Kofi wants you to live with more care. You need to care about people and things and surround yourself with those who do similar.

Name, School, Major, Hometown:  Kofi Meighan, SEAS ’23, Computer Science, West Palm Beach, Florida!

Claim to fame: Bacchanal prezzy, shoutout Columbus!

Where are you going? Brooklyn, and I’ll be commuting over to Chelsea for my Software Engineering work at Google!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2027? 

  1. It’s NEVER that serious. You are going to go through some really tough moments, whether it’s induced by school, friends, family, or your professional career, you should always keep in mind that life goes on and as long as you are ensuring your happiness and health, everything else will line up.
  2. Give a fuck about something. Seriously. I went through the majority of my Columbia career trying to be involved in everything I could, but stretching yourself too thin takes away from the individual experiences you’re trying to have. I decided to care about Bacchanal with my whole heart and soul. Working on the day of the show, building a community of music lovers, and showing people that the traditional “Investment Banker” or “Software Engineer” isn’t the only answer, gave me so much happiness when Doechii told us that she loved the energy that Columbia gave her with something she’d never experienced from students before.
  3. Surround yourself with people who care about your well-being and success. It seems obvious, but there is a lot of hate in this world that people unconsciously spread. Fill your life with friends that jump as high as you when you succeed, and lift you up and stay with you in the hardest times you’ve seen.
  • Bonus: This is Columbia University In the City of New York. Your education does not end after you puncture the Columbia bubble into the city. Interact with everyone as people. When a homeless person asks you for money, respond to them with respect and say you kindly don’t have money on you, and keep it moving. Strike up a conversation if you have the urge to talk to someone interesting. Get involved in the community and interact with people that aren’t paid to interact with you (your professors, security guards, dining hall faculty). There are too many people that make this city rich with experience, and you’re only missing out on wisdom when you hole yourself away from them.
  • Bonus #2: Watermelon water cures hangovers.

“Back in my day…”: we had ACTUAL CÖÖP. BOP forever <3

Favorite Columbia controversy? Everything this institution does is terrible for the Harlem community. I really disagree with Columbia’s white saviorism mindset.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? The Computer Vision series of classes. With AI exploding right now I’m glad I was able to learn a lot of the techniques used in computer vision (generating images, conversational bots, etc.). But learning about how a computer stores and sees images was really intriguing out of all my classes.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese. I don’t even like Mozzarella sticks.

Whom would you like to thank? My grandpa. Coming from a family of immigrants, a degree was non-negotiable. My grandfather is one of the smartest, most meticulous human beings I’ve ever met. He did a lot of economics work for Belize (where my entire family is from), and was always professional and retained his manners in every situation possible. He’s a lot more “goody-two-shoes” than me, but he modeled what a respectable man with a bright future would look like. I want to thank him for that.

One thing to do before graduating: Walk the length of Manhattan with your friends! Bring a speaker, water, some substances, and get walking.

Any regrets? Not going abroad. There are too many things to see in this world, and I’m so angry at myself for not utilizing this malleable time at Columbia to see places other than Morningside Heights. Plus Columbia would’ve paid for it.

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