Since when did people start using sidechat?

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Sofia, Barnard, English (Creative Writing), Los Angeles, CA Claim to fame: I used to be EIC of Bwog, many eons ago, and said “high praise” too much. Also, that I grew up in Dirty Jersey and love a high pony. 

Where are you going? I’m going to Brown, to pursue a Masters in English Secondary Education. They rejected me as an undergrad five years ago, so this is the ultimate dream/retribution. 

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

1. If you’re on the fence, it is never better to live in a suite than to get an apartment. 

2. There’s always a second soda machine (except at Barnard). 

3. We, the students, always seem to know better. 

“Back in my day,” No one used Sidechat. 

Favorite Columbia lore? The Chastity Gates. 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? My all-time favorite class at Columbia was New Millennial American Fiction with God herself, Professor Margaret Vandenburg. We got to discuss post-9/11 nihilism, read books written in the last 10 years, and to rant about Barnard after class. Oh, and all my Barnard Creative Writing workshops were pretty extraordinary.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Don’t even get me started.

Whom would you like to thank? My parents, first, because I would/could never be the person I am today, doing the things I’m doing, without their constant love, support, and calm — I hope I tell them this enough. My Nana, for always keeping my piles of stuff in her basement over the summer. My best friend Sara, for all of our snack runs, Carroll’s nights, and shared hatreds. The University of Cambridge, for my incredible group of friends, forever love for weird gelato flavors (and rowers), and endless travel stories. My advisor, for her unrelentingly awe. The Joe Coffee in NoCo, the honey mustard at JJ’s, and the meager student discount at Book Culture for seeing me through my two dissertations. My fifth grade teacher, who brought me books from her own collection; my second grade teacher, who always slowed me down when I finished a worksheet too fast; and my sixth grade teacher, who made me sit and study compound sentences instead of drafting my essay. And, of course, my beloved Bwog. 

One thing to do before graduating? 

Take one singular Education course — if you went through any kind of educational system, you’ve fulfilled the prerequisite. They will enlighten, engage, and radicalize you in ways you cannot imagine. 

Cry in Riverside Park. Alternatively, just find somewhere you can really breathe that’s not on campus.

Let go of your idea of the “college experience.” College is whatever you want it to be, if it does not have to follow the prototypical path, it doesn’t mean it was bad. I mean, look at my graduating class. You have the power to make it the best and most impactful four years for you

Don’t wait until senior year to take all the fun classes. Take the course about/with your favorite author (or don’t — it could ruin them for you, but you will also have a very Columbia story to tell) and do dance instead of PE. 

Any regrets? Nothing that I think will matter in the long run.

Sofia via Sofia