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Isabel Chun / Staff Illustrator

Hark, desperate spinsters of Columbia! During my time at this most exclusive of breeding grounds, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding the Columbia man. As a passionate philanthropist, I feel it would be remiss of me to hoard such intelligence, and thus I wish to assist all those dreary little table-for-oners among my female peers.

“Surely I should be focusing on academia and not suitors?!” you cry.

Wrong. Instead of studying Homer’s Penelope, you ought to be making like her. Of course, you could attempt to major in financial econ, slog away in Butler 209 with your tomes, enlist in several substandard internship programs, take on a starting position at an investment bank, and then suffer at a desk for over 20 years because you’re a woman and thus will be overlooked for a proper job in the company.

Alternatively, rather than suffering in this purgatory, you could put your efforts toward marrying one of the men who will be granted the aforementioned “proper job,” and go on to live happily ever after with him in his f-off massive house. Besides, having 50 percent of his income will be equivalent to what your entire salary would have been anyway—so, double the money, double the debauchery!

Rationalize it to yourself this way: The best way to deal with a patriarchal society is to dismantle it from the inside. If you just happen to find yourself enjoying the lavish trophy wife lifestyle along the way, then simply abandon your “demise of the patriarchy” plan, rip out your septum piercing, and accept your fate! “Que sera, sera,” you exclaim joyously, sipping your mimosa as your fourth husband Chad flips a rib-eye on your Hamptons barbecue while he reminisces idly about his days on the Columbia crew team.

“How shall I attain such bliss?” you cry, oh unlearned one. Well, a Columbia woman must work progressively through only the most eligible bachelors of this fine Ivy League institution before emerging into the “real world,” attached to whoever happens to be the last of her lauded conquests. Luckily, Columbia lends itself to such romantically transient behavior. Indeed, considering the shortage of eligible single students, connected to one another by painfully few degrees of separation, if any real strings were attached, it would result in a grisly mess resembling a marionette show conducted by blind puppeteers.

Such paucity means that finding a Columbia man who wants a long-term relationship is about as likely as scrolling down the columbia buy sell memes page for five seconds without coming across a post by Rafael Ortiz. Thus, in this haven of amorous ephemerality, it is easy for the Columbia woman to simply flit from one mutually beneficial relationship to the next.

After first mounting her metaphorical steed to embark upon her marital crusade, the Columbia woman must become familiar with the two types of eligible husbands and learn how to spot them: If his shirt bears a “Sig” or if he’s clutching a cig, he’s a prize to be won. The former brandishing of masculinity refers to his membership of the holy quaternity of the “Sig” fraternities: Sig Nu, Sig Ep, Sig Chi, and Delta Sig (remember, we never settle for a Beta). If you manage to score one of these Sig males, you’ll practically be able to hear the Goldman Sachs stationers etching your name into their Christmas party invitation.

The latter trait distinguishes the school’s brooding international students, often seen lurking outside Butler. Nothing says social status like dual citizenship, and as long as you have ready access to a dry cleaner—in order to cleanse your clothes of eau de black lung—you’ll be hosting lavish birthday soirees at PHD sooner than they can wheeze “hello.”

The only real effort required to seize a Columbia man is to discreetly dispose of all Barnard women in his intimate sphere, lest your spot on his arm be usurped by one of those Core-abstaining sirens. They chose to attend a women’s college and thus should confine themselves to the more attentive learning environment to which they are so inclined, rather than poaching in our husband hunting ground. Besides, it’s such a kerfuffle for them trying to sign men in and out of their bedchambers that you’re really doing them a favor.

After these distractions are obliterated, a Columbia woman must simply find her chosen target at Mel’s or 1020 on a Thursday night in order to ensnare him. Columbia law states that at precisely 3 a.m. a bachelor must turn to the woman closest to him and immediately escort her back to his dorm (or fraternity brownstone). Once such an occurrence takes place thrice, the man and woman concerned officially become a Columbia Couple.

The Columbia woman must repeat this process as necessary, using and disposing as required, and the man she happens to be attached to at the time of graduation will become her first husband. Thus, she steps into the world equipped with both a B.A. and an MRS degree and is able to achieve the decadent lifestyle that her independent, free-thinking intelligence alone could not have so much as grazed.

So take heed, Columbia women—as long as you have a 10 to slip a ring on your finger, your 4.0 is rather irrelevant.

The author is a Columbia College junior majoring in English. At this point, she is almost fluent. For this article, she was aided and abetted by her oracle, much-loved third-semester senior, Keanu Ross-Cabrera.

Love, Actualized is a weekly op-ed series on love, sex, and dating at Columbia. To respond to this piece, or to submit to Love, Actualized, contact

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