Senior Wisdom: Rachel Nash Bronstein

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MLIBC from left to right: Naomi, Rachel, and Claire

In the first Senior Wisdom of the day, we bring you a reveal: Rachel Nash Bronstein has been running the anonymous and popular My Life Is Barnard twitter account. ¬†Upon her departure, she wants to come clean…

Name, Hometown, School: Rachel Nash Bronstein, Newton MA, Barnard College

Claim to fame? I’m the third of MyLifeisBarnard that you’d be least willing to bring home to your mother, the little white Jew who sings too loudly in the Gospel Choir, and I ended up on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega through a logistical mix-up. (The superior MyLifeisBarnard-ers are Claire Heysion, who WAS ROBBED of a Senior Wisdom, and Naomi Roochnik, who got stolen by San Francisco last year.)

Where are you going? I guess to Brooklyn. I think that’s where I’m obligated to go if I want to pursue music, which is what I’ll be doing at a music publishing company where I’ll be the in-house vocalist and vocal editor. Also because it is my manifestiny (manifest destiny, duh) to gentrify all the things!!1!!!!!

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. When you want to avoid how you really feel, you can turn every event in your life into a joke. Earnestness is far more difficult. It’s also more worthwhile than I ever gave it credit for. That said, having a sense of humor is probably the only way to survive life because ridiculous things happen constantly (well, they do if you’re doing life right).
  2. No matter how hard you work, things will get in the way sometimes, and it’ll only be okay if you ask for help. When you do reach out, it’s unbelievable how generous advisors, deans, professors, and friends can be. But if you smile in public and spend the rest of the time lying in bed, terrified, no one will come to save you.
  3. Along those lines, life goes on, no matter how badly you fuck up. I failed a class freshman year, and I’m still here, with my dream job and beautiful friends and plenty of happiness.

Back in my day…. frats actually had parties! They might have been fun but all I can remember is sweat. Even as a fairly active Greek life member, I couldn’t really tell you what frats spend their time doing instead nowadays, but I like to imagine that each house has at least one barbershop quartet because wouldn’t that be adorable?!

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: One time I recorded a song for an erotic audiobook. The song included the word “’tis” (yes, that’s “’tis,” as in the contraction for “it is” for people who don’t know that “it’s” exists) multiple times.

Write a CU admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: I admire the people who saw a bizarre tiny person who talks too quickly, too loudly, and definitely too candidly and thought to themselves “OK sure I’ll be friends with her, why not?”. Those people stuck around after some really strange nights and sat through many, many concerts, many of which were not at all in English or involved sticking my head in a piano and singing made up songs (that was my thesis ok don’t worry about it). So I admire the hell out of my friends, because they’ve constantly been there through all of the weirdness. (And because they are unbelievably talented, thoughtful, smart, caring, and inspirational people, but I don’t know how to say that in a way that isn’t corny, but like, it’s true, so there you go.)

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’d give up cheese. [The rest of this answer has been redacted by the Fun Police.]

One thing do to before graduating: Go the fuck outside. Like, right now. Chances are it’s nice out, but even if it isn’t, the fresh air will do you good.

Any regrets? I’ve spent far too time standing in front of a mirror and grimacing at myself. That’s time I’ll never get back. That’s time I’ve spent actively bringing myself down when I could have been making progress on my work, social life, happiness, re-watching of Arrested Development, errands, relationships…pretty much anything. Standing in front of a mirror and hating yourself is probably the most egregiously frivolous way to waste the gift of four short, precious years at an institution unlike any other. Savor your time, your friends, your classes, and yourself; there simply isn’t enough time to throw away on disliking your appearance.

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  1. anon  

    Bronstein, I admire you so much! Congratulations on graduating!!

  2. CC 14  

    Love you Rachel!

  3. barbershop quartets

    you slay me

  4. Kelsey Musselman  

    I'm so glad I got to know you this year! You're an amazingly kind person with a strong will. Good luck with everything next year, and hopefully I'll be seeing you around the city :) xoxo

  5. Anon

    I think my one regret in college is not making this woman be my best friend. She is so wonderful and incredible and I've admired her since the moment we met. We'll miss you, Rachel! You've seriously made Columbia a better place.

  6. :(  

    Rachel, don't leave. :(

  7. Naomi

    Rachel Bronstein is a goddamn saint. She is the funniest person I have ever met, gorgeous both inside and out and she's got some pipes like Aretha. I have the privilege of calling her my best friend and I'm so thankful every freaking day that she's in my life.

  8. Anonymous  

    this is amazing, YOU ARE AMAZING

  9. lel  

    r u a beaver cuz dam


    that is all.

  11. you probably can guess who this is  

    Rachel is one of those rare people who is fully engaged in all that she does, whether it's composing, singing, Greek life stuff (I know nothing about what this entails this but Rach is super dedicated to AXO), musical ensemble stuff, or being there for friends, whether they need someone to rage with (anger) or someone to rage with (hedonism). Also that list may have seemed comprehensive but seriously I could go on. She puts her heart and soul into all she does, and in my mind she exemplifies living life to the fullest.

    Rach, you're amazing, I admire the hell out of you, and I am so lucky and so happy to have you as a friend.

  12. r u a sharpie?  

    cuz gurl u ultra fine

  13. Kate Ray

    Rachel Nash Bronstein:
    I thank God everyday for bringing us together at a Barnard overnight on 4/20 2009. I like to mark that as the beginning of our beautiful friendship. Although schools and states have separated us throughout these past 3 1/2 years, I still consider you one of the most beautiful, inspiring, joyous, and loyal friends I've ever had the insane pleasure of knowing. I love you with all of my heart and cannot wait to rekindle our love when I return to the east coast. Congratulations on graduating my love!

  14. Family Love Rachel  

    Look at banner, Rachel!

  15. Rebeka  

    Rachel is probably one of the strongest, fiercest, funniest people I've met on this campus. I'm so lucky to have gotten to know her, and have her in my life. Rachel, you're incredible. :)

  16. k...  

    But...MLIB SUCKS.

    You seem nice and all, but your Twitter is total shit.

    No offense, no hate crime, no shit.

  17. lest ye forget  

    funniest thing to come out of mlibc/finest work of rachel nash bronstein:

  18. Michelle McPhillips  

    Rachel, you're the best and I'm so glad I know you :) Congratulations, and I'm so excited to watch what amazing things you do next!!

  19. An athlete

    10/10 would bang #sexyladies #BANGBANG

  20. SEAS 15

    You guys have had senior wisdoms from BC and GS. Where are the SEAS seniors.

  21. get that this is supposed to be tongue in cheek

    "Also because it is my manifestiny (manifest destiny, duh) to gentrify all the things!!1!!!!!"

    but it still ain't cute

    stop that shit

  22. Jaded Graduate Student

    This girl is all sorts of awesome. The Twitter account proves it.

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