Have some school spirit

By Heather Scroering

My high school, an all-girls Catholic school, was often joked about by the all-boys schools in my hometown as being a “daycare” equipped with coloring books and crayons to keep us gals occupied. In reality, it was a challenging college prep school that truly pushed women who later became Ivy-Leaguers, Broadway actresses, accomplished sports players and more.

Now, as a student at Columbia, I find myself hearing both insiders and outsiders passing similar judgment about our college being a bedlam of potheads and pretentious kids who take their art far too seriously. While we all know a few pompous people and probably more than a few herbal enthusiasts, the college is far from a circus of slackers.

It can’t be denied that many magnificent individuals have come out of Columbia. They’ve gone on to become cinematographers like Janusz Kamiński, who won an Academy Award for “Schindler’s List,” and Mauro Fiore of “Avatar.” They’re actors like Scott Adsit of “30 Rock,” hip-hop artists like Kid Sister and best-selling authors. Even Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune host, graduated from Columbia.

More astonishing are the current students whose designs are presently being used in Ralph Lauren’s window displays across the country, or those whose films have made it into Sundance. And Columbia instructors are distinguished Pulitzer Prize winners, seven-time Emmy award winners, renowned music critics and esteemed photographers. The list doesn’t stop there. This is living proof that success stories don’t happen to people who are no more than negligent, weed-smoking hoodlums.

Despite what people on the outside are saying, perhaps even we have forgotten ourselves in the midst of all the bad press and political debacles within the administration. I’ve heard current students talking serious smack about their own college, even going as far as creating Facebook pages about how much of a joke Columbia is. This baffles me because, while we should all be able to look at ourselves and laugh sometimes, if those students are so unhappy with their college, why still pay upwards of $20,000 a year to go here? Community college is a much cheaper option and might be a little more fitting.

We should all do ourselves a favor and have a little more pride in our work and be thankful for the opportunity to be mentored by some truly sensational individuals. We really do have a lot to brag about, and while most of us can’t be responsible for the previous reputation of the college, we certainly can change it for the future.