese, you pervs)
Whom would you like to thank? can i say baewatch 300 times? well, baewatch 300 times. the most welcoming, silly, wonderful community on a campus that sorely needs to be more welcoming, silly, and wonderful. the specialist of special mentions for anna, ally, amy, iz, and j (and tall sarah).
all support staff, especially dining hall workers; you deserve a lot more than what this institution and its people give you. without you, i would definitely be gnawing on rat carcasses for sustenance right now.
my parents, for all of the parent things and also for tolerating me being extremely weird for 21 years and counting. my sisters maggie and elinor, for being my best friends and also making me seem less weird by comparison.
every professor and TA (TAs in particular, actually) i had the privilege of learning from in the e3b & ealac departments—i appreciate you more than i can say for your patience in sharing your wisdom with me.
and eelia and owen, obviously.
One thing to do before graduating: despite proudly espousing things that are objectively bad, i’ve never had a slice from koronet’s, so maybe i’ll change that. or maybe i’ll just eat something tasty instead.
Any regrets? my biggest regret has to be not realizing how much studying at the library rocks until two weeks before the end of the semester senior spring. starr does hold a special place in my heart, since i’m an “east asian studies major” or whatever, but lehman is both my wife and my mistress. thinking about how much i love her terrible, lumpy furniture keeps me up at night. if you could common-law marry a library, she and i would be living together somewhere upstate already. her mystique lies in her emptiness, though, so you guys should go study in butler or something.
lev via lev