Grace shares some wisdom with Bwog (which starts with a B).

Name, School, Major Hometown: Grace S., Barnard, Architecture with a focus on bio-based materials! 

Claim to fame: First spring being senior spring. 3D printing with mycelium. Living in an earthship. Being everywhere and nowhere all at once. 

Where are you going? To a place that starts with a B. Barcelona? Boston? Brooklyn? Time will tell. 

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

Our relations are vital. “The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love—whether we call it friendship or family or romance—is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light. Gentle work. Steadfast work. Life-saving work in those moments when life and shame and sorrow occlude our own light from our view, but there is still a clear-eyed loving person to beam it back. In our best moments, we are that person for another.” – James Baldwin. 

It is easier to critique from the sidelines. 

There is an incredible tree that creates the perfect meditative sitting spot by the water, just off Riverside Park and beyond the bridge to the Hudson River Waterfront Greenway. It held me while watching hues on the horizon. It comforted me when I needed a good cry. I’ll miss her next year. 

Best hidden secret—Barnard has a partnership with the International Center of Photography where Barnard students can take classes. For free. 

“Back in my day…” Hungarian was cash only.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Indigenous Feminisms with Audra and Manu. COVID-19 and Care Work with Premilla. All the architecture studios I took (especially Housing Justice and Climate Circularity) that encouraged me to noy only identify problems, but also try to build solutions. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I don’t know what patriarchal hetero forces advocate for this question on the list every year, but I hope you know, we know… that life is incredibly and mostly abundant. Choosing between the two is living by an unnecessary scarcity mindset. 

Whom would you like to thank? Thank you to my mama for being one of the most incredible teachers I could have ever been gifted with in this lifetime. To my papa for echoing that life is a marathon, not a 50-yard dash. To my siblings for reminding me that I am on a team. To Winnie for being the star of the family Snapchat group. To my friends for being part of my chosen family. To my LGBTQ+ community in New York City and Madrid for grounding me in truth that to be queer is a gift. To Flora for blooming with me. To the activist communities I have met for helping realize a better world for generations ahead. To NML for introducing me to the expansive world of natural material architecture. To the gap babies and ‘23+1’ers. To all the people who view kindness as a way of life and not a strategy at this incredibly complex institution, thank you. 

And lastly, to the younger version of myself, I hope I’m making you proud. 

One thing to do before graduating? Cubbyhole, Henrietta’s, Ginger’s, Mary’s, the Bush, the Woods on a Wednesday and all in one night. If you know, you’re lucky to know.

Any regrets? I think too much of my time here was marked by overthinking my decisions. I felt that I had “lost” so much time with the COVID-19 pandemic that I needed to generate the most meaning from all my moments. But radical acceptance is one of the most beautiful things my time in college has had to offer. I’ve lived, laughed, and certainly loved. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more.

Grace via Grace