Gabi reminds us that college is all about finding beauty in your environment and getting serenaded by a guy with a guitar.

Name, School, Major Hometown: Gabi Frants; Barnard College; Political Science and Psychology; Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Claim to fame: Falling into the Washington Square Park fountain. 

Where are you going? Going, going, gone (I’m staying in the same precious apartment on 122nd, living with the same amazing roommates, and will soon be commuting to my ‘too good to be true’ job. These things work out, even if your housing lottery falls through and you don’t get a junior year Morgan Stanley internship). 

What are three things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2028?

  1. The secret to having it all is knowing that you already do. We are so lucky to even be here, and our time is better spent when we are consciously appreciating every room we walk into. Comparison only serves to take away joy that could easily be yours. Even if you feel alone or behind at times, remind yourself that there is so much love and value in what you have around you. The mornings become a little lighter when you realize that. 
  2. While the people you meet may be from radically different backgrounds and have entirely different outlooks on life, remember that everyone is coming from one common, human place. With this in mind, approach every situation with profound empathy for others, give those who wrong you the benefit of the doubt, and show the love that you would like to receive to those around you. That also means giving yourself, both past and present, grace. You, just like everyone else, are doing the best you can.
  3. College is a time to explore your interests and find your people! Don’t feel bound by social conventions or any set pre-professional tracks. The best memories you will have will be of things you did purely for your enjoyment with people who love you for you. 

“Back in my day…”

we would have to screenshot old “green screens” to get into our own dorms when we were waiting for COVID results. we would have to walk to the edge of 115th for Hooda Halal. we would have to edit our vaccine cards to get into Mel’s (R.I.P. You were gone too soon, sweet dove).

Favorite Columbia lore? The Barnard Dining X Celsius Instagram post that was quickly taken down for promoting disordered eating. And the subsequent discourse. It was so HWC – you had to be there.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

The Science of Living Well with Scott Barry Kaufman. That is, if you want a discussion section that mimics group therapy. Except if the group was the distinguished brothers of Sigma Chi and the therapy was, well, therapy. On a more serious note, this course provided me with tools and reflections that will stay with me far beyond academics. 

Kate Turetsky and Irit Felsen are amazing psychology professors, and Roberto Sirvent has the most insightful political science colloquiums. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?

Giving or receiving? I could probably live without giving cheese. 

Whom would you like to thank?

Not to be too vulnerable on the Bwog Senior Wisdom, but I would be nowhere without the support of my family. My mom and dad, my babushkas and dedushkas, my aunts, my cousins, my (passed) puppy have all molded me into the person I am and provided me with motivation and support when I most needed it. I also want to thank my best friends for listening to and participating in my constant ramblings and ruminations, reminding me of what really matters, and choosing to spend the “best days of our lives” with each other. 

One thing to do before graduating?

Go into the penis fountains. Get serenaded by a self-assured man with a guitar. Get stuck ;) in the stacks (still working on this one). Audition for experimental sketch comedy theater. Drink that sugar free Redbull and rally. Walk from the tippity top of Manhattan to the tippity bottom. Call your grandparents. Tell your friends you love them. Give back to the communities that have given to you. 

Any regrets?

None that I have the ability to change, so no. 

Gabi via Gabi