Senior Wisdom: Prem Thakker – Bwog

Luck is a woman for Prem. #No regret.

Name, School, Department, City of Origin: Prem Thakker Columbia College History Grand Forks North Dakota

Claims of fame: That Guy From North Dakota (Spoiler: Here’s His Whole Personality!) Columbia Dining Residency Fellow. The voice you heard in the crowd the other day that kept repeating, “Oh, sorry, oh, sorry, I see––.”

Where are you going? Ohhhh, don’t you wanna know WEATHER BOY

What 3 things did you learn at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2026?

  1. Whether you want to be a doctor, computer scientist, lawyer, writer, actor, businessman, or whatever—You don’t have to do things that should only be relevant to that field!!! It’s intuitive to think that if you want to be a good doctor or lawyer or computer scientist or whatever, you just need to keep your head down and just do what seems like a Doctor or Lawyer or Data-y or whatever. OR, maybe you think Ha, I’m smart enough to know what he’s saying. I will try so many things and explore so many academic disciplines, so many clubs, so many social groups. Variety is the spice of life! Good for you if you think so! It is very likely that a monotonous lecture will permanent might prevent you from embracing that spirit. DO NOT LET!!! Life is too grand to allow yourself to be limited by one vision of yourself. Practically speaking, you don’t have to choose a major to graduate. Just pick a few academic concentrations. Learn what you think “needs”, and allow yourself to explore the classes you normally see and think “yes, maybe in another life…” ….because of THAT F***! You have THIS life, baby! Embrace it! Give yourself the gift of living the broadest and most curious life you can!
  2. Don’t let things make a mark on you more than you make on them. If you let the things you do (theater, academics, professional activities, athletics, etc.) devour you, that’s not amazing! So learn from and love everything around you, but don’t let it happen follow You. The things you do—sports, music, activities, work, academics, etc.—are a part from you. They are not you, single.
  3. We (Colombian students in particular) are often very goal oriented. The goals were great by themselves. Goals probably kept most of us here! But goals are also greatly exaggerated. I think intentions, not goals, are the way to go. To imagine in a broad sense what you want—the kind of life you want to live, the things you want to do, the way you want to be around other people—and then let it happen. You… that’s a very nice way of life, I think. This way, you still have a clear goal, but you don’t develop tunnel vision that comes with very specific goals.
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You may think that you know exactly what you want—happy for you! …but this universe is enormous and unpredictable and full of incredible possibilities and potential that may not always arise from careful calculation and planning. And some of the sweetest and most beautiful results result from allowing yourself to remain open to it.

“Back to my days…” COÖP is still a full program. JJ’s is open 22 hours a day. Miss them both! Was hoping to do the challenge where I stayed in JJ for those incredible 22 hours but unfortunately couldn’t make it happen during my time. If JJ’s reopens at those hours, and someone wants to respectfully make this “JJ Challenge” happen, please do! I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun, and the people who love to eat will too (shout out beautiful people like Gleinys and Yendi!).

Favorite Colombian controversy? There are honestly no favorites because they are all usually frustrating or weird or just disappointing. But, my emotional grudge-for-work-my remains… I think it should hopefully encourage all of us to think more deeply about how we treat other people – both close friends and strangers – and hopefully maybe net- positive at the end of the day?? Hopefully!

What is your favorite class at Columbia? Technology, Religion and the Future with David Kittay. Which pairs very well with Brian Greene’s Origins & Meaning. Any energy/environment classes with Michael Gerrard or Paul Gallay. If you can have Giovanni Lovisetto for ArtHum, congratulations! Hamid Dabashi reminds you that learning can take many forms—film, reading, art, all while sharing the experience with wine, snacks and friends. History of Sport and Society with Frank Guridy. Karl Jacoby’s environmental history course. Never took a poetry class, but heard they were great and I think everyone should take it if they can! However, words are beautiful.

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Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Veganism, or at least some of its forms, is the way forward.

Who do you want to thank? My family, Sylvie, Marco, Matt, Julia, Nora, Mollie, Izzy, Yiannis, Henri, Lulu, Meryl, Evelyn, Pedro, Jaine, Jane, Carolyn, Gabe, Josh, Robert, Lily, Jackie, Chloe, Venice, Rachel , Maria, Anthony, Joey, Drew, Aida, Zach, Bassel, Mari, Brett, Peter, Trevor, Swat, Jess, Camryn, Sam, Catherine, John, Sila, Andrea, Rommel, Drew, Erik, Morgan, Elly, Matt , Grant, Lord, David, Mina, Leo, Sofia, COÖP, Latenite, and CBA.

One thing to do before graduating: See below

Any regrets? Well honey. I am lucky. And I hope and believe you will too.

Prem’s photo via herself

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