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4 Years Later: Reflections of a Columbia College Senior

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Replies to: 4 Years Later: Reflections of a Columbia College Senior

  • beautifuldaybeautifulday 98 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Why do people who do not post regularly on this board feel the need to bump old posts at perceived key times in the admissions process for posters? ****...
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  • iggs99988iggs99988 139 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Speaking of infrequent posters, you have 88 posts in nearly seven years.
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  • truazn8948532truazn8948532 1332 replies180 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Can't believe this got bumped - how fast a year passes (since I started this thread).

    To all new Columbians - congratulations! In the year since posting, I've graduated, traveled the world, found a job halfway across the world - in short, quite an adventure.

    While I still wholeheartedly believe that Columbia for many represents a suboptimal traditional college experience, I can't deny that I miss the place. I won't elaborate on this anymore but to everyone - one advice that I wish I told myself 5 years ago when I was about to embark on my college journey...

    The 4 years of college you have are more or less your *last* clear opportunity to define and mold yourself. Take this opportunity to recklessly fall in love, do something stupid, start a hobby, travel the world, explore your passions, and follow your dreams. It's very, very, very easy to get swept up in the whole Investment Banking / Management consulting / Medical School / Law school or fail mentality and that's fine - if that's what you truly truly love to do. For everyone else, I guarantee you striving hard through Columbia to get a job /into a school you dont like to impress people you dont care about is a guaranteed way to feel miserable.

    Columbia does have world-class resources (they're just not as user-friendly as some of our peers). Be sure to be proactive and take advantage of these and learn from your peers and mentors. If you do these things, Columbia will make you a more thoughtful, and more capable person than many of our peers.
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  • iggs99988iggs99988 139 replies22 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    how does one travel the world while studying at Columbia (not sarcastic question ). I'm intrigued.
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  • beard taxbeard tax 243 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I can understand to an extent where truazn's coming from. I hated high school from the stress of junior and senior years. As I've moved further and further away from that point in my life, I've come to remember the good things while forgetting the bad. Add to that the fact that I miss social aspects of high school I didn't appreciate until I came to college, and at times, I feel nostalgia for a period of my life I still characterize as "hell-ish".

    I think it's easy for truazn to comment on how students should come into college free from the pressures required to succeed in a pre-professional track. It's much more difficult for the college freshman, who hasn't achieved his or her goals, to look at college as an experience wholly divorced from goals and pressures.

    I've achieved my academic and professional goals in school, and I look back to freshman year to see what I could have changed. However, I wouldn't be the same person if I didn't make my mistakes, learning from each step along the way. Sure, there are things I could have done differently, but I'm sure that I wouldn't be in the same position.

    Columbia is a school where sacrifices need to be made. Breaking into the financial services industry isn't easy and it's a zero-sum game. The students who have succeed have invested tremendous amounts of time and energy. It's much easier to have climbed to the top and tell those at the bottom to take it slowly and enjoy their time. It's much harder for those at the bottom to understand that advice without having made the journey themselves.
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  • calmomcalmom 20588 replies167 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    how does one travel the world while studying at Columbia (not sarcastic question ). I'm intrigued.
    My daughter was a Barnard student, but as the calendar schedule is the same for both campuses, the answer would be the same. During my d's 4 years of college, she spent extended time (1-3 months) living in Switzerland, India, and Russia; she also traveled to the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Bosnia, Greece, Egypt, and probably a few other places I either forgot about or wasn't told about. She traveled during spring break of her sophomore year, arranged an internship abroad that summer, studied abroad in spring of junior year, and spent the remainder of her summer after the studying abroad hosteling throughout Europe. Also, in January of her senior year, she spent 10 days in Israel through Birthright, via Columbia/Barnard Hillel.

    My d. was on financial aid and she financed most of her travels on her own. She's very enterprising and found multiple ways to earn money while in college, both with work study jobs and off-campus part time work. (It's Manhattan, after all).

    I don't see any reason why a Columbia student couldn't do the same.
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  • pwoodspwoods 1078 replies18 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Actually, calmom the answer is much simpler. Truazn is CC ’11; he started this thread nearly a year ago, right before he graduated from Columbia. In the year since he's graduated, he's traveled the world, found a job (possibly overseas) and so on.

    As for your daughter, that sounds incredible! I can't think of anyone at Columbia or Barnard who's done so much studying and traveling abroad during their time at Columbia. Most people I know do a semester abroad and maybe take an international vacation or too.
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  • pwoodspwoods 1078 replies18 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Actually, calmom, I think the answer is much simpler. Truazn is CC ’11; he started this thread nearly a year ago, right before he graduated from Columbia. In the year since he's graduated, he's traveled the world, found a job (possibly overseas) and so on.

    edit: I now realize iggs was referring not to Truazn's experience since he left college, but his advice to current students to travel the world. Columbia (as well as Barnard) offers a wealth of study-abroad opportunities, as calmom knows well.
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