What were you like when you arrived at Columbia?
Picture this: Fresh off the boat and bright-eyed, with a thick Eastern European accent — I was ready to take on my American Dream at the best college, at the best university in the best city in the world. My first reaction? “There are a lot of smart kids per square foot around here.”
What do you remember about your first-year living situation?
Being an only child, I was not ready to share my living space and opted for a single room. The sorting hat placed me on the 10th floor of John Jay, #1032. I loved it! John Jay 10 was more social than I had expected; some of my best friends are from that dorm. My fondest memories are the late nights I spent sitting on the floor in front of my room with (of course) a side of curly fries from JJ’s. Don’t tell my coach!
What Core class or experience do you most remember, and why?
Art Hum — we had to write a paper on art in New York City. Instead of going to a museum and picking a painting to analyze, I chose to write about the “Arts for Transit” project in the subway. Discovering and learning about the urban art project, commissioned by local authorities with the purpose of making everyone’s commute more enjoyable, was one of my favorite projects. You may have been in the city for years and never paid attention to it, but take a second and look at the subway tiles or sculptures on your next (COVID-free) commute.
Did you have a favorite spot on campus, and what did you like about it?
My favorite spot was actually not on campus, but at Baker Field, behind the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. Whenever I needed a minute of peace, I would sit on the lawn overlooking the water and the iconic big Columbia blue “C” painted on the rock over the Hudson. I was fortunate enough to get there almost every day for tennis practice and thus get a respite from the city.
What, if anything, about your College experience would you do over?
One thing I am sad I missed out on was joining the crowd at Basketball Mania for the Cupid Shuffle.