With graduation on the horizon, the Lion reached out to seniors to hear their thoughts. Here is what Bianca–a senior who is graduating from Columbia College with a degree in Political Science–had to say.
What are you passionate about, and how has Columbia helped you find these passions?
Career-wise I’m passionate about working with/for low-income immigrant communities in order to secure access to stable, affordable, good quality housing. In a more personal sense, I’m passionate about building community, creating inclusive spaces, black and brown art, and writing.
If you could re-experience one thing you did during your time at Columbia, what would it be and why?
This was a pretty sad moment but I would go back the end of sophomore year, right around when students of color met with several deans to talk about their experiences on campus. It was at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and Columbia Mentoring Initiative hosted a finals study break. I broke down crying in front of my mentors from the Latinx Family Tree because, at the time, crying was the only way I could process my emotions about the non-indictments and city-wide protests. My mentors brought together a few mentors from the Black Family Tree and together, they talked me through what I was feeling for over an hour. Although not a feel-good moment, it was the first time I realized that I had a supportive family on campus that was invested in my well-being. They made it clear that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling which meant the world to me then and now.
What is your least favorite thing about humanity?
I really don’t like non-constructive pessimism and I don’t like complacency.
If you were a Columbia library, which one would you be and why?
I mean, ideally, I would want to be NoCo because it looks super cool and has collaborative spaces but in reality I’m probably Avery. Avery is dope when you first walk in and if you only stay on the first floor but if you go downstairs and really engage with the space, it’s actually pretty standard space. People are just trying to get their work done and get on out of there.
What advice do you have for the incoming class?
Don’t be so sure of what you want to study or what you believe in. When you’re uncomfortable, sit it in and work through it — don’t run away from it. Find upperclassmen that you admire and make them your formal or informal mentors. Call your family, whoever that might be, and share your highs and your lows with them — this college experience is just as much theirs as it is yours. Smile at people you recognize on campus and engage in small talk. Even if it feels mundane and cumbersome, it could brighten up your day or theirs.