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Damien F.

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Damien F.
Amherst, Massachusetts
Columbia College
Class of 2012
Computer Science
Russian Literature

Why did you choose Columbia?

Definitely because of my friends who went here. I grew up in rural Massachusetts. So New York City was so enticing: so many opportunities, always something to do. I wanted to live a life I hadn’t lived before. I wanted the cultural opportunities. Museums. Broadway. And the Slavic department, which I was thinking about majoring in. All the stellar academic programs in general. The departments are all solid.

Tell us about your living expenses as a college student in New York City.

There are definitely ways you find to cope; there’s so much free food on campus, you literally just follow your nose. If you see string of people with plates of food walking out of a room, learn to go to the source. You can entertain yourself for not much money—for example, I know I’ve taken advantage of free museums in the city. My friends and I go the local parks and campus to play sports a lot.Damien Fenske-Corbiere Living on budget in the city can be hard at first, but you soon learn to manage your money like you manage your time. I enjoy living on my own and it’s pretty natural.

What makes a Columbia education valuable to you?

I had been told about Columbia-- that the Core curriculum brings the students together. But I know now that’s really true. Not sure you can find cohesion at other colleges. You can always talk to kids, no matter who they are, about Lit hum. It’s an easy way to establish community.

I think Columbia covered all the bases. Sometimes there’s a trade-off between location and academics or academics and social life, but Columbia has everything. I didn’t see that I was sacrificing anything to come to Columbia. I take classes within School of Engineering and Applied Science as well as within Columbia College, it offers both technology and humanities. Both sides are incredibly strong. Everything you could possibly want is here. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to study, but I knew I couldn’t go wrong here.