Letter from the Editor

Dear SIPA Students,

I have a confession. I have a crippling fear of flying. For those of you who know me, that may come as a surprise, because I travel a lot. Nevertheless, days before a trip, my anxiety levels rise, and I begin cycling through trying to complete literally everything (related and unrelated to my impending trip) and being paralyzed by a fear that can leave me anywhere from incapable of having a conversation to sobbing on the couch. On planes, I have held more strangers’ hands than I have clasped during dates.

Now, before you have the sudden urge to tell me that, statistically speaking, planes are one of the safest ways to travel, it is also important to understand that fear is not always rational. My particular anxiety has nothing to do with flight mechanics or probability. My stress comes from the fear of dying before I am ready, before I’ve “made a difference,” before I’ve, quite literally, DONE IT ALL.

And while about ⅔’s of you may not identify with my flight fears (statistically speaking…) many of you may know about the anxiety around having to do everything. This work FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is probably one of the reasons you got into the School of International and Public Affairs to begin with. We, collectively, are the type that love to overcrowd our schedules trying to make all the connections, be part of every club, and know every professor. Our drive is both a virtue and a curse.

So, before school starts and you commit the timeless mistake of overcommitment, I want to tell you something. You are enough just the way you are. Even without joining a single club or taking six classes, you are uniquely talented and incredibly. No one else has lived the same life that you have, gained the same insights, or overcome the same challenges. I am not being nice. It is just a fact.

Of course, though, you are a SIPA student, so chances are you’ll accidentally end up knee deep in too much work regardless of my warnings. For those moments of stress, don’t be afraid to reach out for a hand, even if it’s a stranger’s. My mom, the wise Jil (one "L"), always reminds me to never underestimate how much someone may need or want to help you, and in this space where so many of us can relate to this incessant need to “do”, it’s good to remember.

Lastly, I wanted to say WELCOME! We are so lucky to have each and every one of you at SIPA. I put my picture as the image for this article not because I love the idea of my face being front and center, but because I want to invite you all to come say hi. The Morningside Post (TMP) offices are located next to Publique, SIPA’s main coffee shop. However, you’ll most commonly find me in Publique drinking chai and not doing the mountain of work I should be doing or working at the Office of Student Affairs. I look forward to learning and hearing from all of you this year.


Ali Feldhausen

Editor in Chief of The Morningside Post


*TMP is looking for three new Senior Correspondents and a Social Media Strategist. If you or anyone you know is interested in being part of the team, please send me an email at amf2252@columbia.edu with this form completed by September 16th.