Get Crazy

By Deborah Baum and Lawrence Goodman / January/February 2011
January 6th, 2011

Just to the right of the welcome desk in the new Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center in Faunce House are two small mesh speakers set into the white wall. You could easily miss them, but if you approach you'll hear the recorded voices of hundreds of alumni giving advice. It's part of a permanent sound piece, Advice from a Former Student, by Brooklyn-based artist Nina Katchadourian '89. 

Here's a sampling:

"Stay on the meal plan because it's going to be a long time before this many people will be willing to cook this much food for you."

"It's important to eat well..... Try to stay away from mammals. Anything that has breasts and hair, stay away from."

"Do things that are fun and that you were told you should never do."

"Love happens. It's going to happen."

"When you do awesome things, you are going to meet awesome resistance."

"No one is ever as okay as they seem to be.... The people who sometimes seem the most okay are the ones you need to worry about."

"Don't be timid with your hairstyle. Do the absolutely latest, craziest thing with your hair. Because years from now you'll look back and say, 'Oh my God, remember those hairstyles?' and you won't have had one."

"Never ever worry about what you're wearing."

"If you're looking for the quickest road to success, my advice is to fail fast. Find out what you're not good at. Find out that you suck. It's the best information in the world. Now you know what you don't want to do. Now you know what you hate."

"Don't worry about your grades too much because a few years after you graduate you won't be able to remember what your grades were. Most of the things you learn in college are fairly irrelevant to later life."

"Do whatever you need to do to learn about yourself. Book learning and thinking is not the whole picture."


Illustration by Timothy Cook

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January/February 2011