Columbia bird conspiracy.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Tejasri Vijayakumar, Columbia College 

Claim to fame: Food Fight Judge 2024, Desi teen on Patriot Act, Bhangra in the Heights Emcee, Girl in Lerner Ramps photo of Columbia Taal, Columbia College Student Body President 

Where are you going? Wherever I end up after falling asleep on the MetroNorth 

What are three things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2028? This answer probably would have looked a lot different if you had asked me a couple of months ago — I think we have all learned a lot this year. That being said, college is a multi-year experience and each year has taught me so much about myself and this school. I’m gonna do two fun-ish ones and one… other one. 

You’re cool enough for everything you like. If you try on a pair of pants and think, “I like these, but I’m not cool enough to wear them,” buy them! If you meet people who you think are “cooler” than you but they’re also nice and fun, hang out with them! Try out for clubs that you think are cool, even if you’re not sure they’re “your vibe.” Don’t put yourself in a box, and don’t be afraid to do things you like! If you like something, you’re worthy of it. College is a time for you to find your niche but also branch out and try all sorts of different things. You’ll regret holding yourself back on account of nervousness, so go for it! 

You don’t always have to do all the hardest things. Sometimes it’s nice, better, worthwhile to take it easy! And you shouldn’t feel like you haven’t accomplished enough — it’s better to be able to live your life in a way you actually enjoy and can sustain than to burn out on all the hardest classes. Similarly, you don’t need to go to every party or go out of your way to do things that you’re not super excited about. Protect your peace !!! 

You’re more adaptable than you realize. Campus has changed so much in the past year, and in many ways, for the worse. I don’t know what next year will look like, but it might be similar to now — marked by a heavy police presence on campus and apathy from senior administration. You’ll get through it, and all the while you’ll make jokes about the circumstances because that’s how our generation copes with and undermines the status quo. That being said, don’t let these circumstances become normal. Remember that there was a time when you could walk around freely on your own campus, and that every barricade or locked gate is an impediment to your. Remember also that protest is not inherently dangerous and that we should be able to trust our peers to be nonviolent — to have cops at every protest is excessive and a form of intimidation, and this is not normal. As great as it is that we are able to adjust to these conditions, though not without considerable difficulty and struggle, it’s important not to normalize them. 

“Back in my day…” We could only have two people in our dorm room at a time, we couldn’t swipe into buildings we didn’t live in, and we weren’t allowed to congregate indoors. The Class of 2024 will always be the COVID class, that will always be our villain origin, and given the opportunity, we’ll always say “I never had an NSOP.” 

Favorite Columbia lore? I don’t believe for a second that there are enough birds on campus for us to be hearing those bird noises all the time … definitely fake. 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? 

  • Sculpture 1 — you’ll look really silly in welding gear, which is fun! 
  • Epics of India: The Rama Story in Visual Art — take the most hyper-specific classes you can find with professors who seem cool and you’ll never be disappointed. 
  • Art Strike: Museum Dissidents and Dissonance — field trips! Take classes that take you on field trips!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Charcoochie board 

Whom would you like to thank? 

  • My parents and my sisters! Who are always so supportive and helpful! 
  • My amazing amazing friends. I have the best friends ever !!! Shout out to Riley, Maya, Yumtso, Oriane, Jo, Kay, Khushi, Ronit, and oh my god so many more people I love, if I name all of them there will be so many names!! 
  • Everyone on CCSC, but especially Chuk, Mariam, Cenker, Anand, Hannah, Rohan, Mel, Priya, DJ, Xxaria, Erick, Sarayu, Arvin, and Faith. You all have kept me sane and hydrated all year, but especially in the past month! I am so proud to have worked with you all!! 
  • The Heights rewards program 
  • Whoever brought Pinkberry back 
  • Sakura Park 
  • Many more things I am grateful for but am forgetting!!

Any regrets? Not getting to say goodbye to JJs :’)

Tejasri via Tejasri