“For young GSers like myself who have experienced trauma and are the same age as traditional students, the difficulty of straddling two environments is apparent. Although Tno academic contradiction really exists between traditional and nontraditional students, our life experience engenders an irreconcilable tension.”
Joel Davis is an ancient studies major in the school of General Studies.
“There’s no point in trying to rationalize grief. So I suppose there’s no point in trying to rationalize whatever the opposite of grief is, either. Especially at college—I’m too busy trying to rationalize a fifth meal of the day at JJ’s to deal with trying to make my heartbreak (or lack thereof) make sense.”
AJ McDougall is a first-year in Columbia College likely majoring in English and history.
“Colleges like Columbia—and most of modern society—are wrapped up with the concerns of the physical world, and thus have a tendency to see the end goal as material wealth... It can seem as if the whole world pieces together this clear, causal relationship that extreme wealth begets fulfillment, when, after a point, reality shows that no definite relationship exists between the two.”
Sanjay Paul is sophomore in Columbia College studying US history.
“If Barnard is to be a global leader in promoting women’s rights, we must practice these values in tangible ways, not just preach them... Affiliating with WRC is one powerful way in which Barnard, as an institution, can leverage its wealth and power in solidarity with garment workers (the majority of whom are women) around the world in their fight for dignity and respect.”
Meghan Brophy is a sophomore at Barnard College studying history and sociology.
“This marks a fundamental change in my lifestyle. I tried masking a key part of my identity for about two decades—it didn’t make me feel any better about who I am or how the world sees me. I abandoned this strategy of acting ‘normal’ because I believe that deep down, most people ultimately want to build more accepting, inclusive, and unified communities.”
Ben LaZebnik is a senior in Columbia College majoring in urban studies
“I’m sorry that some nights, I still call you asking if it’s OK if I come home. I’m sorry that I don’t just come home. I’m sorry that even when you say it’s OK, I still dwell on the years I spent idealizing this opportunity. I’m sorry that idea was so far from where I am now.”
Alexa Roman is a sophomore in Columbia College studying neuroscience.
“I just want to be a normal son, in a normal family. If you take away one thing from this article, from the conversation I have with you, let it be this: My parents, my family, and the hundreds of thousands of people in a similar situation, aren’t angels on TV or demons corrupting America’s moral fiber.”
Mark Tentarelli is a junior in Columbia College majoring in political science-statistics.
MoHi with Monica
| Monica Gu
“When we lash out at each other and try to bring other women down out of jealousy or pettiness, especially over trivial issues... we play into centuries of patriarchal and misogynistic behavior. We hold ferociously onto the idea that feminism demands men to respect us, but forget that we should respect one another as well.”
Monica Gu is a sophomore in Columbia College studying political science and history.
“Similarly, we should try to accept the decisions we make while we’re here. There’s no such thing as the perfect semester. If we try to plan every detail of our lives at Columbia, we’ll always be disappointed, because so much happens here in a short amount of time, and almost nothing goes exactly as planned.”
Aaron Fisher is a senior in Columbia College studying history and religion.
“This isn’t to say we shouldn’t normalize emotional honesty. Moreover, you can absolutely be experiencing real pain and you can need help without a diagnosis. But mental illness itself should not become normalized. It should be understood, supported, and treated to the extent that it can be.”
Eden Arielle Gordon is a junior in Barnard College studying English, creative writing, and psychology.
“For Columbia students, the most positive reaction to late capitalism is to be the intellectual guardians of more hopeful policy, to advocate in their writing and their professions for stories that are symbols of meritocratic success, to fight against the corporations and laws that allow late capitalism to thrive and hard work to be quashed under the weight of modern life.”
Greg Humphries is a sophomore in Columbia College studying math and history.
“For those of us who have voyaged far to come to Columbia, it is oftentimes difficult to consider our lives before Morningside Heights as important as our time here. But it is crucial to keep our past in mind... Our hometowns have nurtured us, and the least we can do is keep them within our minds, as moving and alive as they were at first sight.”
Charlotte Pu is a junior in Columbia College majoring in East Asian languages and cultures.
“For all you know, one of those people could become a good friend of yours. For all you know, you might have met one of your best friends a year ago but not know it yet... Even if you and those acquaintances grow any closer, four years is too short a period for us not to normalize a basic level of friendliness toward people we’ve already met.”
Teo Armus is a senior in Columbia College majoring in urban studies.
Alexa Roman is a sophomore in Columbia College studying English.
“Implicit here is the mindset we know is toxic but can’t seem to abandon: Being skinny (whatever that means) is better than any imaginable alternative. If I am thin, I am a good person; if I am fat, I am the worst person imaginable… [H]ow do you feel good about yourself as a not-thin person when being fat and being good seem so mutually exclusive?”
Harmony Graziano is a junior in Columbia College studying linguistics.
“However, I am confident that I made the right decision—a confidence that is born from the recognition that there are so few opportunities in which I can make decisions about whether or not to participate in dialogues about race. These decisions are so often made for me.”
Tausi Wadutumi is a senior in Columbia College studying human rights.
“The claim that there is not enough money for GS is at best disingenuous, and at worst, simply untrue. It’s true that every decision has trade-offs, but if Columbia wants to reduce the crushing burden of tuition on GS students, and for tuition-paying students in general, that goal is within easy reach.”
Robert Tang is a junior in the School of General Studies majoring in economics-mathematics.
“But sometimes, despite everything, it is still not enough. The Columbia bubble—with all of its stifling, seemingly impossible expectations—still collapses in on itself... Sometimes, we are still too afraid to say it out loud. For me, this is especially true—how can I complain when I was given an opportunity that other children of immigrants would do anything for?”
Melissa Ho is a junior in Columbia College studying economics and art history.
“The process of deconstructing this inequality doesn’t start with Ivy League admissions—state school students seem to have a good chance of getting in
if they do apply, and I’m thankful for the support I’ve received from Columbia and the International Students and Scholars Office. The work lies back home...”
Liberty Martin is a Columbia College first-year looking to major in creative writing.
“All I ask is that those on the left grant those of us on the right the same courtesy. I speak for myself and conservative friends of mine when I say that we all share the same end goal of universal happiness; the left and the right only disagree as to the means.”
Joseph Siegel is a sophomore in Columbia College studying philosophy.
“Don’t assume that your ideological opponents are motivated
by malicious intentions or that their positions are informed
by the desire to preserve white supremacy. Tackle only the strongest version of your opponent’s argument.”
Christian Gonzalez is a sophomore in Columbia College studying political science.
“The administration keeps relatively quiet about supporting a unified body of major goals and convictions, which perpetuates the lack of communality that students experience on campus... Without an idea of what this University truly stands for, what foundation is there to even build a community on?”
Natalia Queenan is a sophomore in Barnard College studying neuroscience and English.
Robert Godfried is a senior in Columbia College majoring in sociology.
“Why are we not bombarded with images of men sexily eating spaghetti or demurely ordering room service croissants? Because there’s no punchline.”
Arielle Isack is a sophomore in the School of General Studies majoring in American studies.
“As a black girl, I’ve done things that I’m not proud of and treated my sisters in ways that I should not have; but I recognize that not only must I take responsibility for my actions, I must also learn from them so as not to reproduce them in the future. I want to close the imaginary Black Girl Burn Book forever and have true solidarity with the women who I see home within.”
Sabina Jones is a sophomore at Columbia College majoring in English.