Letter from the 2014-2015 Columbia Quest Liaison
“This year I got everything I ever wished for. But in a way, I lost even more.”
Coming into Columbia, I knew I wasn’t as privileged as other students here – I’m a full-financial aid student, whereas most are full-pay students. And also unlike most students, I come from an unranked high school where there weren’t nearly as many resources as the high schools they went to. Needless to say, I came in scared that I couldn’t handle Columbia, that I wouldn’t be as smart.
As a first-year student, I became so focused on my fear of not doing well that it ruined my first semester experience. I let myself lose my sense of self-value, leading to an overwhelming sense of disappointment that I couldn’t shake for the longest time.
As a student here, you’re probably scared of failure and of not being good enough. But I can tell you now that that thinking will get you nowhere. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Better yet, love yourself and your abilities. Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to do that; it’s okay to love the fact that you’re smart and motivated. With the pressure of Columbia being so intense, we don’t have enough of that going around.
Love and believe in yourself. If you don’t, who else will?
Refuse to let yourself get to the point where your happiness is determined by how well you’re doing at Columbia. Mental health is huge issue here, and I hate to see anyone from our Quest community fall victim to it.
With that said, use me and use the Quest community as a source of strength and support. As low-income students, many of us are facing issues most students here on campus can’t even fathom. And while I or our community may not be able to get rid of that burden, we can sure serve as support along the way.
The Questies I’ve met here have touched my heart in countless ways, and if you haven’t had that sense yet, I promise to help you discover that. The Columbia Quest Network is here to act as a resource to you. Use it.
Your Quest Liaison,
Lesley Cordero ‘17
Committee of Overview: (Liaison, Past Liaisons)
Lesley Cordero (CC '17)
Bill Nguyen (CC '16)
External Relations Committee:
David Jimenez (CC '17), Political Chair
Lizzette Delgadillo (SEAS '17), Outreach Chair
Menna Elsayed (CC '17), Service Chair
Ernesto Sandoval Castillo (CC '16), Publicity Chair
Marissa Ojeda (SEAS '17), Treasurer
Lizbeth Pena (SEAS '17), Recruitment Chair
Student Relations Committee:
Walid Rahman (SEAS '17), SEAS Academic Chair
Karol Francisco (BC '17), BC Academic Chair
Carmin Munoz (CC '16), CC Academic Chair
Joi Anderson (SEAS '17), Mentor Chair
Azizat Adesokan (SEAS '17), Secretary
Breanna Leslie-Skye (CC '17), Professional Development Chair