By: Deborah Coopersmith  | 

We Asked, Y(O)U Answered: One Last Hoorah

With the year coming to a close, another group of YU students are moving on. The Commentator reached out to graduating seniors to hear about their future plans, how prepared they feel, something they wish they knew when they first came to YU, what they’re going to miss the most and who they would like to thank. The responses of six students are provided below. 

Tamara Kahn (SCW ‘21)

Major: Biology

Future Plans: Columbia Dental School

“I wish I knew to not feel discouraged by certain scores on exams. For graduate school applications, it is important to apply with the best possible grades, but they also recognize that their applicants are human and do not expect them to be perfect. Besides, there are plenty of other sections to the application and one test grade will probably not have a major impact. Additionally, I wish I knew about running along the East River sooner because that was an amazing part of living in Midtown and attending Stern.

“What I will miss the most about YU are the opportunities I had to be a student leader and be involved in so many organizations that interested me, while never having to compromise my Judaism. I was really able to divide my time between academics and extracurricular activities, and they were great ways to make friends and have an outlet from school work, while making  a difference on campus and even the greater YU community.

“I would like to thank Dr. Babich, chair of the Biology Department and the Genetics professor at Stern, for mentoring me and knowing what was best for me, and of course, always offering me Dum-Dum lollipops in his office or KitKats during exams.

“I am really happy with my decision to attend YU. I tried to make the most of my experience and get involved on campus, and I think that choice really impacted my day-to-day life at Stern and gave me other areas to invest my time and effort besides academics. I also appreciated my courses and professors, and the fact that we had a Microbiology Chanukah party was really memorable. Stern was definitely challenging at times, but looking back I don't regret a thing.”

Benjamin Goykadosh (YC ‘21)

Major: Physics

Future Plans: YU Master’s Program

“Many of my courses emphasized how ideas worked and allowed/encouraged me to explore them further in projects and research. While I may not be ready to become a CEO of an engineering company tomorrow, that was never the goal. I believe my classes taught me how to think and gave me an incredible foundation for my future.

“This might be very specific to physics but talk to your professors. There is only so much they can teach during class and only so much you can learn. In class, you often learn the basics and some advanced ideas. Asking professors more advanced questions, even after class for a few minutes, were some of the most informative parts of my courses.

“In terms of people I am thankful for, the obvious answer is my friends. Yet, I also recognize the importance my professors had during my time in YU. I truly owe so much to them. I gained so much from them in class, but even more so in my relationships with them. I learned a lot by asking questions and then taking the time to answer them. Their passion for the subject helped inspire my own. I really enjoyed hearing them passionately speak about how Physics is interesting and applicable in life.

“I think the most important part is to always be curious. In YU this is especially easy. We were able to take interesting courses in so many different subjects. I hope I am able to continue learning and retain the curiosity that grew in my time in YU.”

Shifra Lindenberg  (SSSB ‘21)

Major: Marketing

Future Plans: Job

“I plan to hopefully find a job at the end of the summer, maybe something in the fashion industry. Then I plan to go to graduate school.

“If there is anything I’ve learned it is that ‘man plans and God laughs.’ While I don’t have my entire life planned, I have just enough planned to get me through one day at a time.

“I am going to miss the community of student leaders. I like being a maker and a shaker and I like to be around people who are like that as well. 

“I’d like to thank my professor, Adam. He is the reason why I’ve become passionate about fashion.

“I wish I knew from day one how much trouble a student can stir up. You are not as small and insignificant as you think. If one student is capable of shaking the student life on campus, just imagine the influence an organized student body is capable of when they’re not going at each other’s throats because of election drama. Change is possible if you’re willing to go through great lengths to enact it. You aren’t just another Stern girl or just another YP/IBC/JSS/etc student on campus (see I didn’t say YU and Stern). You’re a whole entity and you can be a powerful force if you’re willing to put in the work.

“Remember, all the confessions are submitted anonymously.”

Adina Passy (SCW ‘21)

Major: Biology

Future Plans: University of Texas Health School of Public Health 

“I will be attending University of Texas Health School of Public Health to get a master’s in public health. It is an online program that provides a foundation in all areas of public health, but will have a specific focus on epidemiology. I hope to use my MPH to be a better physician when I later complete medical school. I will also be a Graduate Assistant on the Beren Campus.

“I believe that YU has given me the knowledge I need to complete my path. I also believe that YU has given me access to connections from all over my future fields so that when the time comes I know there is a large network to tap into. 

“I would like to thank Dr. Terry Dilorenzo. She went above and beyond the role of a mentor and helped me find my confidence in myself as a scholar. I would also like to thank Becky Ciment and the entire UHRL staff. Y'all have really given me the family I needed on campus and helped make my experience at YU so enjoyable.

“To FTOCs (First Timers on Campus) soak this time of your life up and really take advantage of being in NY. I didn't start enjoying NYC until I was in my second year and then it was taken away because of the pandemic. Definitely take your studies serious, but you will regret not having at least a little fun in college. Also, don’t feel the need to stick to the same person you were in high school/seminary just because you have friends from those places in college with you. College is a chance to reinvent yourself, so do not let your friends from home keep you from becoming who you want to be in college.”

Zachary Greenberg (SSSB ’21)

Major: BIMA

Future Plans: Business Analyst at Ellkay

“I don’t think anyone is ever fully prepared for the future, but I think I did the most I could to be prepared. Yet, the two things I wish I knew: 1) Buy Bitcoin   2) We grow up thinking that if you do well in school and get good grades then you’ll be successful. That’s not true in college. You need to do much more than that by networking, working on your resume, and practicing interviews. At least in business that’s how it is. 

“What I'm going to miss the most is being in an environment with so many friends. There are so many great students here who I've become close with.

“I’d like to thank many people who have been there for me in YU. Here are a few: Rabbi Weisberg, Rabbi Hartz, Rabbi Koenigsberg, Rabbi Feldman, Professor Spear, Professor Rosenthal, Coach Jose Miranda, Coach Miy, Sharon Mella-Reyes, Mechal Haas, Jonathan Schwab, Avi Schwartz ... I could go on all day.

“I would tell new students to make sure to have fun and enjoy your time in College. It goes by quick and YU has so much to offer. If something looks interesting, give it a shot. Also, join the Cross Country team! Best chevra.”

Ilan Marouani (SSSB ’21)

Major: Management

Future Plans: Law School

“Law School is a new phase of my life and I realize that I can prepare as much as I want, but until I’m in it I will not know how ready I am.

“I wish I knew which classes and professors were the best ones to take. I am going to miss the Athletics in YU.

“I would like to thank every single person who has helped me to come to this school, enjoy every class and sports event, enable me to work on campus and gave me the opportunity to achieve a few milestones in my life.

“For those who are just joining the YU community, enjoy every single thing you can. Go to an event that looks interesting, a sport that you enjoy or even just a fun shabbaton. Once you leave college you won't have that many opportunities to do all of this again.”


Photo Caption: The Commentator reached out to graduating seniors. 

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University