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Becoming a Real New Yorker

By Huiru Guo, '22SPS, Strategic Communication

I just enjoyed my first and last summer at Columbia University. It was truly a chance to branch out and explore topics that were new to me. 

I signed up for two courses—Content Strategy, an elective course from my program, Strategic Communication, and Data Analysis with Python. This was my first time coding. I wanted more challenges in the summer term and hoped to step out of my comfort zone. I was not disappointed. It was overwhelmingly difficult to understand the regressions and databases at the start, but I gradually learned to simplify and analyze the data by coding. The sense of accomplishment was amazing when I finished my first Python assignment!

For me, the Summer Session differs from the fall and spring semesters. It allowed me to study at my own pace and find a balance between work and life. In addition to the summer courses, I participated in multiple events held by SPS Student Life. I got the chance to enjoy a hilarious musical on Broadway, Beetlejuice. Those three hours were filled with laughter and happiness! 

But my classes, and learning new things, took center stage. A workshop led by Professor Jonathan Weiner and Dr. Paul Olsen—Do Dinosaurs Still Hold Dominion? taught me that birds are offspring of those giant, ancient species. (So every time we have chicken nuggets, we are actually eating dinosaurs!) After the lecture, we even watched Jurassic World: Dominion together, the latest sequel in the movie series. 

Then there’s New York City.

There is a saying in China, where I’m from, that one who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. And I think one who has never seen the Statue of Liberty is not a real New Yorker! Thanks to a summer cruise event hosted by SPS, I got to see the Statue of Liberty one year after arriving in the States. And the captain even gave us a tour of the cockpit, which had great views.  (Is becoming a ferry captain my dream job now?) My ideal summer day in New York: having brunch with friends at Dudley’s and visiting vintage stores in Brooklyn. The city is full of surprises, and exciting experiences are always just around the corner. 

In December, I will be graduating from SPS, and managing my career is my priority now. (The LinkedIn headshot set up by SPS was a big thing!) 

Thanks, Columbia! Thanks, New York! It has been a great journey. 

Huiru Gio's 2022 Summer Blog