Here at Columbia, students commonly refer to how flaky students can be. As defined by Urban Dictionary, flaky means:
An unreliable person. A procrastinator. A careless or lazy person. Dishonest and doesn’t keep to their word. They’ll tell you they’re going to do one thing, and never do it. They’ll tell you that they’ll meet you somewhere, and show up an hour late or don’t show up at all. Also spelled “flakey“, or “flake” in the noun form.
Now while this is a topic that comes up on campus often, we decided to ask students to share their thoughts. To do so, we messaged random Columbia students on Facebook and sent them the following:
I’m currently working on a piece about community at Columbia and I’m trying to gather a few thoughts about this (fairly open-ended) question: Do you think Columbia students are ‘flaky’ (adj: Unreliable, characterized by not following through on agreed plans)? If so, why?
Your response would be anonymous unless you want it to be visible.
Here are the responses we got back:
“I don’t know if they’re flaky as much as they do the absolute most. I feel like Columbia students don’t see value in something if they cannot put it on their resume. like why must you be in 5 organizations, have an internship, and a “good” gpa. especially if you don’t really give a shit about 2/3 of those things” – CC ‘18
“Hey! Not so sure if I’m in a position to generalize, but in some of my past experiences, yes. The “let’s hang out next time” is a phrase I hear all the time. Columbia students tend to sign up for more than they can actually take on, whether that be going to events or joining clubs. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that we always seem to need to be busy or at least appear busy and doing something productive” – SEAS ’19
“I think Columbia students are flaky because they have so many options and frequently a pretty strong hierarchy of importance. I don’t think we can fault us for this, except if we held the belief that reliability (in terms of following through with plans) should be higher on the priorities list.” – CC ’20
“People here do the most usually” – CC ’18
“I don’t think any more so than anywhere else” – GS ’19
What do you think? Are Columbia students more flaky than average? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org